Toast to the FCI Program of MSH

The FCI Program of MSH will maintain and strengthen the spirit and vision of FCI – Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, MSH

A lively reception for the official launch of the FCI Program of MSH
A lively reception for the official launch of the FCI Program of MSH.

MSH hosted a lively reception at the close of the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. More than 150 guests joined us to celebrate the recently-launched FCI Program of MSH, an advocacy and accountability program drawing upon the staff and projects of Family Care International (FCI). The work of the FCI Program of MSH builds on FCI’s 30-year history of effective advocacy for improved maternal, newborn, and adolescent health and for sexual and reproductive health and rights.  Women Deliver began in 2007 as a program of FCI, so this 4th and largest-ever Women Deliver conference was an especially appropriate place to honor FCI’s legacy and celebrate the FCI Program’s future within MSH.

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, President and CEO, Management Sciences for Health (MSH)
Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, President and CEO, Management Sciences for Health (MSH)

“The FCI Program of MSH will maintain and strengthen the spirit and vision of FCI and its understanding of the power of advocacy to effect real change for women and girls. Thank you, FCI team, for bringing that spirit to MSH.”
-Dr. Jonathan D. Quick

Ann M. Starrs, President and CEO, Guttmacher Institute (Board member and former President of FCI)
Ann M. Starrs, President and CEO, Guttmacher Institute (Board member and former President of FCI)

“We at FCI are scrappy, energetic, innovative, very productive, incredibly dedicated, and have always been committed to working in real, effective partnership. I may have left FCI, but I will always think of FCI as “we,” not “they,” and I’m so proud of what we’ve been and what we will become.”
Ann M. Starrs

Dr. Alma Virginia Camacho, Sexual and Reproductive Health Regional Technical Adviser, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Latin American and Caribbean Region (LACRO)
Dr. Alma Virginia Camacho, Sexual and Reproductive Health Regional Technical Adviser, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Latin American and Caribbean Region (LACRO)

“FCI has been our long-time, valued partner, working side-by-side to achieve better health for women and girls. There remains an unfinished agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean, and we look forward to continuing to work with the FCI Program of MSH to see it through to the end.”
Dr. Alma Virginia Camacho

Chunmei Li, Senior Manager, Johnson & Johnson
Chunmei Li, Senior Manager, Johnson & Johnson

“We at Johnson & Johnson have been partnering with FCI to strengthen the work of  midwives for a number of years. We’ve been so impressed by FCI’s ability to translate complicated data into clear, concrete advocacy messages that midwives can use in their work.  We look forward to continuing this happy journey together.”
Chunmei Li

Sharon Bissell, Director, Mexico, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Sharon Bissell, Director, Mexico, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

“I first worked with FCI in the early days of the Foundation’s work on safe motherhood and reproductive health in Mexico, and I’ve always been impressed by the strength of FCI’s relationships with both its donors and its partners. In fact, our relationship was so strong, for so many years, that we ultimately awarded FCI the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Here’s to another 30 years at MSH!”
Sharon Bissell

Luc de Bernis, UNFPA (retired)
Luc de Bernis, UNFPA (retired)

“I like FCI because I think advocacy is important for moving from words and data to action. FCI has always been able to own the data, to transform complex ideas into understandable concepts. I’m very happy to be here to celebrate FCI’s future as part of MSH – fantastique!”
Luc de Bernis

Melissa Wanda, FCI Program of MSH, Kenya
Melissa Wanda, FCI Program of MSH, Kenya

“If I say I am excited, it is a lie — I am elated! Let’s keep it real and continue this journey to improve more lives.  I’m Melissa Wanda, proud to be a member of the FCI Program of MSH!”
Melissa Wanda

Amy Boldosser-Boesch, Senior Director, FCI Program of MSH
Amy Boldosser-Boesch, Senior Director, FCI Program of MSH

“We are honored to be joined by  so many partners, fellow advocates, and donors that we’ve worked  with closely for the past 30 years — in the halls of the UN or in cities and villages in Africa and Latin America.

