In November, the Georgia Global Health Alliance (GGHA) hosted its first global health policy forum with a panel moderated by Porter DeLaney, founding partner of Kyle House Group. Other panelists included Brandon Ball, Senior Lead, Congressional Relations, PATH; Jason Carter, Chairman, The Carter Center Board of Trustees; Former Georgia state senator and 2014 Democratic nominee for Georgia governor; Danielle Heiberg, Senior Advocacy Manager, Global Health Council; and Jeremy R. Tolbert, Outreach Director – Southeast, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.
This event marked GGHA's move into policy matters and working to advocate on behalf on the global health community here in Georgia.
The discussion centralized around the the shifting political landscape that may affect global health and foreign assistance, and how Georgia-based advocates can help. The panelists touched on the politics around a constraining budget that is ¼ of 1% of the total 2018 federal budget, the effects of a Democratic lead house on global health, and methods for stakeholders and advocates to get involved in protecting global health.
Our panel emphasized the need for Georgia lawmakers to maintain global health funding to prevent us from paying more debt on interest than on Department of Defense within 3 years ($730B by FY23). Jason Carter, Chairman of the Carter Center, emphasized the importance of human connection. 'Let's send constituents to future Congress and Senate leaders to discuss global health related topics! This will provide us with an opportunity for finding new champions to be the voice of global health advocacy,' he stated.
While removing Senators out of isolation and towards an internationalist globalist wave, Danielle Heiberg of the Global Health Council, mentioned exposing staffers on The Hill to the firsthand accounts of NGO global health workers in places like rural Africa. As a part of making an impact, she note that it is imperative that we open avenues for conversations around health systems so that we can improve our responses to not only emerging diseases such as Ebola but to NCDs in developing countries. As a result of these conversations starting and connections created, department agency heads have heard this noise and committed to global health security through 2024.
The Georgia Global Health Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committee to GGHA is the collaborative voice of the global health community in Georgia. It organizes and convenes members and stakeholders around key global health priorities to achieve its vision for a world in which collaboration leads to global health equity. Learn more at http://www.gghalliance.org.