About CORE Group

CORE is the only player in its field that convenes the practitioners and public health professionals in global community health to share knowledge, evidence, and best practices, and then translates these into the real world with a direct impact, creating new standards in clinical and public health as it advances dialogue at the country and global levels.

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Mission & Vision

Photo Credit: Hari Prasad Upadhyay, World Vision International Nepal

Improve and expand community health practices for underserved populations, especially women and children, through collaborative action and learning

Communities where everyone can attain health and well-being

History of CORE Group

CORE Group emerged organically, beginning in 1997, when a group of health professionals from non-governmental development organizations saw the value of sharing knowledge and ideas about how to best help children survive. What began in this simple spirit of openness quickly gained momentum as participants realized significant savings in time, thought and resources—all made possible by collaborating. The group realized that this “community of practice” model was also fertile ground for the creation of new knowledge and ideas. In 2001, the group’s original moniker, The Child Survival Collaborations and Resources Group, was streamlined, and the newly named CORE Group incorporated as a coalition of non-profit global health organizations. Though the original scope has broadened from child survival to include women’s health and infectious diseases, the organizing principle for CORE Group membership remains the same: technical excellence in integrated, community-based global health programming.

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Annual Reports

In our commitment to transparency and financial accountability, CORE Group publishes an annual report that highlights our accomplishments and financial information for each fiscal year.

Our annual reports since 2005 are available below. Reports for 2004 and earlier were only published in hardcopy.

2016 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report
2013 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report
2010 Annual Report
2009 Annual Report
2008 Annual Report
2007 Annual Report
2006 Annual Report
2005 Annual Report

Our Impact

CORE Group has worked since 1997 to advance the field of community health by developing case studies and analyzing research data from the field, creating training curricula and conducting workshops, developing monitoring and evaluation trainings and tools, fostering in-country collaboration, diffusing Innovations, and advocating for Community Approaches to Health

Contributions to the Field

CORE Group has worked since 1997 to advance the field of community health by:

Developing case studies and analyzing research data from the field so others can understand what works on the ground level and how it might be replicated. CORE Group case studies

Creating training curricula and conducting workshops that address community-level prevention and care, with a focus on social and behavior change, childhood illness, maternal mortality and management of infectious diseases.

Developing monitoring and evaluation trainings and tools that enable field staff to collect standardized data. More Information, please visit the Monitoring and Evaluation Tools and Resources.

Fostering in-country collaboration to assist NGOs and global partners in developing secretariats and networks. Recent efforts include malaria, polio, and pandemic preparedness activities in India, Nepal, Ethiopia, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Diffusing Innovations. NGOs working in isolation often create innovative solutions to improve child health outcomes by overcoming common obstacles to development. CORE has worked to diffuse several NGO innovations that have demonstrated improvement in the effectiveness, sustainability, equity or scale of child health outcomes. Learn More

Advocating for Community Approaches to Health. Core Group has partnered with several global initiatives–such as Roll Back Malaria, Stop TB, and the U.S. Coalition for Child Survival—in order to ensure that community approaches to health are integrated into health advocacy efforts. CORE Group Advocacy Partners

NGOs working in community health often create innovative solutions to improve maternal and child health outcomes by overcoming obstacles to effective implementation. Many of these obstacles (lack of community ownership, ineffective referral, drug unavailability, low use of services, and low retention of community health agents) are present in communities around the world. Innovations created by one organization can assist others in improving mother and child health; however they are often not developed or transferred in a way that would enable others to learn about, evaluate and uptake the innovation for wider benefit.

CORE Group is interested in diffusing NGO innovations that demonstrate a proven track record in improving the effectiveness, sustainability, equity or scale of maternal child health outcomes. CORE Group facilitates a peer review of promising evidence-based innovations, provides guidance to ensure that the product will be practical, and supports trainings and diffusion through its Community Health Network so the innovation can be used worldwide.

Who We Are


Lisa M. Hilmi
Executive Director

Lisa Hilmi has over 30 years of global health experience in over 20+ countries, employing both human rights and community-based participatory approaches to addressing health disparities for women, children and communities. As a nurse, researcher, and public health expert, Lisa has worked at multiple levels of global health, in policy, research, emergency relief and response, development, workforce development, health systems strengthening; from local to global levels. She has worked in development settings, led response to HIV/AIDS/STIs/GBV in refugee and conflict settings, and  developed policy for outbreaks, disasters, and epidemics in multiple countries. She has led over $180 Million of development, relief and rehabilitation efforts. Clinically, Lisa has worked in pediatric hospital, community, academic, and crisis settings, and has held leadership positions in the UN, Sigma Theta Tau International, INGOs, and foundations.

