News

Global Health

The indispensable role of America in the world (Salt Lake Tribune)

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE |The challenges we face in the world today are different but no less severe: Chinese military activities in South China Sea, Russian aggression in Ukraine, Cyber-attacks, North Korean nuclear ambitions. But they also include softer threats ranging from unprecedented food insecurity and famines to mass migration and refugee flows to the threats…

Read More

Reconsider severe international affairs budget cuts (The Tennessean)

TENNESSEAN | While music, faith, health care, and even hot chicken have made Nashville famous, we also have a robust hub of research, work, and advocacy for global health and development. Thanks to the dozens of humanitarian organizations providing excellent services for vulnerable populations worldwide, Vanderbilt’s Institute for Global Health research and development, and the missions…

Read More

The Case for Keeping America’s AIDS Relief Plan (New York Times)

NEW YORK TIMES | Among global public health advocates, there is a growing concern that President Trump may cut back, or even eliminate, programs that have played a critical role in fighting diseases worldwide. While every administration should strongly review our nation’s overseas commitments, and there are undoubtedly programs that we should cut, I hope…

Read More

Retreating From Global Leadership Puts America at Risk

The 2016 presidential campaign is well under way, and the candidates are already jousting over who is best suited to respond to an increasing number of obstacles abroad, ranging from the refugees crisis in Europe and the Middle East, to the threat of ISIS, to Russian aggression under President Vladimir Putin. As Democrats and Republicans,…

Read More

What PEPFAR’s Numbers Mean for National Security

As of last year, PEPFAR supported anti-retroviral treatment for 7.7 million people, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and an astounding 95 percent of at-risk babies were born HIV-free. In 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the one-millionth baby had been born HIV-free because of PEPFAR-supported prevention of mother-to-child transmission. No nation in history has been…

Read More

MCC: Foreign aid in action

Most people are surprised when they learn how little we actually spend on foreign aid. But as we know, global health issues know no boundaries. That’s why it is so very important that spend our foreign aid  money wisely. I’m at The Hill today discussing a model that I think does a great job. Most…

Read More

A Conversation on Haiti

Last week, Hope Through Healing Hands and I had the honor of welcoming the former Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe, to Nashville. I’ve been to Haiti many times, and was thrilled to hear the latest updates on the quantifiable successes in Haiti over the last few years, namely in providing housing for those displaced by the…

Read More

An Ebola Turning Point: An Early Diagnosis?

Read my earlier Ebola primer and a look at what we know about how the virus behaves. As the Ebola situation in West Africa progresses, we are dealing with increasingly complex medical and cultural challenges. I addressed some of the cultural issues in a Morning Consult column last month, and highlighted the importance of identifying infected…

Read More

Ebola: Contagious vs Infectious

Read my earlier Ebola primer. As the CDC treats the nation’s first two Ebola cases there are a lot of questions and concerns about the disease in America—Could it become an epidemic here? How contagious is it? How is it caught? Although my medical specialty is cardiothoracic surgery, I have spent a good deal of…

Read More

Ebola Primer and Liberia

As I hope you’ve heard, there is an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Western Africa right now, particularly in Liberia. Two American aid workers, Dr. Kent Brantly with Samaritan’s Purse and Nancy Writebol, a volunteer working with the faith group Service in Mission, were recently infected. I’ve been discussing the situation with the Centers…

Read More

Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancies: My Conversation with Melinda Gates

Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of sitting down with Melinda Gates, Scott Hamilton, Jenny Eaton Dyer, and a room full of caring people to talk about Hope Through Healing Hands’ Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers & Children Worldwide. Chatting with both Melinda and Scott is always such a pleasure—especially about such an important issue…

Read More

Retrospective on Rwanda

I’ve been home from Rwanda and Kenya only a few days and I’m already on another flight, heading back to Aspen, this time for the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health, co-sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It’s on flights that I have time to reflect on a few takeaways, drawn from the myriad impressions…

Read More

Notes from the Road: Building Infrastructure for Long Term Growth

*I’m in Rwanda this week representing Hope Through Healing Hands with Dr. Paul Farmer, Partners in Health Rwanda, and Harvard Medical School. These dispatches from the road are my personal journal–recording what I’ve seen and learned on this trip. See my pre-trip thoughts, Monday’s blog, and Tuesday’s notes. This morning we met with patients and physicians at Centre Hospitalier…

Read More

Notes from the Road: Cancer Care in Rural Africa

*I’m in Rwanda this week representing Hope Through Healing Hands with Dr. Paul Farmer, Partners in Health Rwanda, and Harvard Medical School. These dispatches from the road are my personal journal–recording what I’ve seen and learned on this trip. See my pre-trip thoughts, and Monday’s blog.  Who says you can’t treat patients suffering from cancer…

Read More

Notes from the Road: Rwanda and Health Diplomacy in Action

KIGALI, RWANDA | Why are we in Rwanda? What makes it a unique place to learn about health policy, and health care delivery? What will we learn that can make us smarter as we address health issues back at home? I thought through these questions on the flight to Rwanda, and I had plenty of…

Read More

Off to Rwanda: Considering Child Nutrition

I was in Aspen earlier this week working on some of the challenges facing healthcare and the health industry in the US, but it’s time to switch gears. Sunday, I leave for Rwanda to lead a one week group trip with my friend Dr. Paul Farmer to see some of the work being done by…

Read More

Why the U.S. must lead on Disabilities Treaty

(Reuters, November 5, 2013 ) By Bill Frist In an HIV clinic in Africa, a man born deaf holds a single sheet of paper with a plus sign. He looks for help, but no one at the clinic speaks sign language. In fact, the staff doesn’t seem interested in helping him at all. He returns…

Read More

Global Engagement Pays off for U.S.

By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Gov. Phil Bredesen During difficult economic times, there is a tendency for Americans to turn inward, to focus on domestic challenges, especially as this country emerges from a decade defined by two major wars and a crushing financial crisis. Though the urge to withdraw and retrench is understandable, it…

Read More

Health care system should focus on easing patients’ lives

Over the course of the past century, advances in public health and medical care have led to improvements in life expectancy that our ancestors would not have been able to imagine. Average life expectancy for Americans born in 2013 is approaching 80 years. While we now live longer and typically spend most of these years…

Read More

Medicine as a Currency for Peace Through Global Health Diplomacy

The twenty-first century has seen the rise of a new nexus, one that generates a remarkable opportunity for medicine and health to serve as a powerful currency for peace. Two trends define this nexus. The first is globalization and all the interconnections this phenomenon has produced among populations previously isolated from one another in almost…

Read More