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Creating a National Plan – Moving Forward to End Cervical Cancer
Following the inaugural Senior Advisor Training in August, the Bush Institute’s First Ladies Initiative recently held a half-day training session in New York City on “Creating a National Program” for the Senior Advisors to African First Ladies.
One of the ways the Initiative supports First Ladies is by helping to prepare Senior Advisors and staff members through capacity building sessions. The sessions provide the advisors with the relevant tools needed to develop effective First Ladies’ offices and help their principal become an influential advocate for pressing issues impacting women and children in their countries.
Hosted by GE and the Bush Institute, the September training focused on building national health programs, specifically the development of a national cancer campaign in response to the growing cancer crisis in Africa. Cervical and breast cancer are the most common causes of cancer deaths among women in Africa. The Bush Institute’s Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon health initiative is currently working in five African countries to combat cervical and breast cancer, and First Ladies across Africa are leading awareness campaigns and advocating for vaccines for girls and screening and treatment for women.
Taking a close look at the impact of public private partnerships like Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, the session featured speakers from a diverse array of backgrounds, including Senior Advisors from Namibia and Tanzania, both Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partner countries.
Covering important topics such as prioritizing cervical cancer, developing a national cancer plan, and promoting national ownership, the training allowed attendees to participate in interactive discussions with topic specialists including Ambassador Lisa Carty (UNAIDs), Reverend Justina Hilukiluah (Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services), Brian Honermann (O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University), Pamela Jackson-Hall (GE Healthcare Nigeria), Lillian Kidane (GE Africa), Dr. Sarah Maongezi (WAMA Foundation), Dr. Doyin Oluwole (Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon),Dr. Bill Steiger (Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon) and Charity Wallace (George W. Bush Institute).
Natalie Gonnella-Platts serves as the Deputy Director of the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Natalie is responsible for research and programmatic efforts that empower women worldwide to lead in their communities and countries. The portfolio currently includes the First Ladies Initiative, the Afghan Women’s Project, and the Women’s Initiative Fellowship. Natalie leads the work of the First Ladies Initiative, which aims to enable and support First Ladies from around the world in effectively using their platforms to empower women and children in their countries.
Natalie studied Communications and International Studies (Peace and Conflict) at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. She earned an MA in War, Violence and Security studies from the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom. Prior to joining the Bush Institute, she held roles in New York City at American International Group (AIG), and in London at ConservativeHome USA, the Legatum Institute, and BBC Worldwide. She is also a co-founder of Each Inc., a non-profit that seeks to provide innovative technology tools to organizations that care for and protect orphans and vulnerable children globally, and has previously served as a project strategy advisor to Stop the Traffik’s Finance Against Trafficking initiative.Full Bio
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