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.
Mary DeCoster has passionately dedicated her career to improving the health of mothers and children in low-resource communities, both domestically and internationally, for the last 31 years. She is a quiet but powerful advocate for recognizing and developing a community’s inherent strengths and resources in respectful ways. As a certified lactation consultant, childbirth educator, and parent educator, Mary has worked with vulnerable populations in North Carolina and internationally on both maternal and child health and HIV programs.
Mary is an expert facilitator, trainer and skilled curriculum writer and has developed curricula for Care Groups with Curamericas Global and Food for the Hungry. She has also co-authored several Care Group publications. Mary chairs FSN Network’s Care Group Forward Interest Group, which has been instrumental in promoting the Care Group model and in improving the quality of its implementation. She also oversees www.caregroupinfo.org, a clearinghouse of resources, technical documents and reports to encourage and support Care Group implementers. Her humble leadership of the FSN
Network’s Social and Behavioral Change (SBC) Task Force and Care Groups Forward encouraged increased collaboration and transparency within the community of practice. As many in CORE Group’s community know, Mary has also dedicated countless hours to mentoring and coaching others in SBC – both inside and outside of CORE Group – with the desire to save lives and improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable.
Mary currently serves as Director of Social and Behavioral Change Programs at Food for the Hungry.
Tom Davis has more than three decades of experience implementing and supporting community-based programs of 34 organizations in underserved communities in 27 countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia. His achievements are legion.
Tom led the implementation of the USAID-supported PVO Child Survival Project, which reached over 1 million people in Mozambique with extraordinary results; has been a true champion of the Care Group approach, sharing the methodology and its advantages to other NGOs and working with them and CORE Group to promote its use by NGOs throughout the world; and is the original developer of the Barrier Analysis methodology, used now by programs throughout the world to tailor health education messages for optimal effectiveness. Tom is also a skilled trainer and has led or facilitated numerous workshops and trainings for programs and program leaders for effective child survival program implementation in underserved communities around the world.
Tom has been one of the CORE Group’s most dynamic and valuable members, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of CORE Group from 2003 to 2010 and its Chairman from 2005 to 2010, a member of the Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group, the Quality Improvement Working Group, and the Social and Behavior Change Working Group (since 2003). Tom has provided programmatic leadership and has been a dynamic force for obtaining grants for numerous organizations throughout his career. He has been a mentor to dozens of program managers, and he has authored or co-authored 15 publications, including six peer-reviewed articles. The inspiration, leadership, and programmatic expertise he has given throughout his career is truly exceptional.
Watch Tom receive the award here.
As a Social Anthropologist, Judy has brought a thoughtful and human-centered approach to the behavior change work she has supported for optimal child nutrition and development for over 30 years. Starting with her work with La Leche League International in Honduras and continuing with Wellstart International, she has impressed all with her dedication to promoting mother-to-mother support (and providing personal support!) for breastfeeding. Her commitment continued and expanded in her work with CARE USA and during the last 12 years with USAID Food for Peace. She has supported such diverse areas as preparing a case study on LAM, facilitating training in the Community Therapeutic Care approach in its initial days, promoting nutrition as an active member of PEPFAR Food & Nutrition Technical Working Group and as coordinator of interagency meetings on food aid nutrition and quality assurance. She has been a strong voice in many more activities, too numerous to mention. Throughout her career she has readily shared her knowledge with others, providing encouragement to all who seek to contribute to the goal of improved child and maternal nutrition.
Judy has worked tirelessly on protecting and promoting breastfeeding in all her work, both in development and in emergency response. She was, and still is, an incredible asset to USAID/FFP and to the nutrition community. Her understanding of emergency and development, as well as the continuum between them, is very rare in our community. Judy dedicated her life to public health nutrition, directly working in the field and through different positions in Washington DC with worldwide influence. She is a strong advocator for breastfeeding, prevention and treatment of SAM, design of RUTF, and indicators to be used for individual and population assessments. She deserves this award and many others.
Watch Karen’s acceptance speech at the Fall 2016 Global Health Practitioner Conference (starting around 1:20).
NOTE: Karen LeBan served as Executive Director of CORE Group from 2002 – 2015. CORE Group Board Member Janine Schooley wrote the following tribute to Karen.
I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Dory Storms Child Survival Recognition Award than our own Karen LeBan. Karen has been a recognized leader in the field of child survival and global health since 1999 and, knowing Karen, she was likely a leader, albeit more behind the scenes, well before then.
