Column: Decatur’s Task Force for Global Health expands its visibility

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 20, 2015

One of the less-known nonprofits in Georgia — the Decatur-based Task Force for Global Health — is beginning to gain some visibility.

The largest nonprofit based in Georgia is one of the leading international players in promoting global health initiatives, including partnering with other organizations to provide vaccinations to prevent numerous devastating diseases in the developing world.

Mark Rosenberg, CEO of the Task Force for Global Health, in a speech to the Rotary Club of Atlanta on March 16, spoke about one of Georgia’s best-kept secrets.

But it will be hard to keep it a secret for much longer.

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Task Force received $1.65 billion in contributions for its 2013-2014 fiscal year. Most of its contributions are the vaccines and drugs provided from the pharmaceutical community to be given to children and adults living in developing countries.

The Task Force currently has programs in 87 different countries, and it has 105 full-time employees.

“We are lucky to be a trusted steward of resources,” said Rosenberg, who added that only .003 percent of its budget is spent on administrative and fundraising expenses (Usually nonprofits that spend 10 percent or less on administrative expenses are considered top-of-class.) “We spend 99.8 percent of our budget on our programs. We like to think we bring value to coalitions.”

In one chart, Rosenberg said that the estimated value of the contributions the Task Force will receive 2015 fiscal year are $3.3 billion. That would place it among the top two or three nonprofits in the country — following United Way Worldwide.

Rosenberg said it is premature to declare where the Task Force’s national ranking will be among nonprofits when the lists come out later this year because it is not known how the others have fared in 2015.

And Rosenberg is quick to say that it’s not the rankings that matter but the work that the Task Force is able to do in saving lives around the world.

By the way, the Task Force receives about $51 million in revenues with about one-third coming from government contracts, another third from foundations and a third from the private sector.

The presence of the Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have placed Atlanta as one of the leading centers for global health in the country if not the world.

“Being in Atlanta has also been an extraordinary benefit to us,” Rosenberg said, mentioning all the other organizations based in the city — the Carter Center, CARE, MAP International and MedShare, to name a few. “There’s a growing demand for what the Task Force is able to do.”

Power to Inspire awards

The Center for Civil and Human Rights is launching a major new annual event — the “Power to Inspire” awards — on May 6 as a way to recognize “trailblazing” leaders from Atlanta and around the world.

The Center, which has been open for less than year, will hold a two-day “Human Rights Forum” (May 5 and 6) ending with a tribute dinner on Pemberton Place.

The 2015 honorees will be:

  • Estela Barnes de Carlotto, an Argentine human rights activist and leader of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. She is one of the human rights icons whose portrait, painted by Atlanta artist Ross Rossin, is featured in the Center’s Defenders exhibit. Carlotto has dedicated her life to reuniting more than 100 missing children with their families. After a 34-year search, she found her own grandson in 2014;
  • Vernon Jordan, chairman emeritus of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, who is a well-known business executive and civil rights activist who spent his early career in Atlanta:
  • Kerry Kennedy, a human rights activist, writer and currently the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; and Ada Lee and Pete Correll, well-known Atlanta philanthropists. Pete is chairman of the Grady Hospital Corp. and Atlanta Equity and is chairman emeritus of Georgia-Pacific Corp. Ada Lee Correll, a dedicated community volunteer, has led efforts supporting youth development, youth in the arts and access to health care.
  • Judith Service Montier, a spokeswoman for the Center, said the Tribute Awards were created to honor individuals who are empowering people around the world in the protection of civil and human rights.

“The Power to Inspire Tribute Awards will become the Center’s annual major fundraising event,” she said. “Funds raised from the event will go toward ensuring opportunities for both students and other individuals to experience the Center and all it has to offer.”

The topics for the workshops and panels for the Human Rights Summit will be: Environmental Justice; All Lives Matter: How Do We Get There; Human Trafficking: Across the Spectrum; and A Conversation between a Georgia State University professor, Barnes de Carlotto, and her son.

Each workshop will have a call to action and provide participants with concrete ways to make a difference and support human rights for all. Workshops and panels will be facilitated by local, national and global experts and activists.

Meanwhile, the Center and Humanity in Action recently announced plans for the John Lewis Fellowship in Atlanta. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has provided a $600,000 three-year grant to support the fellowship program named for the legendary civil rights leader.

The program will offer 30 American and European university students and recent college graduates an opportunity to get a “unique international human rights education” with a strong focus on diversity.

The first annual fellowship program is scheduled from July 5 to Aug. 1 in Atlanta.

White Coat Grady Gala

The Grady Health Foundation hit a new fundraising record at its White Coat Grady Gala March 14. It raised more than $1.5 million to help meet the needs of the Grady Health System.

In the past five years, it has raised a total of $6 million through the gala, which was held at the Georgia Aquarium.

The event included several inspiring testimonials from people who had some close ties to Grady. One of those was a surprise visit with a testimonial from Dr. Evelyn Baranco Pryor, the daughter of the White Coat Gala co-chairs — Juanita and Gregory Baranco.

Without her parents knowing she would be attending, Pryor told a testimonial of how she had trained at Grady.

The folks at the Grady Foundation already have set the date of the 2016 Gala. It will return to the Georgia Aquarium on March 19, 2016, and the co-chairs already have been named: Carol Tomé, chief financial officer of The Home Depot Inc., and her husband, Ramon Tomé; and Ernest Greer, managing partner of Greenberg Traurig, and his wife, Patrice Greer.

The Commerce Club

One of Atlanta’s best-known business clubs — the Commerce Club — has new leadership.

Everrett Butler, general manager of the Commerce Club since the merger between the namesake club with the 191 Club in 2010, has been promoted to regional vice president of ClubCorp. He has overseen the dining and meeting facility on the 49th floor of the 191 Peachtree tower in downtown Atlanta.

“It is with much enthusiasm that I write this fond farewell to each of you,” Butler wrote in an email to members. “As I move on to my newest role with ClubCorp, as Regional Vice President, I hope it is with much fondness that you look back at our years together.”

Butler said that new general manager of the club is Bert Morales, who is already on board. Morales comes to the Commerce Club with 30 years experience in the private club and hospitality arenas. Since 2007, he has served as chief operating officer and director of operations for the West Lake Country Club, based in Augusta and founded in 1969.

Morales told members in an email that he is “eager to partner with you” for the Club’s success.

“I look forward to accomplishing this in a number of ways — implementing the tried-and-true traditions; giving added value to each and every membership; and introducing fresh, new, trend-setting ideas to the Commerce Club,” Morales wrote.

Butler will continue to be based in Atlanta.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

2 replies
  1. Gil Robison says:

    Vaccinating children is a great idea but usually with unintended consequences. E.g. in 1961 the average life expectancy in Nepal was only 31. Now it is 61 thanks to a reduction in infant and childhood mortality. Another result—not so fortunate— is a population explosion that is not sustainable. About 20% of those entering the workforce must leave the country to find employment annually. This is happening all over the developing world with disastrous consequences for or planet. The needed non renewable resources are just not there. Improved childhood health MUST be linked to family planning, access to birth control and the prerequisite education and empowerment of womenReport


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