BMC Awarded Grant to Help Strengthen Hospitals in Lesotho

in Health & Medicine, News Releases, School of Medicine
March 30th, 2006

Contact: Gina M. Digravio, 617-638-8491 | gina.digravio@bmc.org

(Boston) – Boston Medical Center (BMC) recently received a $195,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for planning and beginning the implementation of a 5-year plan to strengthen selected district hospitals and health centers in Lesotho. This activity is an integral part of the ongoing commitment of Boston University and Boston Medical Center to work with the Government and people of Lesotho as they struggle to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic which affects 40 percent of men and women between the ages of 30 and 40.

The goal of the Kellogg supported program is to realistically address strengthening district hospitals and their surrounding health centers so they are capable of providing needed ambulatory and in-patient care of good quality that is sustainable and affordable to patients and the nation. “Along with essential strengthening of management, we are particularly pleased that this grant will allow us to plan and implement training to improve clinical services, including the training of Family Physicians in Lesotho” said Larry Culpepper, MD, Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at BMC and recipient of the grant. The reality of the University-wide commitment was made clear by Mark Allan, Director of the Health Sector Management Program in the School of Management, who, after a recent trip to Lesotho, said “ the Kellogg Foundation support helps us to integrate the management strengths on the Charles River Campus with the clinical strengths at the Medical Center. This will be a powerful team that, working with our colleagues in Lesotho, can make a real and long-lasting difference to poor patients in rural areas.”

The overall BU – BMC program in Lesotho focuses on strengthening management, policy, planning, and clinical capacity in the health sector. “All activities are integrated, complimentary and within a strategic framework developed with and agreed to by key leaders, particularly the Honorable Minister of Health & Social Welfare and the Honorable Minister of Finance and Development Planning and the Ministry of Education,” said William Bicknell, MD, MPH, director of the Lesotho-Boston University Collaboration. Bicknell emphasized that the Kellogg support allows us to directly address improving all aspects of clinical care in a way that not only will benefit Lesotho but should be applicable to other lower-income countries facing similar problems.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” Its programming activities center around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.

To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to exploring learning opportunities in leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

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