Global health at Meridian

For the last 60 years Meridian has worked to facilitate collaboration across sectors on a number of key issues, including global health. As the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continues to sweep through nations around the world, Meridian aims to be a voice of information and comfort. Below is a round-up of our previous programs and exchanges focused on the health and safety of citizens across the globe.

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America's doctor addresses the Opioid crisis with diplomats

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams addressed a room of foreign diplomats at Meridian in May of 2019 to discuss the rising opioid crisis, complexities within the U.S. healthcare system and economic disparities resulting from the variation of health policies from state to state.

Adams asserted that many components aid in creating healthy living conditions and should be considered when developing healthcare policies, such as a living wage. In fact, according to Adams, U.S. domestic policy has a tendency to focus on “sickcare” rather than healthcare. Adams pointed to 'Blue Zones' around the world, which are communities that have environments more conducive to healthy habits, such those that prioritize creating safe ways for people to walk or bike to work.

“We need to fund upstream,” Adams said, “[and] address the root of the problem.” In other words, innovation may only be only useful when accessible. Providing a framework for the discussion, Adams shared insight into his brother’s addiction to opioids. He also gave a demonstration on how to use Narcan, a nasal spray, and EVZIO, a pre-filled auto-injection device, which reverse opioid overdose. Adams aims to increase the availability of these drugs for everyone in the U.S.

Collaboration was top of mind for Adams, as he emphasized better health through better public partnerships. The Surgeon General suggested engaging with communities directly to work together on solutions, rather than through mandates. Whether it’s eradicating measles or Ebola, “everyone wants what is best for their family,” Adams concluded. Read more here.

USTDA China healthcare executive leadership training program

In 2009, China announced plans to expand healthcare system reforms with the goal of providing universal healthcare by 2020. With a growing population of over 1.3 billion, China faced a rising demand for quality healthcare services. Drivers of this demand include public healthcare reforms, aging demographics and increasing urbanization.

On a two-week visit to the United States in 2019, decision-makers from China's National Healthcare Security Administration got a first-hand look at U.S. health system operations, including organizational structure, healthcare and health insurance policies, as well as innovative U.S. technologies that improve patient care and safety. The itinerary featured trainings, meetings and site visits to U.S. institutions, government agencies and firms that supply related products, services and solutions.

In addressing these issues, Chinese officials said the country is working to close the knowledge gap between senior healthcare management and procurement mechanisms, as well as learn more about the latest medical technologies available. Shrinking this gap has the ability improve the overall healthcare system by prioritizing the management and day-to-day functions of healthcare facilities through the use of advanced medical technologies and healthcare management best practices. Read more here.

Health care in marginalized populations

The multi-regional "Marginalized Populations and Health Care" International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) brought together 16 healthcare officials, medical professionals and community leaders to examine the U.S. health care system, visit medical facilities and explore training and professional development programs for doctors and support networks.

The group met with the Office of International Health and Biodefense, Health Resources and Service Administration and the Florida Department of Health. In each city they visited, the participants engaged with their counterparts to discuss various topics, including state-level health campaigns, public education initiatives for HIV/AIDS and health concerns for marginalized populations. Read more here.

Pediatric Palliative Care: A project for Russia

In 2017 Meridian welcomed five pediatric healthcare experts from Russia for an IVLP focused on analyzing best practices in palliative care for seriously ill children, exploring effective techniques for sharing best practices and learning about the delivery of high quality care at the non-hospital level. In order to accomplish these goals, the participants first convened in Washington, D.C. before traveling on to Memphis, TN; Boston, MA; and New York, NY.

While in Washington, the participants met with doctors from the Children's National Health System and PANDA Palliative Care Team to discuss pediatric palliative care in the U.S., pain and symptom management and share best practices. The group also talked with experts from the HSC Health Care system where they learned about chronic care of technologically dependent children and toured the facilities. Read more here.

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