HAF was founded with the vision of being able to fund throughout the Americas. That vision has been achieved with our Buena Salud Americas (BSA) initiative. We were able to build on the unique status of The National Alliance for Hispanic Health (The Alliance) as a recognized NGO in official relations with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). As a result, HAF through its Buena Salud (Good Health) – Americas Initiative, convened multisector meetings on specific topics in Colombia (cardiovascular diseases), Mexico (capacity building in public health policy and community engagement), and Panama (cervical cancer and other HPV related diseases). Each meeting provided an opportunity to improve communication and coordination among communities in different countries, identify best practices, share resources more effectively, encourage innovation, showcase new technologies including social media platforms, and disseminate knowledge.
As a follow up to the leadership meeting in Panama, HAF established a grant initiative for community engagement to help advance and promote public health policies. The program selected a total of six community partners in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, and Puerto Rico. Through the BSA grants, these community and civil society organizations are building local advocacy, increasing awareness about cervical cancer and HPV, and helping to disseminate trusted and accurate information about prevention of cervical cancer and HPV. Activities included use of traditional media and social media communication campaigns, development of educational materials, workshops and trainings, and community events amongst others. Currently we are operating innovative programs in four Latin American countries advancing early detection and treatment of cervical cancer, including helping develop and implement national strategies and a Pan American community toolkit that has been adapted and tailored to local needs and implemented in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Guatemala.
Additionally, HAF gave a grant to MultiPOD Mentoring. The mission of MultiPOD is to speed up and strengthen the professional development, personal growth, and technical ability of Global Health and Human Development students and young professionals through the personal guidance and support of top-qualified and experienced mentors. This mostly volunteer effort is a successful and fast-growing long-distance, multi-country, professional and personal development program directed to promising young practitioners and future leaders of Global Health and Human Development. The program is offered free of charge to accomplished international students and young professionals (SYPs) from any discipline, 35 years and under, who are in the initial phases of their professional careers.
There is much work to be done and HAF is poised to be part of the solution.