Looking Ahead at PAHEF
2012 was a year of transition at PAHEF. We had several senior level staff leave the organization, including our president. I was pleased to take on the task, as interim president, of helping the organization regroup and prioritize to be sure we are meeting our mission of improving health in the Americas.
2013 will be a year of rebuilding and refocusing. PAHEF will be searching for a permanent president and restructuring staff and the board to be sure we are positioned as an organization with a clearly defined mission to meet an important need in the region.
During this process, PAHEF will continue to support our constituents – the people of the Americas – in the areas of health education, childhood obesity and nutrition, infection control and neglected tropical diseases.
Our important programs and support will continue uninterrupted. For instance, our support of the Surveillance System for the Bacterial Agents Responsible for Pneumonia and Meningitis (SIREVA II) with PAHO continues this year. In addition to supporting the ongoing work in the field, we are seeking a second round of funding for the next phase of the project to strengthen the clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory-based surveillance of meningococcal disease in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Childhood obesity prevention also remains a strong priority. In addition to our ongoing participation at the Pan American Conference on Obesity, we look forward to the upcoming publication of The International Journal of Obesity guest-edited by our board members Dr. Rafael Pérez-Escamilla and Dr. Gilberto Kac.
And, we are about to open the nomination period for the annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health which will then be announced this fall.
The rebuilding efforts this year will take time, but at the end of the process, PAHEF will be a foundation that is well-positioned to continue supporting the health of Pan Americans for years to come!
- Don Tharpe