FCI and MSH fit together so well because improvements in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health are not possible without strong health systems — which is MSH’s focus. And in order to have strong health systems, it’s essential to foster health equity and accountability by bringing the voices of communities to shaping health systems that meet their needs — which is FCI’s long-time focus. We are delighted that FCI’s mission and programs will continue within MSH, and we are delighted to be a part of the MSH family!”
Amy Boldosser-Boesch

FCI Program of MSH Staff (l to r) Amy Boldosser-Boesch, Adam Diexel, Martha Murdock
FCI Program of MSH Staff (l to r) Amy Boldosser-Boesch, Adam Diexel, Martha Murdock

Written by Barbara Ayotte, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), Contributions by Amy Boldosser-Boesch, MSH, and Matthew Martin, MSH

The Elders Launch New UHC Initiative at Women Deliver


Written by Barbara Ayotte, Senior Director of Strategic Communications, Management Sciences for Health (MSH)

On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, The Elders, a group of independent leaders founded by Nelson Mandela to campaign for peace, justice and human rights, launched a new initiative on Promoting Universal Health Coverage at the 4th Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Elders believe access to health care is a fundamental human right and critical to ensure women, girls and adolescents have a fair chance. UHC is part of goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Countries now need to make it a reality. The Elders held a discussion on why UHC makes political sense.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of the Elders and former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director General of WHO; Graca Machel, co-founder of the Elders with Nelson Mandela, international advocate for women’s and children’s rights and first Education Minister of Mozambique; and Hina Jilani, Member of the Elders, pioneering lawyer, human rights defender and pro-democracy campaigner in Pakistan, spoke in Copenhagen in a discussion moderated by Michael Myers, Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation, about next steps for making UHC a reality.

They proposed:

  1. UHC is the best way to achieve the health Sustainable Development Goal
  2. UHC delivers substantial health, economic and political benefits.
  3. Women, children and adolescents must be covered as a priority
  4. Public financing is the key to UHC

Read the full position paper here and more about the initiative:

Preventing Epidemics: The Next Agenda for Women’s Health and Rights

Written by Dr. Jonathan Quick, President and CEO, Management Sciences for Health (MSH)

When 18-year-old Ianka Barbosa was 7 months pregnant, an ultrasound showed the baby had an abnormally small head, a dreaded sign of microcephaly due to Zika infection.  Upon hearing the news, Ianka’s husband fled. In her poor neighborhood of Campina Grande, Brazil, Ianka soon became a young mother alone.

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, MSH President and CEO presents at Women Deliver; photo credit, Matthew Martin
 As Ianka’s baby Sophia grows, she may never walk, or talk. She could develop seizures before she reaches six months.  By the end of the year there may be a staggering 3,000 Sophias in Brazil – mostly in the poorest placesEpidemics erase the gains women have achieved. The world has suffered a series of “Zikas”—virtually unknown diseases that seemed to come from nowhere and explode with devastating consequences for families and entire countries – before Zika, Ebola, SARS, AIDS, and others.Epidemics don’t just leave behind a death toll.  They can demolish the gains women have made in maternal, newborn, child, adolescent, and reproductive health—gains that have been propelled by women’s rights and empowerment.In West Africa alone, Ebola has erased 15 to 20 years of progress by women for themselves and their children. The epidemic decimated the already scarce workforce, killing doctors, nurses and midwives by the hundreds. With fewer health workers, the World Bank warns of an additional 4000 maternal deaths and 14,000 child deaths each year in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.When epidemics rage, women suffer…and lead. At the height of Liberia’s Ebola epidemic, Garmai Sumo – a Liberian Red Cross worker featured in the extraordinary HBO documentary, Body Team 12 – led in halting the spread of Ebola by helping carry over 500 bodies to safe and dignified burial.Despite knowing just one mistake could leave her fatally infected, Miss Sumo said, “Til Ebola leaves my country, I will not stop.”In the village of Parker Corner, Liberia, 70-something Mama Tumeh and her granddaughters led in keeping their village Ebola-free by going from home to home teaching hygiene and prevention.Under unspeakably horrible conditions these women – and countless more – led in the fight against Ebola, sometimes with no more than a bucket of water, bleach, and relentless determination.We know how, but don’t do.The truth is, we know how to stop infectious disease outbreaks before they become devastating epidemics.  In more than 20 previous Ebola outbreaks the death count was never more than a few hundred—and not the thousands we just saw in West Africa.So why aren’t we stopping epidemics every time, everywhere?   Sadly, many health systems are unable to provide quality primary care, let alone defend against the next killer disease. Some health systems are so ill-equipped and unwelcoming that they are feared by the very people they are meant to serve—especially women living in conditions of social and economic inequity.We can stop epidemics and provide quality primary care. To do so we must dramatically increase our focus and investment in health workers, especially at the community level; equip them to provide maternal and child care, family planning, emergency contraception and other essential health services; and train workers to detect and contain disease outbreaks before they become murderous epidemics.We have the power to prevent tomorrow’s epidemics.It’s time to ask ourselves how many looming “Zikas” are we prepared to accept – especially when we know how to prevent them.  Here are three things you can do now:First, find out how your community and your country are preparing for the next disease outbreak.Second, make the fact that we can end epidemics a part of your personal conversations and political agenda.Third, stay
informed through the No More Epidemics Campaign and urge others to do the same. This campaign provides a must-read blueprint to ensure people around the world have strong health systems and are protected from epidemics.As we meet here in Copenhagen, women like Ianka are holding babies like Sophia, and wonder what the future holds for them. Their anguish could have been prevented. It was not.We can, and we must, end epidemics—forever.Author’s Bio: Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Management Sciences for Health ( and the author of The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It (forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press in 2017)

