PQMD Annual General Meeting 2018 Recap

PQMD recently held their 2018 Annual General Meeting in Santa Monica, Calif., with generous support from members International Medical Corps and Amgen. Held at the International Medical Corps offices, members representing the broad spectrum of pharmaceutical, biotech, and non-governmental sectors had the chance to come together to learn more about respective efforts in innovations in health systems strengthening and emergency & disaster response, employee engagement, and humanitarian assistance.

Geospatial imaging session with International Medical Corps.

The meeting opened with presentations from several members of the International Medical Corps staff. The International Medical Corps team shared their work in data analytics, management, and tracking, as well as geospatial imaging.

Innovations in Health System Strengthening, Emergency, and Disaster Response

Innovations in health system strengthening.

With presentations from Mercy Ships, World Vision, and Operation Smile, PQMD members and invited guests had an opportunity to learn about advances in patient outreach, improved community-driven healthcare access, and research in cleft prevention and mitigation, respectively. Project HOPE shared their early success in their “Saving the Newborn” initiative still active in Haiti, with Medical Teams International sharing how digital patient tracking is transforming their healthcare work in Uganda.


Americares went on to share their emerging work in emergency preparedness boot camps, while IHP discussed their significant work in South Sudan.

New Technologies in Humanitarian Assistance

Austin Blue, of Paragrine Systems, sharing transportation innovations.

Merck discussed their partnership with Direct Relief, and work towards combining drone delivery with vaccine and medication delivery in vulnerable and remote locations.

Also at the meeting was Austin Blue, of Paragrine Systems, who presented his company’s work in developing a multi-use lightweight “flying car” with great potential for use in developing countries and disaster scenarios.

Innovations in Employee Engagement

HPIC shared a technology-driven advancement, utilizing virtual reality to share the experience of field work on a local scale. Also sharing employee engagement strategies were Henry Schein, Pfizer, International Medical Corps, and Heart to Heart, International, which utilize hygiene and wound-care kit-building activities to bring employees together and engage them across the US.

Learning lessons on employee engagement with PowrServ and Henry Schein.

PQMD Community of Practice, Health Systems Strengthening, and Collective Impact 2030

PQMD members also had the opportunity to learn more about relevant PQMD work and updates.

While the Community of Practice (COP) has been up and running for some time now, the team was thrilled to share the migration to a new platform, which allows for easier access and engagement by all members. Related to the COP, Americares CMO Julie Varughese shared updates to the combined Health System Strengthening/Medical Missions initiative, which hosts their collective work within the COP. Members of the PQMD toolkit/collective impact team were also on hand to share updates regarding recent site visits to several PQMD members, and looks forward to continuing to share lessons learned in the coming months.

“We know our members do tremendous good, every day, around the world,” said PQMD Executive Director Elizabeth “EJ” Ashbourne. “We love nothing more, though, than to have the opportunity to come together and show the collective impact of the work they have been doing over the past year, and explore our shared vision for future projects and initiatives.”