November 29, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A $5 million grant from Greif Packaging Charitable Trust will enable the Ohio State University and the Global Health Delivery Partnership (GHDP) to join forces in establishing a program to change health care training and delivery in developing nations. The GHDP is comprised of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Global Health Equity, Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and Partners In Health (PIH). The program will bring care to some of the world’s developing regions, by training local people to become qualified care providers—an innovation with the potential to permanently improve health conditions in these regions.

The Ohio State University will participate in the program through its Wexner Medical Center and its Office of Global Health under the direction of Dr. Daniel Sedmak and Brigham and Women’s Hospital will serve as the lead partner on behalf of the GHDP. For more than a quarter century, Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been implementing programs to improve health care and physician training in the developing world. This initiative will strengthen programs in Haiti, Rwanda, Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia and will eventually extend to other developing nations. It will initially concentrate on training physicians and other health care providers to care for some of the world’s most vulnerable people—pregnant women, newborns, and infants.

A key objective of the program is to further develop and improve an overall model for health care delivery systems in less-developed regions, with focus on: 

  • Prenatal care and safe childbirth
  • Neonatal care, particularly neonatal resuscitation
  • Maternal and newborn care

The grant will build capacity within GHDP and The Ohio State University to disseminate this health care model to other sites within less-developed countries. The Ohio State University will establish mothers and neonatal  programs first in Haiti, where it will work closely with Partners In Health’s long-established models of in-country clinical care and training of health care workers. Vital contributions will come from many of The Ohio State University colleges, including the College of Engineering, the College of Food, Agricultural, & Environmental Sciences, the College of Nursing, and the College of Dentistry. The programs will then be re-created in other low-income regions, including Ethiopia and Kenya, where Brigham and Women’s Hospital will lead in providing the clinical leadership and staff to execute on the ground care delivery, education and training, research and evaluation, and dissemination of best practices for international and domestic application. 

The announcement was made at a news conference held November 29, 2012, at the McCoy Center in New Albany, Ohio, by David Fischer, President and CEO of Greif Inc.; Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University; Dr. Paul Farmer, a founding director of Partners In Health, and Dr. Steven Gabbe, Ohio State’s Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, could not attend but sent a video message expressing the hospital’s gratitude for the grant. 

In explaining why Greif is making the grant of $1 million a year for five years, Mr. Fischer said: “As a corporate citizen of the world, Greif has a keen awareness of the many serious health care threats that afflict vast areas of the globe. We welcome this opportunity to support a program that can change the way care is delivered by training local professionals, and we are proud to do this in collaboration with a team of people and organizations that have outstanding records in the health care field.” 

The Ohio State University’s Dr. Gee said: “We simply could not ask for a better partner in this transformational effort than we have in Greif, a company with Ohio roots and a genuine commitment to global community stewardship. Indeed, Greif’s support for bringing together two forward-thinking institutions, The Ohio State University and the Global Health Delivery Partnership, is a veritable case study in how to enact positive change and progress in the world. We are grateful for this critical support, and I know we are all very eager to get to work.”

The Wexner Medical Center’s Dr. Gabbe said: “This important partnership of global health care leaders will allow us to truly improve people’s lives one mother and one child at a time. Working as a team, we can shape the future of medicine sharing our knowledge and resources with people in great need of medical services. This innovative venture will create a lasting, positive impact on the lives of so many individuals and communities in developing nations around the world.” 

Speaking on behalf of PIH, Dr. Farmer said: “This partnership will leverage innovative research, teaching, and service delivery to promote the health of women and children from rural Haiti to Rwanda and other resource-poor settings throughout the world. Partners In Health has long believed that the poor can best be served by training and working alongside local community members; we are proud to be a part of this program, which will bring high-quality care to those who it need it most.” 

Speaking for GHDP and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, President Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD, said: “We live in a global world, and we must be ever mindful of our leadership role in that community by always seeking to improve care, research and education. This financial support extends our commitment to establishing and supporting necessary training infrastructure and teaching and fostering local relationships to ensure those in under-resourced settings have access to quality health care.”

Greif Inc., the world’s largest industrial packaging company, produces steel, plastic, fiber and also produces paper and manages timberlands. It also provides blending, filling and packaging services for a wide range of industries.  With more than 200 locations in more than 50 countries, Greif is a global leader in its industry.

David Fischer was named Greif’s President and CEO in November 2011. He had served as President and Chief Operating Officer since 2007. He joined Greif as Senior Vice President and Divisional President of the Industrial Packaging and Services for the Americas in 2004, and later assumed responsibility for IP&S operations in Asia, Australia and Africa. Since joining Greif, Fischer has directed the company’s acquisitions and expansion into new products, new businesses and new markets. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University where he studied chemistry.  

As president of The Ohio State University, Dr. E. Gordon Gee oversees a world-class public research institution with six campuses, 65,000 students, and 48,000 faculty and staff. In 2009 Gee was named by Time magazine as one of the top 10 university presidents in the United States. Prior to his service at Ohio State, he led Vanderbilt University (2001-2007), Brown University (1998-2000), The Ohio State University (1990-97), the University of Colorado (1985-90), and West Virginia University (1981-85). 

Dr. Steven Gabbe joined Ohio State as senior vice president for health sciences and CEO of the Medical Center in 2008. Previously he had chaired The Ohio State University’s department of obstetrics and gynecology, 1987-96. He held a similar position at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle for three years before becoming dean at Vanderbilt in 2001. Dr. Gabbe, who is associated editor of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is an international expert on high-risk pregnancies.

A medical anthropologist as well as a physician, Dr. Paul Farmer is the Kolokotrones University Professor of Harvard University. He is Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a founding director of Partners In Health, the international non-profit organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Dr. Farmer is also Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton. 

Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel is the president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. Prior to her joining the Brigham in 2010, Dr. Nabel served as the director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, overseeing an extensive national research portfolio with an annual budget of approximately $3 billion to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart, lung, and blood diseases. A native of St. Paul, Minn., she attended Weill Cornell Medical College and conducted her internal medicine and cardiovascular training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, after which she held senior faculty positions at the University of Michigan Medical School, where she directed the Division of Cardiology and the Cardiovascular Research Center.


Contact: Marti Leitch, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs & Media Relations, 614-293-3737 or

Share This Story