Karen began her career as a USAID Development Intern in Bolivia, moving from there to several positions in the field and at headquarters with Save the Children. In 1999, Karen became PVO Liaison with BASICS, the Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival Initiative. In 2002 she became Executive Director of CORE Group which also brought her onto two important Steering Committees: the US Committee for Child Survival (2003-2010) and the US Coalition for Child Survival (2002-2010). Her contributions to these complex, multi-sectoral, multi-organizational committees were not those of a flame throwing ideologue, but rather one of quiet strength, wisdom and a never wavering devotion to the community-based, integrated health and development programming that is so essential for the health and well-being of mothers, children and families around the globe.
While Karen achieved much in her career prior to coming to CORE Group, it is her steady, thoughtful, committed, intelligent, devoted and insightful leadership as Executive Director of CORE Group for 14 years (2002-2015) that is most worthy of this particular recognition. In reviewing Karen’s legacy at CORE Group, it is impossible to separate out her personal contributions from the contributions of CORE Group itself, so fully has Karen infused the organization with her vision, her belief system, and her heartfelt approach to community-driven global health. It is obvious that her fingerprints are on just about everything that the CORE Group has done, developed, published, learned, shared, taught and discovered over the years. Her steadfast commitment to community engagement, to listening and learning from those we serve, are well reflected in the products of CORE – from C-IMCI to Designing for Behavior Change, from PD-Hearth to Care Groups – Karen’s belief in collaborative work has led to the widespread utilization of so many approaches and models that are evidence-based, practical, life-affirming and life-saving.
Karen personifies what is at the heart of CORE Group, which is the spirit of collaboration, of learning and sharing, of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. She has shaped a culture of collaboration that we have all benefitted from, not just as individual participants in CORE Group activities, but as organizations, small and large, that have gained much from Karen’s open and approachable style of interaction and the collaborative atmosphere that starts with Karen and flows throughout the organization and membership. It is in large part due to Karen’s ability to engage across a wide variety of actors that CORE Group members are valued for collaborative work and long-standing ties to communities and why CORE Group has been recognized for its role in polio eradication in India, among so many other achievements. Karen exemplifies CORE members’ ability to serve as a necessary bridge between a mother undergoing a risk-laden pregnancy and a government functionary drafting new national health sector policies, or between a Care Group in a village and a global conference room in Geneva.
In addition to the innovative tools, the collaborative environment, and the technical expertise Karen, through CORE, has brought us over these last 14 years, she has been a tremendous operational leader of the organization as well, navigating with grace, hard work, and nonstop dedication what has often been a very challenging course. Karen is a consummate mentor to staff and colleagues, a supportive supervisor and trusted colleague like no other. Her “tenacity with optimism” in the face of adversity has been a hallmark of her leadership. And through it all, Karen has served as a faithful steward of CORE Group resources, as the stalwart protector of the organization’s integrity and the thought leader for growing its influence and significance.
Karen has helped us fulfill the promise of Alma Alta through her hard work, her nurturing, and her quiet but firm voice of wisdom. She commands our loyalty, our respect and our recognition in a way that is not commanding at all, but rather gentle and ultimately more powerful.
*Read David Oot’s Dory Storms Award acceptance speech here.*
David Oot is a renowned leader in global health and child survival, dedicated to improving the lives of women and children for more than 40 years. He has led a distinguished career in both the government and nonprofit sectors, and influenced global policy, programs and partnerships supporting reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) and nutrition.
For more than 17 years, David served as the Associate Vice President for global health and nutrition programs at Save the Children, where he strived for a more consistent and wider application of best practices, while concurrently spearheading efforts to test and evaluate innovations to inform future RMNCH policies and programs. His direction led to an exemplary record of results, reflected in successive child survival awards, reproductive health partnerships, and leadership roles in flagship programs such as USAID’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) and Strengthening Partnerships Results and Innovation in Nutrition Globally (SPRING).
David’s commitment to improving the wellbeing of mothers and children drove Saving Newborn Lives (SNL), the Save the Children program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that put newborn health on the global health agenda. In partnership with UNICEF, WHO, national governments, the private sector, universities, and other NGOs, SNL heightened awareness of the causes of under-five deaths, and what could be to address those causes, and built coalitions to establish policies and programs to prevent newborn deaths. Thanks to these efforts, newborn health is now fully integrated into national health policies and strategies in several dozen countries, and nations have committed to stepping up efforts to reduce newborn mortality through the Every Newborn Action Plan endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2014. While Save the Children is one of many partners in this global effort, David and the SNL team played a leadership role in building the partnerships to create evidence, conduct advocacy, and set the stage for achieving results for children at scale.
Under David’s strategic leadership, Save the Children spearheaded innovative programming in Community Case Management (CCM), a strategy to deliver lifesaving treatments for childhood pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and other infections to communities lacking access to these basic lifesaving services. Save the Children has supported CCM in more than 20 countries and is a leader in CCM operations research, policy, and advocacy. David also led the development of the first “State of the World’s Mothers” report in 2000, which ranks the best and worst places to be a mother, and highlights the successes and challenges of motherhood in more than 170 countries. This report is now in its 15th year and is a highly-regarded resource on the health and survival of women and children worldwide.
