As we grow and scale as an organization, we want to make it a habit to introduce new leadership to our supporter. We kick off the new year by welcoming three amazing advisors to our advisory board – some of whom you are already acquainted with if you have been with us since 2009, others you will be excited to meet. We start by welcoming seasoned health systems professional Meredith Safer Guardino!
How and why did you become involved with GBF?
As part of my work with CHAI, I spent a lot of time in Bomi County working with Dr. Rhoda Peters and the County Health & Social Welfare Team (CHSWT). I happened to be at the Bomi Government Hospital with Dr. Peters when Gbomai visited to unveil the remodeled pediatric room and mama-baby kits GBF had donated. I’m a huge fan of Dr. Peters and anyone who knows her knows that Dr. Peters loves her mama-baby kits as an incentive for women to deliver at a facilities. I was pleased to meet Gbomai as someone who made it possible for Dr. Peters and the CHSWT to be creative and quickly implement. Gbomai’s enthusiasm is infectious and we kept in touch after that meeting. I was impressed with her efforts to understand and impact the big challenges through direct assistance to individuals. I’ve enjoyed watching GBF develop and helping where I can.
You have footprints all over the world from reputable firms to developing countries – from JPMorgan Chase to Syria. What lead you to working in little ‘ole Liberia?
Nothing little about Liberia in my opinion. I was leaving graduate school and most of my research and work at that point had focused on healthcare for marginalized populations, specifically aging refugees and prisoners- populations that motivated me because of the extra advocacy needed to access healthcare. I had great experience with UNHCR in policy and fieldwork for older refugees as well as with US prisons in healthcare and end-of life care for aging inmates. I was interested in working with marginalized populations in developing countries and was fortunate to be presented an opportunity to work more broadly on health systems with CHAI in Liberia.
This summer we asked the Liberia girls we worked with to draw three things every Liberian girl needs. We’d like to know what you answers would be, based off your experiences in Liberia. Shoot!
Intresting Nichole… I’d love to know what the girls’ most common responses were. Obviously I’d like to see Liberian girls, like all Liberians, have equal access to quality: (1) healthcare, (2) education and (3) professional opportunities. In addition to those standards, if I can add a 2a, I’d love to see more Liberian girls develop independence through arts education and careers.