Her research focuses on geographical health disparities for adolescents in urban settings. She has a strong history of partnership and coordination with UN, INGOs, CSOs, and other stakeholders. She sits on the WHO PMNCH Board, the Steering Committee of the Child Health Task Force, the Board of Directors at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, as well as other review committees.

She holds an MPH from Columbia University, a BSN and completing her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, was a Jonas Nurse Scholar, is a Certified Pediatric Nurse, and holds a BA in Communications and Political Science from Villanova University.

Achille Kaboré
Senior Advisor for Community Health and Civil Society Engagement

Achille Kaboré has over 17 years of experience in the field of public health. Prior to joining the CORE GROUP, Achille worked for RTI International and then for IntraHealth. He has expertise in neglected tropical diseases, malaria and community health. He has worked as a clinician and chief medical officer in Burkina Faso; he has also hold maternal and child health positions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Rwanda. Achille holds a medical doctor diploma from the University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and a Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans (USA).

Marc Holler
Senior Director of Partnership and Business Development

Marc has over twenty years of experience working in business development, strategic planning, organizational design, and project management. He has worked with or for bilateral and multilateral agencies including USAID, World Bank, Millennium Challenge Account, Asian Development Bank, Global Environment Facility, and Inter-American Development Bank. In addition, Marc led the development of business development strategies, developed successful funding opportunities with foundations, supervised the management of USAID projects, and developed overseas training programs for country staff.

Marc has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and an undergraduate degree from Boston University.

Shelia Jackson
Senior Knowledge Management Specialist

Shelia Jackson is the Senior Knowledge Management Specialist with the TOPS Program. She has experience in envisioning, developing and directing knowledge sharing programs that focus on the role knowledge management plays in helping people to efficiently accomplish daily tasks while adding to the institutional knowledge of their organization. A lifelong learner, Shelia enjoys the collaboration and training processes. She strives to create environments where everyone feels comfortable to participate and learn. Shelia earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Florida State University. She enjoys travelling, exercising, hiking, reading, volunteering, cooking and doting on her nephews.

Comfort Siodlarz
Director of Finance & Administration

Comfort has over 16 years of financial and technical experience with nonprofits. She has an in-depth understanding and experience in implementing programs by donors such as USAID, DOS, USDA, DFID, UNHCR among few. Over the years, she has developed strong skills in managing and handling financial reports, donor reports, billing, invoicing, contracts and procuring goods and services. She enjoys developing operational and proposal budgets and monitoring awards and grants from both the field and head quarter level. She has lived and worked overseas and has a diverse skills in working with people from many different backgrounds. Comfort holds an MBA in finance from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in accounting from Central University in Accra, Ghana. During her personal time she enjoys building things including home improvement projects.

Erin Murray
Operations and Accounts Manager

As Operations and Accounts Manager, Erin is responsible for managing CORE Group’s office operations and accounts, membership, and event planning, including conferences and webinars. She has worked in operations and administration for varied non-profit organizations, including a charter school located in DC, an alternative energy association, and an international educational non-profit. She served as a volunteer English teacher for WorldTeach in Costa Rica, and has taught English to various adult communities. Erin enjoys yoga, traveling, reading, and attempting to cook.

Chelsea Graham 
Knowledge and Communications Manager 

Chelsea is CORE Group’s Knowledge and Communications Manager. She coordinates CORE Group’s digital portfolio and is constantly innovating to best capture knowledge and foster learning. Chelsea is passionate about making complex information easy to access. Previously, she worked at the United Nations World Food Program as Program Policy Officer, with a focus on knowledge management and strategic communications. Chelsea holds an MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She enjoys writing fiction, taking her dog to the park, and swimming in the Great Lakes.

Adrienne Todela
Knowledge Management Officer

Adrienne supports the TOPS Program through design and production of in-person and online knowledge sharing and training events, and creation and dissemination of print and visual media content. She also leads the production of the bi-weekly FSN Network News e-newsletter. Furthering her role in facilitating learning among social networks, Adrienne manages CORE Group’s Young Professionals Network (YPN), coordinating career and professional skills development activities for the membership in collaboration with partner organizations. She also oversees CORE Group’s Mentorship Program implemented under YPN. Adrienne is currently a Master’s degree candidate at GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs, specializing in delivery and coordination mechanisms between education and employment for youth development. Before joining CORE Group in 2015, Adrienne received her B.A. in International Relations and B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and worked for various public sector organizations including Accion International, The African Foundation for Development, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In her free time, she enjoys trying different cuisines, collecting scarves from her travels, and spending quality time with loved ones.

