SGH to Partner with Dogliotti, Others

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on Seed Global Health (SGH) to enter into an arrangement with the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the University of Liberia (UL) and other medical training institutions in the country to train medical practitioners who will improve health services in the country. SGH is a United States based organization that seeks to strengthen health education in countries, such as Liberia, challenged by a shortage of health professionals. SGH had earlier expressed interest in working with Liberia.SGH leadership over the weekend disclosed its intention to work with the Liberian government when a four-member delegation led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Vanessa Kerry, paid a courtesy call on the President in Monrovia.President Sirleaf said her administration welcomes the partnership and cooperation with SGH to enhance the country’s healthcare delivery capacities. She underscored the compelling need to provide training for doctors, physicians, nurses as well as mid-wives, adding, “The progress we desire to make must be the best quality to achieve lasting and impressive results.” She said SGH’s intervention in Liberia’s health sector, through the deployment of experienced medical volunteers in partnership with U.S. Peace Corps would tremendously impact the building of a resilient health system in Liberia.The President also encouraged SGH to explore cooperation in the water and sanitation sector, particularly working with schools to ensure facilities are established and sustainably maintained for the good of the students.Dr. Vanessa Kerry said her organization will work with Liberia to help meet its long-term health care and human resource needs. This, she noted, would be done through the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) initiative. GHSP is a public-private collaboration between SGH, the Peace Corps and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The SGH, Dr. Kerry said, brings a rich experience and knowledge of medical and nursing education to resource limited settings. “We provide expertise in site selection and applicant recruitment in addition to coordinating orientation and training, field support, monitoring and evaluation, and debt repayment stipends with expertise to identify effective teaching sites,” Dr. Kerry said.Dr. Kerry, whose team had been in the country working with the Ministry of Health in areas that require quick interventions, expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf for the audience. While in the country, the SGH team visited the Phebe Hospital in Bong County, Cuttington University in Suakoko, J.F.K. Medical Center, the Tubman National Institute for Medical Arts (TNIMA), as well as the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences.Meanwhile, USA Peace Corps Africa Regional Director, Dick Day, has praised the authorities at the Ministry of Health for the kind of structures already in place, which he said are vital for assisting partners interested in making critical interventions in the heath sector. Mr. Day, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Mark Boulware and Peace Corps Liberia Director Kevin Fleming accompanied Dr. Vanessa Kerry.Established in 2012, the GHSP program is a novel federal initiative addressing vast shortages of health professionals in many parts of the world.The GHSP commits to helping increase clinical care capacities and strengthening health systems in resource-limited settings by cultivating the next generation of local doctors and nurses. The program places US health professionals alongside local medical and nursing faculty counterparts to meet the teaching needs identified at each partner institution.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Congressional Committee Starts Hearings on University Endowments

first_imgShare19TweetShare9Email28 SharesMemorial Hall at Harvard College, which has the largest endowment in the United StatesSeptember 13, 2016; Bloomberg, “Markets”Closely following hearings by the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee this week began its own look into the public benefit of the tax breaks that underpin college and university endowments and capital fundraising. With the costs of a college education rising, student debt growing, and government funding shrinking, Congress continues to search for a solution by looking at how universities use the more than $500 billion they collectively hold in their endowment funds.For Committee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL), the skyrocketing cost of a college degree is an indicator that endowments are not being targeted properly. In comments reported by Bloomberg News, he said, “Given the families’ concerns and the big tax benefits colleges and universities get from taxpayers, the Ways and Means Committee believes it is important for us to keep learning about how these schools are working to fulfill their charitable and educational purposes.”To bolster this argument, Roskam’s committee heard from several witnesses who support this thesis. Sheila Bair, President of Washington College and former chair of the FDIC, told the committee its investigation of college endowments was the right course: “I can think of no better purpose for endowment income than scholarships. It saddens me that Congress would need to require colleges to do something so obviously in the best interests of their students.”Bair also noted:“The cost of higher education has increased more rapidly than that of food, shelter, and medical care for the current generation of college students. […] One recent analysis showed that real wages for the typical college graduate have risen only 1.6 percent over the past 25 years while their average student debt over a four-year graduation has grown by a whopping 163.8 percent.” Congressman Tom Reed’s (R-NY) anticipates introducing legislation that would require colleges with more than $1 billion in endowment assets to devote a fixed share of their endowments to offset student college costs. But this would only affect the 94 schools that hold 75 percent of all endowment funds. This cannot be the sole solution to the burdensome cost of higher education—most schools have small or no endowments to draw upon.Bair observed that colleges have little or no incentive to control costs because student loans are readily available.The ability to freely borrow has made it easy for schools to raise tuition because students can just keep borrowing more to pay for it. Your usual supply and demand is out of whack. You’re increasing the price but you’re not necessarily reducing demand and getting that price discipline.…That’s what feeds an asset bubble. That’s the same dynamic we saw during the subprime crisis.College leaders claim they do not have the ability to freely target endowment funds, even if they agree that using them more heavily for scholarships would be a good area. Jim Shaffer captured their arguments in an August NPQ newswire.The elite college and university administrators have a host of arguments at the ready to justify not spending more of their money on financial aid. There is donor intent to honor. Endowments are investments representing many hundreds and even thousands of accounts, each with their own restrictions. And then there is the most common argument: preserving the institution’s wealth for the future.With Bloomberg reporting “College endowments are poised to take the worst slide in performance since the 2009 recession,” worries about preservation of assets may become even greater.The concentration of endowment wealth in a small number of elite schools creates another problem that will not be solved by requiring a greater distribution for scholarships. Mark Schneider, Vice President of the American Institutes Research, sees current tax policy disproportionally benefiting wealthy students. “The size of the public subsidy increases with the size of the endowment. Taxpayers are subsidizing rich students at rich universities.”The problem of the growing cost of post-secondary education needs a solution, and one tool that ought to be used is changing tax policy to target tax breaks. But it remains a single tool. Congress has a responsibility to properly fund education and to ensure students have equal access. If they look at this only as a good campaign issue and universities as easy targets for public anger, the challenge will not be met.—Martin LevineShare19TweetShare9Email28 Shareslast_img read more

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