Before joining Save the Children in 1997, David was a Peace Corps Volunteer in India, followed by more than 20 years as a health, population, and nutrition officer for USAID in Vietnam, Pakistan, Thailand, Kenya, and Nepal. He also served as chief of Population, Health, and Nutrition in USAID’s Bureau for Asia, and as Director of USAID’s Global Bureau Office of Health and Nutrition. David’s work in Kenya and Nepal contributed to dramatic increases in contraceptive use, and improvements in child survival.
Throughout his career, David excelled in establishing strong partnerships, relationships, and trust with people across sectors through his willingness to listen, advise, and always drive the best decision for children. He was frequently called upon for briefings on child survival, including events on the Hill, and provided testimony on child survival before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health in 2008.
David believes that shared approaches and credit lead to shared accountability. He has been a staunch supporter, advocate, and key spokesperson for CORE Group since its inception, which has sought his direction in strategizing how to keep community health in the forefront of the RMNCH agenda. He served on its first Board of Directors and continues to champion RMNCH, community health, and the role of PVOs in working with country counterparts to solve local bottlenecks.
Finally, David led the US Coalition for Child Survival since its inception, guiding the international community to focus on the health and wellbeing of women and children as critical to the foundation of a country’s economic potential, and to a human rights agenda. He has had a distinguished career over four decades, always finding time to inspire young professionals and to champion networking and collaboration among a wide array of partners, including CORE Group. His advice and friendship with many CORE Group colleagues and partner organizations has been critical for keeping the CORE Group Community Health Network strong.
David retired from his leadership role at Save the Children in December 2014, but still works to support child survival throughout the world
Listen to Dr. Ernst’s acceptance speech:
When Dr. Pieter Ernst, a native of South Africa, moved to rural, war-torn Mozambique in the early 1990s to offer his clinical services, he saw mothers and children suffering from diseases that were both preventable and treatable. A few years later, in conjunction with the start of a USAID-funded World Relief Child Survival Project, he came up with the idea for training “care groups” of village volunteers as a way for limited numbers of project staff to maximize household contacts for health promotion. In consultation with Dr. Muriel Elmer, a specialist in adult education who was working in World Relief’s health technical unit, what was to become the Care Group Model first took shape.
Consistently strong results led to a series of successful projects, covering ever larger populations in new districts within Gaza Province. Pieter’s leadership and continual innovation to improve implementation yielded excellent outcomes and documented impact: an independent mortality assessment of the population reached by the second CSP measured infant and under-five mortality reductions of 49% and 42%, respectively.
By then, the Care Group Model had proven to be highly replicable, spreading to other countries and organizations. The Care Group Difference, a guide to the model, was published in 2004 with a Diffusion of Innovation grant from the CORE Group, contributing to increased visibility. It was highlighted in UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children, 2008, as an effective method of implementing Community IMCI. Today, the Care Group Model has been implemented by at least 23 other nongovernmental organizations in 21 countries, largely with the support of the US Agency for International Development , a vehicle bringing improved health to some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world, and through which countless thousands of lives have been saved.
Dr. Pieter Ernst was Project Director for World Relief Mozambique’s first 2 CSPs (1995-1999 and 1999-2003) and subsequent Expanded Impact Project (2004-2009). For many of those years, he also spent one day per week providing medical and surgical care, including fistula repair, at Chokwe District Hospital. He currently advises World Relief’s community-based TB project in Gaza Province (using Care Groups) and a USAID bilateral project in Nampula Province – when not applying his creative energy to improve community approaches to agriculture. Though an infrequent presence in the United States, Pieter’s pioneering work with Care Groups has influenced many CORE Group members – and child survival beneficiaries on three continents. Prior to working with Child Survival programs, he served as a medical doctor in Namibia, South Africa, and Mozambique in Community Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Outpatients and Casualty.
Sarah Shannon provides lifesaving information and educational tools used by people and communities worldwide to take greater control of their health. As Executive Director of Hesperian Health Guides, she has promoted the inclusion of early childhood development into primary health care, spearheading the development of the pioneering Early Assistance book series and incorporating early childhood development and updated child survival information into Where There Is No Doctor and other Hesperian publications.
The Early Assistance series, developed in collaboration with community groups in 25 countries, recognizes that families are the primary resource for children with disabilities, and empowers them to support their children’s full and healthy development. Over 20,000 Early Assistance books in 20+ languages have been distributed around the world. Under Sarah’s leadership, Hesperian has also produced materials on environmental health, women’s health, HIV/AIDS, and disabilities, all with the aim of supporting those working to ensure the healthy development of all children.
