Tuesday, September 26 | 9:00 – 10:30am

Miriam Were, Chanellor, Moi University, Kenya

Were_MiriamProfessor Miriam K. Were is a medical doctor, public health specialist, teacher and publisher. She is currently the Chancellor of Moi Univerity in Kenya and a member of the Champions for HIV-Free Generation, made up mostly of African former Heads of State. Formerly, Professor Were was Chairman of Kenya’s National AIDS Control Council (NACC) and the Board of Amref Health Africa. In 1973, she graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Nairobi, where she was awarded the Best All-Round Graduating Medical Student Prizes. She worked in the Ministry of Health before joining the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Nairobi on her journey to teaching public health. She holds both Masters (MPH) and Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degrees from the John Hopkins University in the USA. Between 1976 and 1982, while teaching public health, she was the Director of the National Pilot Project on Community Based Health Care. Professor Were worked in agencies of the United Nations, including UNICEF, WHO and the United Nations Population Fund, before retiring at the level of D2. Professor Were has received many honours and awards in her professional life, including national honors from the president of Kenya in 2005 for distinguished service to the nation, and the Trail Blazer Award of the Women in Leadership Group by the Global Young Women’s Christian Association in 2007. She was also selected from the entire Commonwealth for the 2007 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Medal for Outstanding Contributions to International Public Health and Supporting the Health Needs of Disadvantaged People. In 2008, she was the first recipient of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize by Japan for Medical Services.


Tuesday, September 26 | 4:00 – 5:30pm
Results: 20 Years of Collaboration and Innovation

Janine Schooley, PCI (Moderator)

In this opening day plenary, we will bring the history of CORE Group to life. Brief presentations, designed to share major CORE Group achievements such as the iCCM story and the PD/Hearth story, will be followed by an “open mic” session where participants will have the chance to share their own stories and experiences. A tabletop trivia game will be used to highlight key CORE Group tools. We will also launch the CORE Group Timeline, and participants will be invited to contribute their own individual, organizational, and team milestones to the overall timeline throughout the rest of the conference.

Wednesday, September 27 | 9:00 – 10:30am
Realities: Coordinated Impact at the Country and Global Level

Ahmed Arale, CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) Kenya/Somalia; Filimona Bisrat, CGPP Ethiopia; Frank Conlon, CGPP; Anthony Kisanga, CGPP South Sudan; Lee Losey, CGPP; Ellyn Ogden, USAID; Roma Solomon, CGPP India; Samuel Usman, CGPP Nigeria; Leo Ryan, ICF International (Moderator)

The CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) will provide an overview of the lessons learned from the polio eradication project with an emphasis on how they could be of value across a variety of maternal and child health projects. We will be sharing our experiences from the past 18 years and how they can be best applied to other health initiatives through discussions of CGPP country initiatives such as the non-traditional consortium and collaborative model, evolution of communication strategy, innovations, and relevance to other infectious diseases. When the project started in 1999, polio was still endemic in dozens of countries with thousands of cases annually. Through the dedication and hard work of the CORE Group Polio Project, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and thousands of volunteers, polio was reduced to three endemic countries and only 37 total cases in 2016 and no new cases so far in 2017. The project today works in India, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and Nigeria through more than 50 international and national NGOs, along with relevant host-country ministries and international stakeholders, including Rotary International, UNICEF, WHO, CDC, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Thursday, September 28 | 9:00 – 10:30am
90 Second Science


  • Building Community Capacity and Increasing Social Capital through a Women’s Empowerment Initiative in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia | Will Story, University of Iowa
  • Impact of Empowerment of Most Marginalized Women in Bihar, India on Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health: The Role of Efficacy, Cohesion and Collectivization | Janine Schooley, PCI


  • Male Involvement and Accommodation during Obstetric Emergencies in Rural Ghana: A Qualitative Analysis | Will Story, University of Iowa
  • Expanding Maternal and Newborn Health Coverage through Existing Local Structures in Pastoralist Ethiopia | David Shanklin, USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program, CORE Group
  • Citizen Voice and Action – World Vision’s Social Accountability Approach Increases Access to Health Services in India and Kenya | Susan Otchere, World Vision US


  • African Indigenous Foods (AIFs) and their Role in Household Resiliency and Food Security | Everlyn Matiri, Catholic Relief Services
  • Effectiveness of Micronutrient Interventions during the 1,000 Days in Bangladesh on Children’s Growth | Zeina Maalouf-Manasseh, FANTA Project, FHI 360


  • A Novel Tool for Community-based Surveillance of Maternal Mortality | Frank Anderson, University of Michigan
  • Engaging Urban Communities in Sierra Leone with Data for Decision Making: Preliminary Findings from a Participatory Community-Based Health Information System | Megan Christensen, Concern Worldwide

Thursday, September 28 | 2:00 – 4:00pm
Health Financing for Community Health Systems

Keith Dokho, World Vision; Brad Herbert, Brad Herbert Associates; Phyllis Heydt, UN Special Envoy for Health; Scott Jackson, Global Impact; Isabelle Lindenmayer, Rabin Martin; Harshad Sanghvi, Jhpiego; Taufiqur Rahman, Americares (Moderator)

This session will include an open discussion on current realities of various financing opportunities, future trends, and an increasing need for collaborative partnerships with local government and private sector in community health systems financing. Panelists will present their experiences with multi-lateral financing organizations, private philanthrophy, and different models of NGOs’ strategic partnerships with private sector donors. Additional discussions will cover impact investments, corporate prioritization process, signature initiatives, and potential financing needs for community health systems in Sub Saharan Africa.

Friday, September 29 | 11:30am – 1:15pm
Opportunities: Communities and Health in Sustainable Development

Daniel Schensul, United Nations Population Fund; Gogontlejang Phaladi, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH); Judy Lewis, University of Connecticut School of Medicine (Moderator)

How will CORE Group, members and partners address the changes in global technology, development and knowledge? Should we think about addressing inequality differently? What does the future require of us? If the SDGs are targeted to improve the lives of 10-year olds today, how do we ensure the meaningful participation of youth and engage new voices of the marginalized and vulnerable in the communities we serve? How do we communicate more effectively with donors and partners? What new tools do we need? What new thinking will be required? This session will present major global trends and challenges related to meeting the SDGs, including the lack of community-level indicators, the conflict between universal health care and reaching those furthest behind first, and the disconnect between global, regional, national, and local levels. This dynamic session will include presentations by Dr. Schensul and Ms. Phaladi, both of whom have extensive experience with these issues, and start a dialogue about how we can begin to work in new ways to more effectively address the needs of communities, youth and marginalized groups. This will be the start of an agenda for the next 20 years of CORE Group!