View the original posting on MS Magazine and Women Deliver.

Plenary: A Girls’ and Women’s Lens on the SDG’s

The plenary started with a keynote address from Melinda Gates, she emphasized on the importance of collection, analysis and use of data, as data can provide information on better planning . She raised the important point on closing the data gap if the target is to close the gender gap. If women and girls are empowered the societies can be transformed to shape a better universe.
Melinda Gates; photo credit, Lourdes de la Peza
Melinda Gates; photo credit, Lourdes de la Peza

She said; women and girls are not in the SDG agenda they are the agenda!

The Foundation will be allocating 80 million USD to specifically work on data over next 3 years.
The session was structured around the 3 pillars of the SDGs- social justice, economic empowerment and gender equality with an emphasis on gender equality.
In the session the speakers spoke about the importance of including women in the work force as that can have a incredibly positive influence on the country’s economy. Additionally importance must be given to providing the best education, safe environment, primary health care for women and girls for them to thrive and positively contribute to the global and country initiatives. An investment made in women’s and girls education today will help  collectively achieve the SDG as they will be the face of SDG in 2030.
This post was written by Maheen Malik, Senior Technical Advisor, MSH

LeaderNet: Easy access to a global community of health leaders

Last week we received a message via our MSH LeaderNet website. A young professional with background in biomedical engineering and research told us “I arrived in my new position about 9 months ago and I saw a huge need at our hospital for better management. I would like to develop my management and leadership skills to help teach and train the local managers how to better lead this bush hospital of 480 beds and 15 doctors”

How many cases like this do we have in our health systems? Many of you are midwives, nurses, doctors, technicians and haven´t had systematic training to lead, manage and govern health systems. Our life is busy and complicated. How can we have easy access to resources, virtual programs and exchange with other professionals around the globe to improve the way we lead, manage and govern?

I invite you to visit and register on LeaderNet. LeaderNet is an online community of practice in which you can have access to leadership, management and governance resources for health systems strengthening. Through LeaderNet, you can also participate in virtual seminars and programs and create your own community of practice.

You can start now by participating in our upcoming virtual seminar “Capacity Building of Local Health Organizations – May 24-26, 2016. Through this seminar facilitated by capacity building experts you can learn more about why capacity building matters and how you can optimize the impact of capacity building initiatives. Join this seminar to explore these questions and learn with colleagues across the globe.

This post was written by Lourdes de la Peza, Principal Technical Advisor, MSH

The Opening Plenary at Women Deliver 2016

An inspiring opening plenary for Women Deliver 2016. Here are some highlights from a stellar panel.
HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark; photo credit, Matthew Martin

Jill Sheffield opened by noting that there are over 5,500 delegates at this year’s conference, saying that Denmark has made equality for women a national imperative. She introduced Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark who passionately said “this is not a women’s agenda, but a united agenda for humanity that includes all–including men and boys”.She noted the need for greater innovation and investment at the country level, a need like never before for involvement of the private sector, and engagement by youth.

Barkha Dutt moderated a powerful panel that aimed to define feminism as about “freedom and equality”.