Since its first publication in 1973, Hesperian’s flagship title Where There Is No Doctor has undergone 28 updated editions, has been translated into 80 languages, and more than 3 million copies in circulation have touched the lives of well over 100 million people around the world — the World Health Organization has called it “the most widely used health guide in the world.” Sarah has led Hesperian to expand the reach of this book and the reach of primary health care itself, in print and a variety of digital formats, in ways that are accessible to community health workers and educators at a grassroots level. CORE Group members use these materials extensively.
Before joining Hesperian in 1996, Sarah worked for 14 years on community health and development projects in Central America. She has worked for Catholic Relief Services and Salvadoran NGOs, training hundreds of community health workers in Honduras and El Salvador, and founded a nonprofit firm that provided participatory administrative and financial management consulting to over 80 NGOs, women’s organizations and community associations in post-war El Salvador. Sarah was awarded the Premio Asturias by the Spanish government for her work in Central America; and the “Mid-Career Award” by the American Public Health Association’s International Health Section, of which she is Secretary. Sarah was a Steering Council member of the People’s Health Movement for a decade and actively collaborates with the CORE Group and its members to make real the human right to health.
Dr. Jane Vella helped transform how learning events in child survival/health programs are designed and led globally through her work, Dialogue Education ™. Workshops, trainings and conferences changed as organizations acquired training and integrated the adult learning theory for effective learning, transfer and retention of knowledge. The methodology shifted from the traditional monologue, which focuses on what the teacher says, to learners’ active participation by considering their knowledge and experience, then designing the events accordingly. To date, 3,500 graduates in 60 countries utilize Dialogue Education in training and development, including those for frontline health workers, staffs and trainers in health programs.
Jane gained her insight on the adult learning principles as educator for 57 years in 35 countries in Africa (27 years in Tanzania where she taught as a Maryknoll Sister), Asia and the Americas (also US). Dr. Vella studied the emerging system of Dialogue Education as her doctoral research at the University of Massachusetts and wrote 7 popular books on this subject. As Director of Training of Save the Children (1984-1989), she and her staff expanded the use of Dialogue Education to the fields in diverse cultural settings, and the resulting reports became the basis of her book Learning to Listen Learning to Teach. Jane developed training materials such as: Learning to Teach for Training of Trainers in Community Development -1998 (Save the Children) and Developing Health Journalist (with Julian Beamish for Family Health International) for journalists reporting on health issues. From then on, Dialogue Education has been adopted by many PVOs doing child survival and development work (Aga Khan University, Catholic Relief Services, CRWRC, CORE Group, Food for the Hungry, Freedom from Hunger, Save the Children, and World Vision etc.) In 1981, Jane founded Global Learning Partners (GLP) to develop a network of certified teachers and practitioners of Dialogue Education.
Dr. Abdullah Baqui has spent most of his career working to reduce child mortality, particularly in the areas of diarrheal diseases, micronutrients, and vaccines in his native Bangladesh. His groundbreaking work on newborn mortality and stillbirths, published in the Lancet paper of the Year (2008) outlined strategies that are simple but effective in reducing preventable newborn deaths and, importantly, are capable of being replicated widely throughout the world. Since this paper was published, the newborn mortality rate has significantly decreased.
Abdullah is Professor, Department of International Health and Deputy Director, International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. He teaches courses on urban health and health information systems and has mentored numerous community health practitioners. His current research to improve child health and survival by enhancing the understanding of the major causes of childhood morbidity and mortality and by designing and/or testing cost-effective public health interventions against them is important to the work of CORE Group colleagues. His research includes : 1) Development of interventions to improve perinatal and neonatal health and survival; 2) Epidemiology of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (e.g., Acute Respiratory Infections, Tuberculosis), 3) Evaluation of diarrhea and ARI vaccines (e.g., shigella vaccine, Hib vaccine), 4) Evaluation of health impact of different formulations of micronutrients, and 5) Evaluation including cost-evaluation of the Integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) strategy which is part of WHO’s multi-country evaluation of IMCI strategy. Additionally, he is interested in research related to urban health care issues and in operations research to improve the management, quality and sustainability of health care delivery systems.
Dr. Peter Winch is Professor and Director of the Social and Behavioral Interventions Program in the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (www.jhsph.edu/sbi). He teaches courses on qualitative and formative research and applied medical anthropology. His research focus is on improving the health of mothers, newborns and young children in areas where access to health facilities is poor or non-existent, and social, cultural and economic factors affecting the introduction of new treatments and therapies to improve the maternal and child health.
