The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Their mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthen American democracy, foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans and secure a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system. Brookings is proud to be consistently ranked as the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks.
In 2007, David Caprara, a non-resident fellow at Brookings asked Omni Med's Dr. Edward O'Neil to Chair the International Volunteer and Service Sector's Task Force on Global Health Service. Omni Med's Community Empowerment in Health Program in Mukono, Uganda is the direct result of this task force. The same group spawned the Building Bridges Coalition, which brings together international service groups from all over the US. See below.
The Ministry of Health Uganda, is a government body set up with a mandate of policy formulation; quality assurance; coordination of health research; and monitoring and evaluation of overall performance of the health sector. It works for a healthy, productive and wealthy population that contributes to Economic Growth and National Development, and works to ensure the attainment of a good standard of health by all people in Uganda in order to promote a healthy and productive life.
In 2008, Omni Med partnered with the MOH to build a VHT program in Mukono District, Uganda. Omni Med has since become Mukono's most important NGO in the VHT program, having trained and actively maintaining 1,250 VHTs. In 2014, the District Office of the MOH asked Omni Med to assume responsibility for maintaining VHTs throughout the district and to train the remaining VHTs, some 2000+. Mr Paul Kagwa, the National Commissioner for Community Health within the MOH in Kampala, has become a strong supporter of Omni Med's work and a good friend to the organization. While the MOH does not provide financial assistance to Omni Med, all of the VHTs trained are MOH personnel; the program is a true partnership. The MOH initiated the VHT program in Uganda to bring preventive health to rural areas, where less than half the population has ready access to health care.
Steward St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine, offers patients access to some of Boston's most respected physicians and advanced treatments for a full-range of medical specialties including family medicine, cardiovascular care, women and infants' health, oncology, neurology care and orthopedics.
Omni Med's Dr. Edward O'Neil has worked as a staff physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. Elizabeth's since 1999. St Elizabeth's medical residents have worked in the Omni Med program for many years. Several were involved in designing and implementing our randomized controlled trial, while others have had significant input to testing, quarterly meeting training module development, and other areas.
The Building Bridges Coalition (BBC) is a consortium of leading organizations working collaboratively to promote the field of international volunteering. The BBC is a project of the Brookings Institution's Initiative on International Volunteering and Service and is comprised of international volunteer organizations, corporations, universities and colleges, government agencies, policy makers, and other stakeholders. The BBC hopes to improve the quality of international volunteer service, scale up the number of international volunteers sent abroad annually, and maximize positive impacts of international service in communities throughout the world, and at home. (See http://buildingbridgescoalition.org/)
Omni Med has been a member of the BBC for many years and Dr O'Neil leads the Health Sector Working Group. The BBC offers a great opportunity for service groups to connect andn to share ideas. The Volunteer Card and several other program features came through BBC Conferences and the incredible group of individuals who lead this organization, including Senator Harris Wofford, David Caprara, Steve Rosenthal, John Bridgeland, Lex Rieffle, Jack Hawkins, Matt Clausen, Helen Claire Sievers, Dianne Melley, and Jim Swiderski, among others.
The Cookstove Project is a 501(c)3 US non-profit organization that aims to eliminate the preventable deaths in poor countries that are caused by cooking on open fires. The Cookstove Project started in Uganda in 2013, and has since constructed over 7,000 high quality cookstoves--all from local materials-- in Uganda and Nepal. Nearly three billion overwhelmingly poor people worldwide cook over open fires that pose health risks to women and the young children who are so often with them. The smoke from these fires is the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes per day, and likely claims 4.3 million lives per year. The Cookstove Project has partnered with Omni Med in Uganda since the beginning. Local VHTs trained by Omni Med become Cookstove Masters who oversee stove construction and make sure villagers use them correctly. The Cookstove Project sets the standard by which all stoves constructed in Mukono District are judged. Omni Med and The Cookstove Project meet monthly, and coordinate regional strategy for cookstove construction/ monitoring, protected water source usage, and ITN distribution. Mike and Rebecca Sommer lead the program from the US and Africano Byrarugaba leads the efforts in Uganda.
Bates College was founded by abolitionists in 1855 and has maintained its strong social justice orientation ever since. Omni Med's founder, Dr O'Neil, is a Bates alumnus and in 2016, worked with Margaret Rotundo, Dr Karen Palin, Darby Ray, and Karen Daigler to develop a relationship between Omni Med and Bates. In the spring, 2017, the first Bates student, Brielle Antonelli '18, did a 7 week internship at Omni Med, Newton, through the Purposeful Work Program. This became an annual occurrence until the Covid pandemic intervened. Several Bates recent graduates have served as Omni Med Strategic/ Research Coordinators on site in Uganda for one-year periods. Christina Stiles '15, Hannah Behringer, '17, and MacKenzie MacRay '18 have all served in this position. Like Christina, most of these students will attend medical school or graduate school, and the time in Uganda will sink deep roots in their orientation toward global health equality. Opportunities for students so spend time at our program in Uganda exist, as do opportunities for Short Term and potential class visits.
The University of Mississippi School of Medicine offers a course of study leading to the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD). The four-year course leading to the degree of Doctor of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
The School of Medicine strives to offer an excellent, comprehensive and interrelated program of medical education, biomedical research and health care. Through these programs, the ultimate goal of the School is to provide quality and equitable health care to all citizens of Mississippi, the region and nation. A core value of this mission is respect for the multiple dimensions of diversity reflected in all people.