Board of Directors

The CORE Group Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization and is dedicated to advancing CORE Group’s mission, values, strategies, goals, priorities, and policies.

Erin Stieber
CHAIR, Independent

Erin Stieber is the Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at Smile Train. Erin began working in child health programming in 2002, and has overseen programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She obtained a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2007, with coursework in international law, health law, and human rights. Erin’s work at Smile Train focuses on strengthening treatment programs and access to care for children with cleft lip and/or palate through strategic partnerships, increasing awareness about the health and survival challenges faced by children with this facial deformity, and overseeing capacity building initiatives for health professionals in 75+ countries. During her career, she has led the development of strategic partnerships with nonprofit, government, and private sector collaborators, and the strengthening and expanding global health programs to achieve greater impact. She is committed to advocating for vulnerable populations, building capacity in the health sector, and promoting successful collaborations to expand and scale-up access to healthcare for all people.

David Pyle
VICE CHAIR, Independent

David has over 40 years of experience in community-based health, nutrition, and family planning programming.His special expertise is in evaluation, having served as team leader in more than a dozen major evaluations and design of cost‑effective and sustainable programs. He is familiar with US and worldwide health, population and nutrition networks as well as with USAID and multilateral donor agency personnel and procedures. David has worked extensively with INGOs and local NGOs. His research has addressed the difficulties of “scaling‑up” community‑based integrated health efforts, considering how strategy influences structure, and identifying solutions which include strengthening information systems, effective decentralization, and increased collaboration with private sector.

Dennis Cherian
TREASURER, World Vision

Dennis Cherian, BHMS, MHA, MS, is the Senior Director of Health for International Programs Group, World Vision US (WVUS). He has over 18 years’ experience designing and implementing international public health programs in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East starting as a missionary physician in his native India. Dennis provides leadership to a diverse team that develops, provides technical support to, and manages global health projects aimed at improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. Since 1997, Dr. Cherian has served as technical backstop for numerous Child Survival and Health Grants, and has pioneered work in mHealth — most recently in Afghanistan. As Co-Chair of the Core Group TB Working Group (2002-2008), he represented the organization at numerous TB technical fora and was instrumental in developing PVO TB Curricula on community-based TB control and program design. Dr. Cherian is currently active in public health fora including IUALTD, CORE Group, and APHA, and is an Advisory Member to Social Behavior Change for Faith-Based Organizations and the Country Task Force for mPowering Frontline Health Workers. He is a frequent contributor of technical and scientific papers at global health forum.

Jennifer Nielsen
SECRETARY, Helen Keller International

Jennifer Nielsen received her AB from Harvard in 1982, an MA from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a PhD in International Health and Human Nutrition from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has worked in international development for the past 20 years, covering a variety of technical areas before specializing in public health. She served for ten years as a Project Development Officer with USAID, posted overseas in Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt, where she contributed to designs of maternal and child health and education strategies. She has worked for Helen Keller International (HKI) since 2006, providing technical guidance to nutrition and health programs in 13 countries of sub-Saharan Africa and 7 countries of South Asia. The mission of HKI is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, combatting both the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on
evidence and research. The nutrition portfolio is guided by the Essential Nutrition and Hygiene Actions framework, an approach for delivering proven nutrition specific and sensitive interventions through all possible program platforms, from primary health clinics to agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene, and education. HKI’s nutrition strategies include improving the access of poor households to nutritious foods, promoting the adoption optimal practices especially for adolescents, women, infants and young children, promoting gender equity, and assuring access to adequate public services. HKI aims to build the capacity of local government and community partners to assume long-term responsibility for program management and financing. Jennifer served as co-chair of CORE’s Nutrition Working Group from 2010-2014.

Sonya Funna Evelyn

Sonya Funna Evelyn is the Senior Director for Programs and Innovation with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (“ADRA”). She has been working in the field of public health for over twelve years. Immediately prior to joining ADRA, Sonya worked in counseling with a private firm that focused on delivering intensive home-based mental health interventions with refugee, adolescent and vulnerable populations. In her role with ADRA, Sonya works with field offices across Asia and Africa in the design, implementation and evaluation of health and nutrition programs. As part of her focus, Sonya conducts trainings for ADRA network staff in areas related to maternal and child health. Sonya has a keen interest in integrating psychosocial interventions with maternal and child health development and relief projects. Sonya has been attending CORE Group meetings since 2007 and looks forward to further contributing to the work of the CORE Group by serving as a member of the Board. Sonya holds Master’s degrees from Pepperdine University and the George Washington University.