He has engaged with the work of NGOs through leading evaluations of child survival projects, conducting operational research in partnership with NGOs, and working for projects that provide technical assistant to NGOs (BASICS Project, Child Survival Support Project – CSSP, Child Survival Technical Support project – CSTS, and Maternal and Child Health Integrated Project – MCHIP). He has played a major role in the development of a new framework for the household and community component of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses approach, and played a key role in organizing a workshop in Baltimore in January 2001 for PVOs and NGOs to discuss this framework. His experience includes conducting operational research on the implementation of malaria and diarrhea prevention and treatment interventions in Tanzania, Uganda and Mali, and qualitative and operational research studies on a variety of other public health problems in Mexico, Honduras, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Mali, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. His current research includes an evaluation of a program to promote correct malaria treatment in Ghana, evaluation of an integrated maternal-newborn-child health program in Morogoro Region, Tanzania, and design and evaluation of behavior change interventions to promote water and sanitation-related behaviors in Bangladesh. He also serves as technical advisor with the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Project (MCHIP) for operations research projects on the delivery of maternal and child health interventions conducted by NGOs.
Raised in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram at Sevagram, India, Dr. Ahbay Bang pursued a medical career and completed his training with three gold medals. After receiving a degree in public health at the Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Bang returned to India in 1984 to a remote district, Gadchiroli, where he started a new organization, SEARCH. Through SEARCH, Dr. Bang and his wife, Dr. Rani Bang, provide medical care and conduct research in 100 villages to improve the health of women and children.
Their grassroots studies have repeatedly broken new ground and pioneered international trends, including a new approach, home-based newborn and child care, which has been successfully implemented in several countries and five Indian states. Dr. Bang and his organization have received numerous awards, including the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan,’ – the highest state award, and a national award from the Indian Council of Medical Research. He has been honored by Save the Children US, for his contribution to global neonatal health, by the MacArthur Foundation in 2006, and together with his wife, Dr. Bang was featured in Time magazine as “Global Health Heroes” in 2005. His research was also chosen as one of the ‘milestone’ papers published in the Lancet.
UPDATE We congratulate Dr. Henry Perry for receiving the $100,000 Ronald McDonald House Charities Medical Award of Excellence during Ronald McDonald House Charities Annual Awards of Excellence celebration on Saturday, November 9, 2013 in Rosemont, Ill. The RMHC Medical Awards of Excellence honors a member of the medical community and acknowledges his/her extraordinary work on behalf of children. Watch the full video from the awards ceremony here.
Henry Perry has been instrumental in the founding, growth, and continuing success of Curamericas Global, originally known as Andean Rural Health Care. He has donated his award to this organization.
Henry’s early work in Bolivia as a solo medical missionary planted the seeds for Curamericas Global, as he envisioned making a larger impact on the devastating child survival rate among the Aymara people on the northern Altiplano beyond what he could do working alone. He organized the Andean Rural Health Care upon his return to the United States, and over the next 10 years returned to Bolivia frequently to set up the approach now used in similar projects in developing countries: the Census-Based, Impact Oriented (CBIO) methodology.
His approach, which uses local assistance and strives for self-sustaining, measurable results, has proved successful: in Bolivia, child survival rates improved an astonishing average of 62% in areas where the approach had operated for more than five years.
The remarkable success of Henry’s work enabled Andean Rural Health Care to expand to Guatemala, which suffers from similar dismal child and maternal survival rates, and later into Africa. Now marking its 30th year, Curamericas Global has reached more than 1 million people in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, and Liberia. Henry has continued to work actively with Curamericas as he has expanded his work to other organizations and locations.
From 1995-1999, Henry worked with the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh: Centre for Health and Population Research and with BASICS, where he supported efforts to strengthen maternal and child health programs throughout Bangladesh. From 1999-2003, he provided support and leadership to the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti, an integrated system of hospital, primary health care, and community development activities that serves 300,000 people in the Artibonite Valley.
Henry joined Future Generations in 2004 as the Carl Taylor Endowed Professor for Equity and Empowerment. He had responsibilities for teaching in its new master’s degree program, for promoting equity and empowerment, and applied research. He is currently heavily engaged in completing a systematic review of the effectiveness of community-based primary health care in improving child health in collaboration with the American Public Health Association, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, CORE Group, USAID, and the World Bank.
Henry is the author or co-author of over100 publications including 55 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, 11 books and monographs, and 23 book chapters. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Global Health at Emory, and Associate in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins. He is a founding member of the Working Group on Community-Based Primary Health Care of the APHA and from 2001-2007 served as Chairperson of that Working Group. In addition, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank, UNICEF, a number of CORE Group member organizations, as well as other smaller organizations, working in numerous countries around the world. He teaches Introduction to International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to 200 students a year, and he also teaches Case Studies in Primary Health Care and Managing NGOs in the Health Sector. He teaches Health for All through Primary Health Care on the MOOC (massive open online course) sponsored by Coursera.
