CDC Foundation and Microsoft provide seed funds for unprecedented private sector coordination effort to address health and safety threats
Atlanta-based Global Health Crisis Coordination Center (GHC3) has been formed to develop and lead a partner coalition of corporations and nonprofits that can assist public officials in real-time problem-solving and coordination during health related crises. Following more than 18 months of planning and collaboration, GHC3 has officially launched upon the request of the CDC Foundation to immediately assist with the COVID-19 pandemic response.
“At this time, we need a place for our businesses and nonprofits to share ideas, information, tools and resources as we face the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Judy Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, who co-chairs GHC3 along with Dr. Russell Medford, Chairman and CEO of Covanos and Clark Dean, Executive Managing Partner at Transwestern. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated, we’ve had scores of offers from businesses and organizations to get involved in the response. That’s why we’ve called for the immediate formation of the Global Health Crisis Coordination Center.”
While significant additional support will be needed to fully fund GHC3, initial seed funding totaling $1 million has been donated by the CDC Foundation and Microsoft. This funding has enabled GHC3 to rapidly assemble a leadership team of experienced corporate, nonprofit, and public health experts and launch a capable COVID-19 Incident Command. GHC3 leadership is actively building the partnership coalition’s diverse capabilities, analyzing and prioritizing problems raised by crisis respondents, and organizing strike teams to develop and implement solutions. Initial support to study the need for and formation of GHC3 was provided by Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative.
“Microsoft is pleased to bring our resources and technologies in support of the Center’s mission to enhance human health outcomes around the world,” said Patty Obermaier, Vice President, US Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft. “We’re honored to work with such an amazing group of industry and government leaders to enable rapid deployment of much needed supplies to combat COVID-19.”
Added Charles Redding, president and CEO of MedShare International, Inc., and co-chair of the planning team behind GHC3, “The private sector offers practical experience, rich resources and proven networks related to global and public health. While the concept of the crisis center has been in development for several years, it’s urgent we activate it now so that we quickly mobilize our resources to help respond to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.”
Ken Berta has been appointed the Executive Director of GHC3, which will operate under the Center for Global Health Innovation, led by President and CEO Maria Thacker-Goethe. Berta brings more than 25 years of research, technology development and general management experience to the GHC3 team, most recently serving as lead for global strategic alliances and partnerships at Philips Healthcare.
“The world is experiencing an overwhelming crisis that requires innovative coordination across the public and private sectors,” said Thacker-Goethe. “During this critical moment, we need visionary leadership to successfully implement the mission and purpose of the GHC3.”
“I am honored and excited to lead the GHC3,” Berta said. “As a liaison between the private and public health sectors, GHC3 can serve as a critical clearing house for ideas and information and will vet private sector and nonprofit offers to assist the government’s response, which could have a positive impact for the entire country as we fight the spread of COVID-19.”
GHC3’s partner coalition consists of Fortune 500 companies, major organizations, nonprofits and universities including Dell Technologies, Microsoft, Delta Air Lines, UPS, MedShare, Emory University, Georgia Tech, Morehouse School of Medicine and The Task Force for Global Health. The GHC3 continues to welcome new leaders and organizations to the partner coalition.
In 2018, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Global Health Alliance and Deloitte announced the launch of Global Health ATL, a collaborative initiative designed to drive Atlanta’s reputation as the center for global health. The initiative’s priorities are to create a health innovation hub in the heart of metro Atlanta and drive impact in areas such as disease eradication, economic development and disaster response. One result is the founding of GHC3.
“The formation of the Global Health Crisis Coordination Center just makes sense now and is clearly a natural result of how our region continues to drive conversations and thought leadership around global health, particularly as we deal with this unprecedented crisis,” said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “With metro Atlanta’s rich talent pool, reputation as a logistics leader and thriving innovation ecosystem, we are poised to continue leveraging our global reach to have a positive impact in the response to COVID-19 and beyond.”