Our recent Board retreat and the end of our 2015-16 fiscal year have given us the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made and the challenges we face in 2016-17.
During 2015-16, our programs in four countries screened 13,278 women—an increase of 72% over the previous year and our best-ever annual performance. Other highlights included launching our newest program in Kenya; welcoming Professor Groesbeck Parham to our Board; strengthening our field staff; and signing the long-awaited agreement for US government Pepfar funds, through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to match the highly successful Roasters’ Challenge of 2015. Our goal is to screen at least 17,000 women next year.
In many ways, prospects for cervical cancer prevention in the coffee-lands look better than ever before. Global leaders in this field, such as Ambassador Sally Cowalof the American Cancer Society and Dr. Harshad Sanghvi of Johns Hopkins, say that they have never seen such interest amongst government leaders, and that we are on the cusp of technological advances that may transform the field in the near future. They are proud to serve on the Grounds for Health Board because they believe that we are uniquely positioned to drive innovations in service delivery, thanks in large part to the inspiring example set by leaders in the coffee industry, who continue to demonstrate their commitment to women’s health at origin.
In this context, we are delighted to welcome the newest member of our team: Catherine Holly, who joined us as Development Director in October. Catherine is a long-time supporter of Grounds for Health and comes to us with deep experience in the coffee industry, as well as a track record of accomplishment as a professor of anthropology and as a corporate trainer. Catherine’s role will be absolutely critical because every dollar counts as we do our best to avert some of the estimated 300,000 women’s deaths that are expected to be caused by cervical cancer in low-income countries next year.
Please join me in congratulating the team and sharing our optimism for what lies ahead.