Every day, 800 women die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Every year, more than 1 million babies die the day they are born. The majority of these deaths are preventable. That’s where Global Health Foundation, the organization Amy Livingston founded, comes in.
“Pregnancy and childbirth are extremely vulnerable experiences for mother and baby,” says the ‘93 CA alum. “Particularly when a laboring mother walks miles at night only to arrive at a clinic with no power, or to a clinic that lacks essential medications and supplies.”
Amy is the Executive Director of Global Health Foundation (GHF), a non-profit organization that partners with in-country community organizations and designers of innovative solutions to improve the health of those in un der-resourced communities around the world.
GHF has built successful maternal and newborn health partnerships in Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and works to prevent unintended pregnancy in Colorado.
Amy, along with four colleagues, founded GHF in 2012 and launched its Maternal and Newborn Health program in 2014. In just three years, those partnerships have resulted in incredible returns.
“Pregnancy and childbirth are extremely vulnerable experiences for mother and baby. Particularly when a laboring mother walks miles at night only to arrive at a clinic with no power, or to a clinic that lacks essential medications and supplies.”
To date, GHF and its solar partner, We Care Solar, has provided reliable light in 58 delivery rooms for nighttime births in Tanzania through installations of the “Solar Suitcase,” a complete solar electric system. GHF has equipped five hospital wards in Kampala, Uganda with Embrace infant warmers — training nearly 500 mothers, caregivers and healthcare workers to identify and treat newborn hypothermia — and supported more than 700 babies at risk for, or experiencing hypothermia. GHF’s $25,000 matching grant to Partners In Health for its Ebola Response and Rebuilding program in Sierra Leone and Liberia resulted in raising an additional $125,000 in contributions.
Amy’s altruism didn’t spring up overnight. Instead, she says it was nurtured by her family and throughout her time at Colorado Academy. “Many of the experiences I had at CA through community service and other outreach programs were the foundation for my interest in working with vulnerable populations in under-resourced communities,” she says.
Later, while completing a Master’s in International Development and Global Health Affairs at the University of Denver, she worked with a variety of organizations from the South African Red Cross in Cape Town to Partners In Health in Boston, and the Colorado Center for AIDS Research in Denver. “These experiences provided me with the skills and experience to launch the Global Health Foundation,” she says.
In 2016, GHF will expand its support of the Solar Suitcase program to bring light into an additional 70 rural health clinics in Tanzania. “Health providers live in fear of nighttime deliveries, knowing they may not be able to treat complications or locate necessary supplies, medications and equipment in darkness,” she says. “Step one is turning on the lights. Then we look at additional interventions such as training healthcare workers in newborn resuscitation and transporting women in labor.”
For more information on the Global Health Foundation, visit www.globalhealthfdn.org or contact Amy directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.