Henry was elected as Vice-Chair of the CORE Group Board of Directors in 2006. During his tenure on the BOD, Henry served as the Chair of the CORE Group Polio Partners Project and the BOD Nominating Committee, and exerted leadership in several taskforces and BOD committees. Henry is a tireless advocate of community-focused maternal and child health and a supporter of the important health and development role played by international NGOs.
Henry is a physician with advanced training in public health, the social sciences, and general surgery. In addition to his technical credentials and expertise, Henry is appreciated for his compassion and mentorship to his peers, and commitment to a more equitable and just world that values lives of all women and children.
Stan Foster has been a long-time champion of the role of NGOs in child survival and for the USAID Child Survival and Grants Program in particular. Stan has made a number of seminal contributions to the scientific literature on immunizations and child survival. Further, he has been a mentor and a source of motivation and inspiration to thousands of professionals, community health workers, and community members around the world. His life’s work has improved the health and well-being of millions of people.
Stan began his distinguished international health career in 1966, working for 11 years with the Smallpox Eradication Programs in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Somalia. He served in a leadership capacity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta from 1982 until 1994, with a major focus on the Combating Communicable Diseases Project in 13 African countries. Since 1994, he has been a professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, teaching and inspiring thousands of students.
Stan is a leader who has led by example. He has inspired many by his deep commitment to the dignity and worth of every human being, his belief in our individual responsibility to reach out and serve the least among us in need (particularly, but not only, through the tools of public health), his recognition of the latent power within communities to improve their own health, and by his support for community-based approaches to improve health.
Stan has appreciated the contributions that communities have made and can make in promoting their own health. He has a long-term dedication to community empowerment and to the support of communities for identifying their own health problems and developing their own solutions. It is this approach which he believes will bring about the greatest, sustained impact on the health and wellbeing of families around the world.
Stan has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services in 1989, the William C. Watson, Jr., Medal of Excellence from the Centers for Disease Control in 1991, the Professor of the Year Award at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University in 1996, and the American Public Health Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in International Health in 2003.
Stan has a BA from Williams College (1955), MD from the University of Rochester (1960), and MPH from Emory University (1982).
As a team, Monique and Jerry Sternin pioneered the community-based application of the Positive Deviance approach to nutrition and to other health interventions. Monique and Jerry Sternin have been highly influential within the PVO community, articulating a community-focused asset approach to development based on local wisdom. As staff members of Save the Children, the Sternins piloted and scaled-up the PD/Hearth Approach to demonstrate its success in sustainably reducing malnutrition of children. Their groundbreaking work in Vietnam has served as a model for rehabilitating thousands of malnourished children in over 20 countries.
Jerry Sternin was a former Assistant Dean of Students at Harvard University Business School, and a Save the Children Director in Bangladesh, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Egypt and Myanmar. Jerry also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, associate director in Nepal and as a Peace Corps Director in Mauritania and Rwanda. Jerry was currently a visiting scholar at Tufts University, teaching and directing the Positive Deviance Initiative, a Ford funded project to document and share information on global PD projects, to explore new PD applications, and to expand the cadre of PD practitioners and trainers.
Monique Sternin has worked in development since 1985 in Bangladesh, Egypt, Viet Nam, and Myanmar. Together with Jerry, she further developed and expanded upon the application of the positive deviance approach to maternal and newborn care, HIV/AIDS risk reduction and in advocacy against Female Genital Cutting. She currently works as a visiting scholar and co-director of the PD Initiative at Tufts University. As consultants, both Sternins have trained many CORE Group member and other organizations in Bolivia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Ethiopia and Senegal to implement the Positive Deviance approach in nutrition and in Pakistan and Ethiopia for maternal and newborn care.
In addition to providing technical support to organizations using the PD approach to improve maternal and children’s health, both are currently facilitating the use of the PD approach to eradicate and prevent Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in U.S. hospitals under a Robert Wood Johnson funded pilot involving 5 Beta sites hospitals and 15 partner hospitals, as well as a pilot project with the VA Healthcare System and a regional initiative in Maryland with the Delmarva Foundation.
Jerry Sternin passed away in December 11, 2008.
Carl E. Taylor, former professor emeritus at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and senior consultant to UNICEF, worked in 70 countries over his lifetime. He was born and raised in the Himalayas, where his father was a medical missionary. After completing medical school at Harvard, he trained in surgery in Panama, where he spent most of World War II. After the war he moved to India with his wife, and following the example of both of his parents, he became a medical missionary at a Presbyterian hospital. He served as trek doctor on a 1949 Nepal ornithological trek of 140 miles, where he conducted the first national health survey of the country.
