Note from the President
While summer is traditionally a slow time for business, here at VillageReach we are working hard and ramping up efforts to develop new programs and initiatives. As VillageReach prepares to expand its efforts around the world, we are also witnessing increased interest from the pharmaceutical industry as it seeks improvements in the area of vaccine delivery.
As years of medical research and development come to completion, the pharmaceuticals are asking the same questions we are: "how will these medicines and vaccines reach people in need?" Like the WHO and VillageReach, these companies have concerns about the pending innovation pile-up.
I recently attended the Global Health Council conference in Washington, DC and came away impressed by the commitment many of these companies have to find new solutions to logistical problems at the last mile. As VillageReach looks to the future, we are seeking new opportunities to form mutually beneficial partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to bring quality healthcare to the last mile.
-Allen Wilcox, President
VillageReach Goes to Harvard
VidaGas, our social business created to ensure a reliable and sustainable supply of fuel for the Mozambique health system serving last-mile communities, has been reviewed in a new case study by Harvard Business School. The study highlights VillageReach's unique model that integrates global health programs and social businesses. A history of VidaGas is included, documenting the creation of the company, its 7-year growth pattern to become the largest propane company in northern Mozambique, and the impact the business has had on improving the health and welfare of thousands of people living in remote communities. Copies of the study can be purchased on-line here.
Five years after beginning work in Northern Mozambique,VillageReach's program was implemented in over 260 clinics serving 5 million people, and the number of children with complete vaccinations had increased by 50%. With numbers like these, it is no surprise that we are receiving a favorable response for our proposal to the Mozambique Ministry of Health (MoH) to expand the VillageReach model to other regions in the country.
The Mulago Foundation recently awarded VillageReach a $125,000 challenge grant, contingent on VillageReach raising $250,000 in the coming months. In Mozambique, we will have the opportunity to further fine tune the management information system that monitors vaccine delivery and work with the Minsitry of Health to preserve the gains achieved in the previous program. A donation to our Mozambique program will allow us to expand our model across Mozambique, strengthening the public health system and vaccinating millions more children.
In today's new economy, investment potential is measured not only by projected financial gains, but also by the social impact of an investment. VillageReach is honored to be invited to speak at Social Capital Markets 2009 in San Francisco, the largest international conference dedicated to impact investing.
At SoCap, Craig Nakagawa, Social Business Director and CFO, will discuss the evolution of VillageReach's social business model, how the organization hopes to expand the social business incubation platform in the coming years, and the impact of social business on VillageReach's mission.
VillageReach's detailed analysis and evaluation of health systems is a key reason why we are leaders in improving last mile logistics.
VillageReach recently completed a study in Mozambique comparing the costs of vaccine logistics in a province where VillageReach's program operated with costs in a neighboring province. The conclusion of the study found that VillageReach's program provided significant cost savings - nearly 50% - both in terms of the absolute total funds spent on vaccine distribution as well as in the cost per child vaccinated.
This study demonstrates VillageReach's unique capability to isolate, quantify, and measure the cost of specific elements within the health care system. We are seeing growing demand for this type of analysis from not only the Global Health community, but also other NGO partners, the pharmaceutical industry, and donors. Understanding the exact costs of their healthcare system empowers developing countries to make impactful, evidence-based policy decisions.
VillageReach Goes to Harvard
As VillageReach's programs and activities expand in the coming year, we hope to keep you informed of our progress in real time, on-line. Show your support and keep in touch using Facebook, Twitter and our Blog!
This summer, VillageReach has recruited a dynamite team of accomplished summer interns to share their expertise. Read on to learn more about a few of the accomplished individuals who are helping expand VillageReach's capabilities, range, and influence.
Jessica Crawford assists Program Manager Leah Hasselback Barrett on various program initiatives. She is completing her MA in Policy Studies at the University of Washington and will start her Masters in Public Health there this fall. Jessica served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania and also works part time in public health at Harborview.
Anne Delaney is developing VillageReach's social business methodologies and strategies and creating a bottom of the pyramid expansion plan for VidaGas. Anne previously worked at Citigroup in NYC in both Fixed Income Capital Markets and Alternative Investments, and worked within microfinance with BlueOrchard. She recently completed her MBA at University of Michigan and holds a BA in Economics/Government from Dartmouth College.
Jenna Swalin is expanding VillageReach's media presence to increase the numbers of our supporters and advocates. She is helping with development of a new website and marketing materials. Jenna graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2008.