Sarah Ford
AT-LARGE, Catholic Relief Services

Sarah Ford is Director of Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Integrated Program Quality Unit. She provides strategic leadership and direction for three of CRS’ cross-cutting program areas: Equity, Justice, and Integrated Programming. Ms. Ford supports the design, delivery and evaluation of peace-building, governance, gender, protection, and youth, programming globally. She also supports monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning for CRS programs worldwide. Finally, she works in Partnership and Capacity Strengthening, supporting the design, delivery, and evaluation of high quality capacity strengthening interventions. Ms. Ford has over 35 years of professional experience in organizational sustainability, leadership, management, and non-formal education. Prior to CRS, Ms. Ford worked with Management Sciences for Health’s AIDSTAR-Two project, providing capacity building technical assistance to USAID-funded AIDS programs globally. At Lutheran World Relief, she provided leadership to the development and implementation of international public policy platforms and constituent education programs and at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, supported programs promoting the human rights of women, children, and oppressed racial and indigenous groups. Previously, while Director of Capacity Building at CEDPA, Ms. Ford led a team in developing programs to increase international partners’ organizational capacity and sustainability.

Joseph Ichter
AT-LARGE, Independent

Joseph Ichter is Senior Technical Advisor for Public Private Partnership with the Futures Group International. Joe earned a Doctorate degree in Public Health and a Masters Degree in Health Care Administration from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Health and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina. Joe has over 20 years experience in health care delivery, access to care for the poor and underserved and building capacities through public/private partnerships to solve community challenges. Currently he is assigned to the Afghanistan Health Policy Project, working between Washington DC and Kabul, Afghanistan. Prior to this work, Joe was an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University and spent the majority of his career with the University of New Mexico, Department of Family and Community Medicine. He also spent several years living and working in the Eastern Caribbean region, on issues of health system reform and the integration of medical students with pertinent community-based participatory research. His decade long affiliation with The Network: Towards Unity for Health, has resulted in robust connections with over 200 global members of health care service-based learning initiatives, focusing on social determinants of health and integration of public health and medicine.

Scott Jackson
AT-LARGE, Global Impact

A global development, fundraising and marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience in international development, Scott Jackson serves as Global Impact’s President and CEO. Prior to joining Global Impact as President and Chief Executive Officer, he served as PATH’s Vice President of External Relations and led PATH’s efforts to increase institutional resources, develop and strengthen relationships with partners and donors, and maximize the visibility of PATH’s work. Mr. Jackson drew on his management, strategic communications and fundraising experience gained from a number of positions held for complex organizations in the public and private sectors: chief of staff, strategist, fundraiser, marketer, public relations/public affairs specialist and manager. He joined PATH from World Vision, where he was Senior Vice President of External Relations and provided oversight for several successful fundraising and advocacy campaigns. At World Vision, he served on the executive committee for ONE, the campaign to make poverty history—a global health and poverty advocacy and awareness campaign—originally composed of a coalition of international relief and development organizations including Debt AIDS Trade Africa, Bread for the World, World Vision, and CARE. Mr. Jackson serves on a number of boards and committees and holds an MBA from the University of Edinburgh. He is a Rotary scholar and has significant work experience in the United States and abroad.

Kote Lomidze
AT-LARGE, Independent

Kote Lomidze is the senior vice president for finance, chief financial officer (CFO), and treasurer at World Learning, overseeing all global financial operations and activities. He originally joined World Learning in 2009 and spent three years at the organization, serving as finance director for international development and exchange programs and then deputy CFO. After spending nearly two years as CFO of Project Concern International based in San Diego, he returned to World Learning in 2014. Prior to joining World Learning, Lomidze spent 11 years working in finance at World Vision in his native Georgia, Russia, Zimbabwe, and the United States. Lomidze previously served as a board member and treasurer of San Diego Diplomacy Council, local NGO engaged in creating international connections to address common global challenges. Lomidze is a certified public accountant and holds a BA in mathematical economics and a law degree from Tbilisi State University and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Beth Outterson
AT-LARGE, Medical Teams International

In her role as Knowledge Management Senior Advisor at Medical Teams International, Beth Outterson guides the organization’s learning initiative and the development of a KM strategy. She builds staff competency in Community Based Primary Health Care through development of online resources, and training a cadre of field based Capacity Building champions. Previously, Beth worked as Adolescent Reproductive Health Advisor at Save the Children, and as Health and HIV/ AIDS Specialist at US Peace Corps. Beth has an MA and MPH from Tulane University. After many years on the East Coast, she is enjoying life in the Pacific Northwest!

