Global leaders in health research, education, and IT will join forces to create solutions for bridging the health workforce gap in developing countries

NEW YORK, NY – January 7, 2013 ‐‐ Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Clinical Global Health Education, along with the Global Partnerships Forum (, are hosting the Global Education and Technology (GETHealth) Summit at the United Nations, New York from February 6 ‐ 7, 2013. The Summit is co‐hosted by the Health and IT Ministries of Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda and we are privileged to have Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), who will give the opening keynote speech.

The conference will bring together key stakeholders in health and health research, education, and IT to discuss and develop initiatives to empower providers in the most resource‐limited communities in the world. The mission is to bridge the health workforce gap in developing countries through new partnerships between innovators in global health education and information technology.

Amir Dossal, Founder of the Global Partnership Forum, says, "According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 57 countries have an acute shortage of doctors, nurses, midwives, with fewer than 23 health workers per 10,000 people, and with sub‐Saharan Africa facing the greatest challenges. The Summit aims to develop new solutions through multi‐stakeholder partnerships, by bring innovative technology to the under‐served."

The GETHealth Summit will have feature internationally recognized speakers from across the world, including doctors, educators, and administrators in the global healthcare industry, as well as influencers in the business, philanthropic, and technological fields. The Summit intends to generate fresh insight, partnerships, and ideas that will more effectively leverage the three IT domains (infrastructure, devices, software) to address the critical health manpower gap. Some of the distinguished industry leaders that will be speaking and moderating include:

  • Honorable Dr. Kesetebirhan Admazu Birhane, Minister of Health, Ethiopia
  • Honorable Sarah A. Opendi, State Minister for Primary Health Care, Uganda
  • Honorable Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health of the Republic of Rwanda
  • Dr. Richard Gakuba, eHealth Coordinator, Rwandan Ministry of Health
  • Professor Frances Tusuburia, CEO, UbuntuNet Alliance
  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute Columbia University
  • Ms. Relly Brandman, Course Operations, Coursera
  • Dr. Andrew Litt, Chief Medical Officer, Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences
  • Ms. Florence Gaudry‐Perkins, International Affairs Director, Alcatel‐Lucent
  • Ms. Alice Borrelli, Director of Global Health and Workforce Policy, Intel
  • Mr. Lee Wells, Head of Health Programs (Africa), Vodaphone
  • Dr. Mubashar Sheikh, Executive Director, Global Health Workforce Alliance, WHO
  • Ms. Sandhya Rao, Senior Advisor for Private Sector Partnerships at USAID
  • Ms. Adele Oliva, Partner, Quaker Partners

Plenaries and breakout sessions will address a number of strategic questions, including:

  • How can social media be leveraged to address the global health workforce gap?
  • How can fiber and wireless networks be used in resource‐limited communities be leveraged to improve health education?
  • What is required to optimize distance‐leaning platforms to support health worker education in resource‐limited communities?

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute Columbia University will be joining the summit as the keynote speaker on February 6th. To conclude the Summit, there will be a special Minister’s Forum with Honorable Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu Birhane, Minister of Health in Ethiopia, Honorable Sarah A. Opendi, State Minister for Primary Health Care, Uganda among others.

We’re pleased to have the following organizations as partners of the Summit: mHealth Alliance, United Nations Office for Partnerships, Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Health’s Fogarty International Center, Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative, USAID, World Health Organization Global Health Workforce Alliance, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Summit sponsors include the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR), Hewlett‐Packard, My Two Sons Fund, Intel and Gilead.

Dr. Robert C. Bollinger, Director of the Center for Clinical Global Health Education at Johns Hopkins University says, "Information communication technology (ICT) is a transformative force in the world. New fiber and wireless infrastructure are driving global opportunities and innovations in e‐learning, mobile‐learning and use of social media. Emerging markets and economic development in Africa, Asia and Latin America are expanding in large part due to this new ICT capacity. We now have a great opportunity and responsibility to optimize these transformative technologies and infrastructure to meet the MDGs and improve global health. We expect that the GETHealth Summit will lead to new partnerships, innovations and funding to leverage ICT to train and empower health care workers, in the most resource‐limited communities in the world."

For more information regarding the GETHealth Summit, please contact Harper Spero at or 646‐561‐6348 or visit the website at

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