Katya Iverson, Women Deliver CEO said, “Women deliver so much more than babies. When you invest in women, everyone wins. We want to conduct business as unusual.”
Sakena Yacoobi from Afghanistan; photo credit, Matthew Martin
Sakena Yacoobi from Afghanistan; photo credit, Matthew Martin
Sakena Yacoobi from Afghanistan advocated for education as a vehicle for peace. Tawakkhol Karman from Yemen spoke about the struggle for democracy, respect for human rights, and working to free people from tyranny, terrorism, and corruption.” Yemurai Nyoni, representing youth under 30 said “there is no space for the violent man, young people under 30 have the power to change things.”
Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, said we must promote UHC and universal access to family planning in order to fulfill SDG Goal 3.
Singer and AIDS activist Annie Lennox talked about the toll of HIV/AIDS especially on women and girls and UNAIDS quest to end AIDS by 2030, “young women are most vulnerable, we cannot afford to let them down.”
Looking forward to an exciting three days. #WD2016

This post was written by Barbara Ayotte, MSH’s Senior Director of Strategic Communications.

It Takes All of Us: Partnering for Impact

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Sunday evening the study tour delegates learned how partnerships are key to strengthening health systems. Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and GE Foundation hosted a discussion and reception at the Bella Center in Copenhagen on the power of public-private partnerships on the eve of the Women Deliver 2016 conference.

MSH President and CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick moderated a lively discussion between Haiti’s former Minister of Health Dr. Florence Guillaume and Dr. David Barash, Chief Medical Officer of the GE Foundation on what makes successful partnerships work.

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick discusses successful partnerships with Dr. Florence Guillaume and Dr. David Barash. Photo credit: Matthew Martin/MSH.

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick discusses successful partnerships with Dr. Florence Guillaume and Dr. David Barash. Photo credit: Matthew Martin/MSH.

“Public-private partnerships are a creation of the 21st century, “ said Dr. Quick.  “Development work is too big for one sector, it takes all of us. “

In Liberia, partnerships are helping rebuild the health system after it was shattered by Ebola, including servicing water wells and improving maternal health services, as seen here:

According to Dr. Guillaume, in order to be effective in rebuilding after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Haiti needed “many partners but one plan.” She continued saying “it was difficult to transfer ‘partners’ into ‘partnerships.’ Partnerships are like marriages, you need to share the same vision and work and plan together.” This worked well in Haiti with immunizations for children under 5, leading to 85% coverage for vaccines for measles. It was more difficult for maternal and child care given the need for partners throughout the continuum of care for women, including training of midwives.

Dr. Barash said the private sector has multiple ways to engage—either through philanthropy or early stage funding for pilot projects—and partners need shared values to help build communities and make economies more robust.  He described how in Kenya, GE Foundation invested extensively and trained midwives and nurses in anesthesiology. “ We needed to have an ecosystem around them—infrastructure, building the equipment and capacity building for the providers. We need trained biomedical technicians to fix the equipment.”

Dr. Guillaume highlighted the challenges of too many partners and donors regarding supply chain for medicines  and each partner having their own warehouse without coordination. She recommended that you must start a discussion with the local people at the beginning of the partnership. Dr. Barash said multiple sectors must discuss and define objectives from the start and identify how they will all operate together.

“One of the fundamentals of a good public private partnership is a common vision at the beginning of what success looks like and treating everyone as an ally,” said Dr. Quick.

This post was written by Barbara Ayotte, MSH’s Senior Director of Strategic Communications.

MSH Prepares for Women Deliver 2016, the 4th Global Conference in Copenhagen

This week, 23 MSH staff will head to Copenhagen, Denmark for the 4th Women Deliver Conference. Representing 8 programs and projects within MSH, our team will lead the way and share expertise in women’s health and health systems strengthening through a variety of events and engagements, as well as within the exhibition hall, where visitors can interact with MSH staff, gather information, exchange ideas, and participate in our #HealthSystem Photo Booth.

We look forward to an exciting week in Copenhagen! For updates,


follow on Twitter:

MSH – @MSHHealthImpact
MSH Advocacy – @MSHActs
LMG – @LMGforHealth
The FCI Program of MSH – @FCIatMSH
SIAPS – @SIAPS_Program
Women Deliver 2016 Conference – @WomenDeliver
No More Epidemics – @NoMoreEpidemics

and use these hashtags:


Celebrate the Launch of The FCI Program of MSH

LOCATION CHANGED: The Terrace at The Bella Center

Join Management Sciences for Health (MSH) immediately after the closing plenary of Women Deliver at a reception recognizing Family Care International’s 30 years of advocacy and impact and looking to the future of The FCI Program of MSH.

8bc2dbd2-eed6-4e19-85dc-974fed08797c1630-1830 | Bella Center Copenhagen | LOCATION CHANGED: The Terrace at The Bella Center

Click here to RSVP.

Hosted by Management Sciences for Health (MSH)
Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.