Dr Alan Penman is a physician and epidemiologist at UMMC who has been working closely with us at Omni Med program in Uganda for many years. He brings 3-6 students per year who focus on a research project while also participating in all aspects of the program. Omni Med Board Member Dr Lessa Phillips if professor emeritus in family medicine at UMMC.
The Mission of Tufts University School of Medicine is to educate a diverse body of students and advance medical knowledge in a dynamic and collaborative environment. We seek to foster the development of dedicated clinicians, scientists, public health professionals, and educators who will have a sustained positive impact on the health of individuals, communities, and the world.
Dr O'Neil is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Tufts and regularly teaches Tufts students in the Emergency Department at St Elizabeth's Medical Center, a Tufts Teaching Hospital. While only a few Tufts medical students have participated in the Omni Med program in Uganda to date, we remain open to interested Tufts students.
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences is dedicated to improving the health of our local, national, and global communities by educating a diverse workforce of tomorrow’s leaders in medicine, science, and health sciences; healing through innovative and compassionate care; advancing biomedical, translational, and health services delivery research with an emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration; and promoting a culture of excellence through inclusion, service, and advocacy. As a globally recognized academic medical center, GW embraces the challenge of eliminating health disparities and transforming health care to enrich and improve the lives of those we serve.
Omni Med has hosted many
GWU students at our site in Uganda since 2010 among the schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health. Dr O'Neil lectures to the first year students as part of their global health course and serves as a mentor to many. In 2017, GWU medical students Daniel Mays '16, and Anne Waldrop '17, worked with Dr O'Neil and Dr Gigi El Bayoumi to develop the Health Equity Scholars Program in which students in each new first year class study global health inequity issues academically and practically. Students spend 6-8 weeks in year one with Omni Med in Uganda. In years two and three, students spend time researching health equity issues in inner city Washington DC via Dr El Bayoumi and the Rodham Institute at GWU. During year four, students again spend time abroad, either with Omni Med or with another NGO; one student took the PIH-derived course on health inequity in Gulu, Uganda while completing field research. Students cover a reading list, have regular meetings with faculty, and keep in contact with Drs El Bayoumi and O'Neil throughout.
CFHI is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that specializes in Global Health Education. CFHI provides individual trainees and university partners with opportunities to learn about global health while imbedded in existing health systems and social services sectors alongside local community members and champions. The context is so important in order to impart a broad-based understanding of the interplays between disease processes, social circumstances, poverty, resiliency, geopolitical realities, historical contexts, culture, and the complexities of health and wellness. CFHI utilizes an asset-based engagement model, empowering local communities to own the educational narrative in order to transform the minds and hearts of young people so they are positioned to be the partners (both internationally and locally) that are necessary to achieve health equity and social justice. CFHI's expertise is in preserving the authenticity of the community's expertise and presenting 'real-life' global health, while nesting programs in gold-standard educational pedagogies and safety standards.
Omni Med became a CFHI partner organization in 2016, sending 7 students to our site in Uganda in 2016, and 5 students in 2017. Omni Med offers CFHI students a unique opportunity to be directly involved in designing and implementing clinical research, in addition to participating in all aspects of Omni Med's VHT training, maintenance, and additional work like cookstoves, ITNs, and protected water sources. One CFHI student, Wash U's Jackie Kading, organized the pilot study for our tablet trial (See research page). Another student, Northwestern U's Shannon Stanfill, crafted the initial proposal for our Enhanced VHT Trial. Other CFHI students have crafted quarterly meeting training modules, and performed data collection & evaluation for our ITN distribution/ monitoring program. Omni Med-CFHI has become an ideal partnership.
The Ministry of Health is a government body set up with the mandate of stewardship and leadership of the health sector. The Ministry of Health is responsible for policy review and development, supervision of health sector activities, formulation and dialogue with health development partners, strategic planning, setting standards and quality assurance, resource mobilization, advising other Ministries, departments and agencies on health-related matters, and ensuring quality, health equity, and fairness in contribution towards the cost of health care.
Omni Med is working in Mukono District primarily because of two very impressive individuals. Dr Ely Tumashabe is the Mukono District Health Officer and responsible for all aspects of health care for the district, including the VHT Program. Hakim Kalungi is the Mukono District Health Educator and has been involved directly in most of Omni Med's VHT training weeks. Both men have been staunch allies and great partners in developing this program. Omni Med staff feel fortunate to have such wonderful allies in the fight to improve health for all people of Mukono District. All VHTs that Omni Med trains and maintains belong to the Ministry of Health. The partnership dates back to 2008.
The George Washington University School of Nursing offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs that make it possible for our students to succeed in providing high-quality, compassionate health care. As one of the top-ranked nursing schools in the nation, GW Nursing is proud to offer innovative educational programs led by top-tier faculty, supported by the latest in health care technology.
Omni Med formed a partnership with Dr Carol Lang and GWUSON in the fall of 2017. In November 2017, 7 nursing students and one faculty lead, Dr Karen Dawn, traveled to the Omni Med Compound and initiated a new hypertensive screening program to local VHTs in Kisoga and Bwanda Parishes. Plans are underway for GWUSON students and faculty to visit Omni Med in Uganda twice yearly to expand the program.