EGPAF Events in Washington DC - June, 2014

Earlier this week EGPAF hosted two successful events here in Washington, DC and I wanted to share some details and highlights with you.

On Tuesday morning we hosted a  policy roundtable discussion entitled “What’s Next in Ending Pediatric AIDS?” Our distinguished panelists included Ambassador Debbie Birx, the recently sworn in Global AIDS Coordinator, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, as well as “Mississippi baby” principle investigator, and previous EGPAF grantee Dr. Deborah Persaud.  Michael Gerson, columnist for the Washington Post moderated the discussion where panelists answered the critical questions: “Where should investment in pediatric AIDS be concentrated and why?” and “What is the next game-changing innovation for pediatric AIDS?”

The discussion was quite lively and informative. Topics of discussion included how to better integrate pediatric AIDS into the maternal/child health setting, ethical considerations of researching a vaccine in children, and how we are on the brink of having all of the tools necessary -- we just need to figure out how to get them to children and their families.  The event reinforced EGPAF’s leadership in this field to the 100+ audience members from government, partners and advocacy organizations.  Other panelists included Shaffiq Essajee, M.D., Clinton Health Access Initiative; José G Esparaza Bracho, M.D., Ph.D., University of Maryland; Lynne Mofenson, M.D., National Institute of Child Health; Peter McDermott, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; and Gwynn Stevens, Ph.D., Cepheid.

That evening EGPAF hosted our 25th Anniversary Cocktail Reception at the Newseum, where we gathered with partners and supporters to reflect upon the progress that we have made toward our mission of ending AIDS in children and to thank our leaders in Washington, D.C.  Led by our host Alison Starling from WJLA, we were pleased to feature remarks by Jake Glaser and to honor Leader Nancy Pelosi with EGPAF’s Congressional Global Champion Award. Leader Pelosi has been a friend and partner of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation from its earliest days; she spoke movingly of the AIDS epidemic as it ravaged her district in San Francisco when she first came to Congress and of Elizabeth’s brave determination as she fought to ensure that children were not overlooked in the AIDS response.

Many donors and supporters were present at the event – including Rita Braver and Bob Barnett, Elizabeth Glaser’s college roommates; Mark Chiaviello from Standard Bank, which helps to manage EGPAF’s overseas banking; and Sharon D’Agostino from J&J, a stalwart EGPAF supporter.  Toyota (already a generous sponsor of the evening) made a surprise announcement that the company would donate a vehicle to an EGPAF country program. Since 2007, EGPAF country offices have relied on Toyota vehicles to carry out operations within and between districts and they continue to make it possible for EGPAF to work toward its mission of ending AIDS in children.  Willow Bay laid the groundwork for us to receive this wonderful gift and we are looking forward to continuing to grow and cultivate that relationship.

Special thanks to George Wellde, Russ Hagey, Kathleen Cravero and Annie Hill for their personal contributions to the event.  I would also like to acknowledge Stuart Pape’s wife Ginger, who was helpful in organizing the successful evening.