Dr. Taylor promoted research and interest in International Public Health throughout his career, and was Chair of the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health for almost 25 years. He was a key contributor to the Alma Ata Declaration. He served as UNICEF representative to China and worked on the development of UNICEF Programs worldwide. He was founding chairman of the National Council of International Health, as well as founding chair of the IH Section of APHA. His highly praised, latest bookJust and Lasting Change, written with his son Daniel Taylor- Ides, describes an approach to health from a systems perspective, encouraging self-reinforcing systems, combining community initiative, government support and technical expertise for optimum achievement through the SEED- SCALE method. It is the latest of more than 160 publications in health.
Dr. Taylor was the recipient of the Edwin M. Ryan Prize for Contributions to International Nutrition in Narangwal Project; the International Health Leadership Award â€“ National Council for International Health; Heritage Award of Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association; APHA, IH Section Career Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership; Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit; JHSPH Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Health; and Award from the President of the United States for Sustained Work to Protect Children Around the World in Especially Difficult Circumstances and Life-time Commitment to Promoting Community Based Primary Care, Good Nutrition and Family Planning for Child Survival.
He held degrees from Muskingum College, Ohio (BS), Harvard Medical School (MD), Harvard School of Public Health (MPH, DrPH); honorary degrees from Muskingum (ScD), Towson University, Baltimore (ScD); and honorary professorships at Tongji University Medical College, Wuhan; and Peking Union Medical College, Peking, China.
Dr. Taylor passed away February 4, 2010.
Robb Davis has been the Chairman of CORE’s Board of Directors for the past three years, during which time he has successfully led the Board of Directors through several key strategic planning and direction setting processes and has supported the establishment of CORE Inc. as a viable non-profit organization. His excellence in leadership of the CORE Board and of the CORE network of PVO members has been demonstrated via expert meeting and conference facilitation, the stimulation of interactive and productive group dynamics, and the enthusiastic and unwavering dedication he has shown to CORE, its members, and to the health and well-being of women and children around the globe. Through CORE, Dr. Davis has influenced countless staff members, keeping them motivated and on track. He manages to combine humor and seriousness in a way that is powerful and meaningful.
During his tenure with CORE, Dr. Davis has also made a particular mark in three areas with relevance for maternal and children health: Malaria Control, Lot Quality Assurance Sampling, and the application of dialogue-based education principles. In all cases, Dr. Davis provided important leadership, energy and vision, while at the same time ensuring that practical, needs-based and community-oriented approaches were utilized.
As Freedom from Hunger’s Senior Vice President of Program Services, Dr. Davis has led or participated in revisions of Freedom from Hunger’s Breastfeeding and Infant and Child Feeding education modules, including HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care, Women’s Health and Family Planning education curricula, and led the design of a malaria prevention and treatment. He co-authored the LQAS manual, Assessing Community Health Programs: Using LQAS for Baseline Surveys and Regular Monitoring, and led the development of the CORE KPC Training of Survey Trainers field guide.
Dr. Davis’s experience in public health also includes work for World Vision and Catholic Relief Services, as well as a number of consultancies for a variety of national and international non-governmental organizations. For example, Dr. Davis made a significant contribution to the health and survival of vulnerable women and children while at CRS in the late 1990s. As Senior Health Technical Advisor, Dr. Davis was responsible for technical backstopping of child survival and maternal and child health projects in CRS country programs around the world.
Dr. Davis is a leader and teacher extraordinaire. He stimulates and facilitates, energizes and catalyzes. His ability to be organized and on target, yet in a relaxed manner with humor and goodwill, brings out the best in all around him. He is an exceptional human being, leader and contributor to the field of maternal and child health and nutrition, resulting in an impact that is felt at the global, national and local levels through the work of CORE members, Freedom from Hunger affiliates and the many other partners he has influenced in a positive manner over the years.
Dr. Davis holds a Ph.D. in Population Dynamics and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University School of public Health.
Dr. Davis currently serves as Executive Director, Mennonite Central Committee.
Warren Berggren passed away on January 30, 2015 in Golden, CO. The Lancet published an obituary detailing his life’s work and achievements on April 11, 2015.
Warren and Gretchen Berggren, a husband and wife team, have worked together for over four decades to improve the health of children across the Third World. They have successfully combined academic appointments at Harvard with work for UNICEF, Save the Children, World Relief and Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, Haiti. They never lost their commitment to serving the less fortunate, and continue to bring their skills to the remotest of populations while mentoring and training countless NGOs, students and public health practitioners along the way.
Drs. Gretchen and Warren Berggren met at the University of Nebraska Medical School in the 1950s. They both chose careers as medical missionaries in Africa where they became proponents of the value of “preventive medicine” before marrying in 1959. In the 1960s the Berggrens studied and worked at the Harvard School of Public Health before taking positions with Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti. During their first five-year tenure in Haiti, the Berggrens initiated the “Nutritional Foyer” program to train mothers in the use of local foods to correct dietary deficiencies. These early experiments in community-based appreciative public health methodologies eventually led to the “Positive Deviance / Hearth” approach well known to CORE members. Dr. Warren Berggren was responsible for the start-up and documentation of the World Relief Bangladesh PD/Hearth program, while Dr. Gretchen Berggren supervised the development of the Save the Children Vietnam PD/Hearth program. Successful documentation of these nutritional programs in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Haiti provided the experienced-based data needed to further develop and scale-up the approach. Both Berggrens continue to train numerous NGOs in this approach.