Graciela Salvador-Davila

Dr. Graciela Salvador-Davila is the Health Systems Strengthening Manager, Global Health at Global Ministries, UMCOR. She has more than 20 years of public health experience, most of which has been in developing countries. Currently, Graciela provides leadership and guidance for the organization’s global maternal and newborn health as well as cervical cancer prevention programs. In resource-limited settings, she has addressed critical aspects of various reproductive health issues including contraception, maternal, newborn and child health challenges, and the reproductive health complexities facing HIV positive women. She has worked to strategically plan, implement and evaluate programs, and served as policy advisor and reproductive health educator and trainer. She has broad knowledge of assessment and evaluation methodologies, quality improvement and assurance, institutional capacity building, and clinical interventions at both facility and community levels. Over the course of her career, Graciela has successfully advocated for and implemented evidence-based safe motherhood interventions. Her approach to these interventions has focused on emergency obstetric care as a lead strategy for maternal morbidity and mortality reduction, as well as the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy as an entry point for increased contraception acceptance and a newborn lifesaving strategy. Dr. Salvador-Davila holds an MD in general medicine and surgery from The Central University of Ecuador, her native country. She also holds an MS with a concentration in clinical nutrition from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, and an MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

Janine Schooley

Janine Schooley is Senior Vice President for Programs at PCI, ensuring quality and integrated programming for maximum impact, as well as overseeing all new business development, monitoring, evaluation and research. She obtained her MPH with an emphasis on Maternal and Child Health from San Diego State University in 1985. She spent the last 30 years in leadership positions with two San-Diego-based non-profit international health and development organizations: Wellstart International from 1985-2000 and PCI since October 2000. Janine is a specialist in NGO/PVO leadership, with emphasis on program design, evaluation and management, including capacity strengthening, gender and behavior change aspects of integrated, community-based health and development programming. Since 2007 she has been a faculty member at the Monterey Institute of International Studies where she teaches a course on behavior change. From 2002-2011 Ms. Schooley served as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the CORE Group and is currently a Co-Chair of CORE’s HIV/AIDS Working Group.

Dick Day
AT-LARGE, Catholic Medical Mission Board

Dick Day is the Senior Vice President of Programs and Volunteers for Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB). At CMMB, Mr. Day has led the formulation of an operational strategy for community-based MNCH care and the development of global performance indicators, and has guided programming of private resources for CMMB’s health care efforts. He brings more than 25 years of senior leadership experience, from the US Government and NGO worlds. He brings a deep strategic planning experience and has driven significant organizational change and growth. His program experience spans working directly at the community level in mobilization, capacity building and health care service delivery to leading large scale infrastructure development programs. Dick developed the country strategic planning and program performance management systems at USAID, and led all country planning and budgeting for the Africa Bureau ($800 million annually).

Working Group Chairs

CORE Group’s six technical and cross-cutting working groups are led by chairs and co-chairs from our Member and Associate Organizations. They provide technical leadership and facilitate the group to further the strategic development of standards, activities and products that will advance community-focused health programs and technical agenda.

Child Health

Community-centered Health Systems Strengthening

  • Megan Christensen (Concern Worldwide)
  • Alfonso Rosales (World Vision)
  • Eric Sarriot (Save the Children)

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Claire Boswell (The TOPS Program/Food for the Hungry)
  • Dora Curry (CARE)


  • Jennifer Burns (Catholic Relief Services)
  • Kathryn Reider (World Vision)
  • Gwyneth Cotes (SPRING/JSI)

Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn & Adolescent Health
Maternal and Newborn Health Committee

  • Cori Mazzeo (USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program/Save the Children)
  • Cindy Uttley (Samaritan’s Purse)

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Adolescents Committee

  • Mychelle Farmer (Advancing Synergy)
  • Regina Benevides (E2A Project/Pathfinder International)

Social & Behavior Change

  • Debora Freitas (Chemonics International)
  • Joseph Petraglia (Pathfinder International)
  • Erin Pfeiffer (Food for the Hungry)

Humanitarian-Development Task Force

  • Jesse Hartness (Save the Children)
  • Emily Chambers-Sharpe (Medair)

Dory Storms Child Survival Recognition Award

Since 2001, CORE Group has presented the annual Dory Storms Child Survival Recognition Award to a person or persons who demonstrate courage, leadership, and commitment to helping non-governmental organizations have an impact on and effectively implement programs that end child deaths. The award is named after Dr. Storms, who was a founding member of the CORE Group and led the USAID-funded Child Survival Support Project, which was based in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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