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Atlanta emerging as a nexus to address climate change and global health

Atlanta’s significant role as a center for global health is now well-recognized and appreciated.

But last week, when the Atlanta-based Carter Center hosted the Climate & Health Meeting, it became apparent that our region’s contributions to improving global health must now take into account the growing challenges of climate change.

And Atlanta has an opportunity to become a nexus for expert knowledge and action to address how climate change will impact global health.

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Commentary: Georgia’s a central city for global health

Original Story on WABE by Maria Saporta

The Task Force for Global Health – the largest nonprofit based in Georgia – received a significant endorsement this month. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awarded the Task Force with its 2016 Humanitarian Prize – which comes with a $2 million grant.

One of Atlanta’s best kept secrets is the Task Force for Global Health – an organization that has been busy saving lives around the world for the past 32 years.

The Task Force for Global Health is going to use new grant money to help launch a $15 million campaign that includes the acquisition of a signature building in downtown Decatur.

The Task Force for Global Health is going to use new grant money to help launch a $15 million campaign that includes the acquisition of a signature building in downtown Decatur.

But the secret is becoming more widely known with the prestigious $2 million prize from the Hilton Foundation.

The Task Force is going to use the money to help launch a $15 million campaign that includes the acquisition of a signature building in downtown Decatur. This potentially puts both the Task Force and Atlanta in the limelight as a center for global health and development.

Peter Laugharn, president of the Hilton Foundation, said the Task Force has been an unsung hero.

He also said its new building for the Task Force will be a way to shine a spotlight on the life-changing work underway in Atlanta.

It will have a conference space on the first floor where health professionals from around the world will be able to convene to work on a myriad of challenges facing those living in extreme poverty.

Atlanta has numerous organizations focused on global health – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the private CDC Foundation, the Carter Center, CARE, MAP International and MedShare, plus several academic leaders, such as Emory University, Georgia State University and the Morehouse School of Medicine.

That’s not to mention the contributions by entities like Coca Cola Company, UPS, Delta Air Lines, Habitat for Humanity International and the American Cancer Society, among others.

While some of these organizations already work together on initiatives, their efforts could be much stronger if we had a way for all of them to collaborate more closely.

We’re already a leader in global health and development. It’s time for us to wear that crown proudly.

GSU art professor helps resculpt Alaska’s plastic ocean trash for CDC museum art

Beach season alert: The persistence of marine debris, carried by enormous ocean currents, inspired the provocative sculptures and assemblages at the odd museum in CDC headquarters. If you swim in the ocean or admire its immense power, seek out “Gyre: The Plastic Ocean” before it closes June 16 at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum. GSU distinguished art professor Pam Longobardi fashioned a giant cornucopia titled “Dark and Plentiful Bounty,” the largest and most complex sculpture of her career. It features only a fraction of the tons of trash gathered from remote inlets in Alaska—garbage that became the palette for the 25 artists in this exhibit.

Pin color shifts blue to pink as focus moves from prostate to breast cancer

Rockdale County Chairman Richard Oden is preparing to change his lapel pin from a light blue ribbon to a pink ribbon.

At the ARC meeting last week, someone commented that Oden’s pin wasn’t pink, to recognize October as breast cancer awareness month. Oden responded that his blue pin recognizes September as prostate cancer awareness month, and he would change to a pink pin on Oct. 1.

Awareness pins are a subtle but stark reminder that Georgia leads the nation in the rates by which individuals developed or died from prostate or breast cancer in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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What to do with a rabid cat

Until you’ve been chased by an animal that’s foaming at the mouth, you haven’t really experienced the terror of rabies. 

Recent reports of potentially rabid animals threatening humans have reminded me of my own encounter with a rabid cat that I trapped with a recycling bin in my DeKalb County backyard just as it leapt to attack me. While it sounds like a freak occurrence, it’s surprisingly common especially during our warmest months, and it’s dead serious.

Last Thursday, a 13-year-old boy strangled a fox that had bit him. He’s receiving precautionary anti-rabies treatment pending the outcome of tests to determine if the animal was rabid.

Gates Foundation to give $28.8 million to Task Force for Global Health

The Decatur-based Task Force for Global Health has received a five-year $28.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a support center for neglected tropical diseases.

The grant will enable the newly-established Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center to collaborate with other partners around the world to address gaps in research. The center will coordinate with partners to implement the research agenda for these diseases, while ensuring the quick translation of new solutions into the program policy.

The Gates grant will be officially announced on Tuesday, Feb. 5.