The Berggrens, participants at the Alma Ata Conference that established Primary Health Care for All and opened the way for the USAID Child Survival Grants Program, led and developed Save the Children’s child survival program for ten years. During this time, they continued to teach at Harvard keeping the PVO community of the latest technical developments while turning their academic knowledge into practical advice for PVO public health programming. Some of their advice still guides our work today: the importance of getting out to the people themselves, the power of using local data for decision making, the importance of ensuring every individual counts and is registered in the health system, and focusing on better nutrition as a key intervention for the two-thirds of malnourished Third World children.
The Berggrens are recipients of numerous awards including a Presidential citation from Bill Clinton; the Donald McKay Medal of the American Society of Tropical Medicine; the International Health Award from Mother Theresa; and the HSPH Alumni Award of Merit from Harvard University. They are proud grandparents, yet continue to travel and to teach and to mentor new public health practitioners. Dr. Gretchen Berggren continues to be an active member of the CORE Hearth listserv, contributing her experience to provoke new knowledge generation and ensuring that the PVO community remain informed of the latest technical findings and challenges.
Kate Jones has a long history working both internationally and domestically on local, regional, and national health problems, including service in the Peace Corps (Nicaragua) and 21 years with USAID. She holds a BA in Anthropology and an MSPH from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition, Kate speaks both Spanish and French. Many CORE members know her from her exceptional and PVO friendly work from 1995-2001, when Kate was the Chief of the Child Survival and Health Unit for the Office of Private and Voluntary Cooperation in Washington, DC. In this position, she directed a large, high profile competitive grants program for PVOs, incorporating values of transparency, partnership, participation, and excellence. Kate also supported the founding of the CORE Group to promote PVO collaboration.
Kate has been a strong advocate of the role of NGOs in improving child survival and health impact and coverage throughout her USAID career. Kate served as the Director of the Office of Health and Human Resources, Regional Economic Development Support Office/West and Central Africa in Côte d’Ivoire (1992-95), and served in various positions in the Office of Family Health in Ecuador, LAC Bureau, the Health office in Bolivia, and in Liberia. Kate retired from USAID in 2001 and currently runs a successful consulting practice.
David Newberry is a skilled public health advisor with close to 40 years of health experience. Mr. Newberry contributed to the work of the Centers for Disease Control for more than 20 years and has been with CARE since 1994. He currently serves as the Project Director for CORE’s Polio Eradication Initiative. As such, he is responsible for providing the strategic framework for an $11 million dollar project through PVOs and NGOs in national and regional OPV immunization programs with 23 grant-funded PEI partners in eight countries, and assures quality efforts through administrative and technical support to all projects. Mr. Newberry also spent over six years as a private public health consultant providing guidance and advice to numerous health organizations around the world.
Mr. Newberry received a Research Scientist faculty appointment as a Ph.D. equivalent at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Department of International Health, based on education, experience, training and professional reputation. He has first-hand experience in three disease eradication programs: smallpox, guinea worm and currently polio.
John Wyon was one of the pioneers in the field of population science and had a 35-year career at the Harvard School of Public Health, retiring in 1988 as a senior lecturer in the Department of Population and International Health. A British missionary doctor fluent in Hindi, Wyon began his career in Ethiopia and rural India. In 1943, as a conscientious objector to military service, Wyon joined a Quaker organization and served as the only Western qualified doctor in the Province of Tigre in Ethiopia, working at a government-run hospital that had 100 beds and six outpatient clinics for a community of approximately one million people. He developed a desire to practice medicine effectively among impoverished and illiterate populations with no access to health care.
A leader in establishing community-based health care, Dr. Wyon also helped establish one of the first longitudinal investigations in population science: the 1953 Khanna Study. Wyon served as Field Director for the study and later co-wrote a book considered to be a classic in the field, The Khanna Study: Population Problems in the Rural Punjab.
Dr. Wyon and colleague John Gordon worked to test the possibility of changing the birth rates in the rural villages of Punjab, India, through the use of birth control. This was the start of what would eventually become known as community-based health care?strong outreach services, down to the household level, for basic health and family planning services in rural areas without hospitals. Wyon and Gordon have since been credited with contributing to the progress that has been made in Bangladesh in reducing childhood mortality and in reducing fertility.
Dr. Wyon died on May 31, 2004