Pfizer Global Health Fellow volunteers with Project HOPE in India

Posted By Cathy Dunwody on September 7, 2017

Labels: India , Global Health Expertise, Partners, Volunteers

Cathy Dunwody volunteered with Project HOPE in India for three months as a Pfizer Global Health Fellow (GHF). During her Fellowship, Cathy partnered with Project HOPE SEA (South East Asia) colleagues to develop an enhanced health program communication strategy and corresponding tools. The GHF Program is Pfizer’s signature international corporate volunteer initiative that places Pfizer colleagues on short-term assignments with leading international development organizations in underserved communities around the world. Below are Cathy’s thoughts upon completion of her official assignment with Project HOPE.

I have been passionate about volunteer work for many years and wanted to apply my extensive Pfizer experiences and acquired skills to one of my core tenets – To those whom much is given, much is expected.  Given my entire career has been in an allied health care industry, I wanted to combine my passion with my professional acumen. 

Previously I have engaged in shorter term hands-on, community-focused opportunities across the United States, in Guatemala and in Mexico, and these have been some of my most important and rewarding experiences of my life. Alas, I wanted to invest more of me … to invest deeper in a volunteering experience. Participating in the Global Health Fellows program allowed me to volunteer over a longer period of time in an international setting with a premier NGO partner. It allowed me to test my courage, as well as apply my knowledge and strategies I developed over three decades of work at Pfizer in a new setting.

The overall goal for my Fellowship was to assist Project HOPE in developing an enhanced health program communication strategy and program communications tools. In partnership with the team, we were able to deliver a comprehensive communication plan with specific ideas for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and donors. Among the communication tools we developed were: the HOPESEA newsletter; a technical manual on Positive Deviants; inputs for the Project HOPE South East Asia (PH SEA) website; two-page donor “conversation starter” overviews for SEA Region as well as India, Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal and Bangladesh; donor and government project presentations and internal process support tools. 

The Fellowship afforded me the opportunity to view health care through a unique lens that provided vivid awareness and greater insight into global healthcare issues that require human, financial and technical resources. A key objective in my current role at Pfizer is to incorporate the Triple Aim into customer projects. This means working to simultaneously improve the health of a population, enhance the experience and outcomes of the patient and reduce per capita cost of care for the benefit of all in the community. These doctrines can be applied universally, and my Fellowship helped me see that the best means of improving global healthcare is to share this vision while empowering communities to incorporate local solutions. This is exactly what Project HOPE does around the globe – you activate your vision to enable local solutions to support community healthcare. 


This is exactly what Project HOPE does around the globe –
you activate your vision to enable local solutions
to support community healthcare.


Now that I am back in the US, I have committed to continuing to support Project HOPE in my personal time … and thankfully my friends in India have accepted this offer! I say friends as I know I will always have these amazing dear people in my life. The Project HOPE team and India made me a better person. I can only humbly hope that my contributions hold a value for them too.

The truest measure lies not in our service to others, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them.
                                                                                                                                       ~ A Buddhist Nun

Pfizer Global Health Fellow volunteers with Project HOPE in India


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