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Sherri Zysk: ''How can we have the greatest impact?' is always the question for The Fund for Global Health.'

Although I sat-in and protested during the 1960s, I found my new political voice with The Fund for Global Health, an organization with successes for its political advocacy.

When I recently advocated with Sen. Jeff Merkley's assistant for greater funding for comprehensive primary healthcare in developing countries, I felt the excitement that comes with having an impact.

The mission of The Fund for Global Health is maximum impact on improving health conditions in developing countries through:

1. Political advocacy

2. Health service delivery

The Fund for Global Health, a philanthropic agency, is guided and shaped by the abiding question,"How can we save more lives?" We invest our own funds and advocate with Congress to provide healthcare to vulnerable communities, to avert preventable death and disability.

Another of our abiding questions is, "How can we improve our political advocacy so it has an even bigger impact on people's lives?"

And why do we need to? Well, for instance, at last count by UNICEF, there are about 120 physicians in all of South Sudan, a country of 12 million people. If I was a physician in South Sudan, I would be responsible for a line of people that stretches 38 miles long. It would take me nearly three years if I started seeing them every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day without a break. Impossible!

Nigeria is another among the worst conflict regions in the world and a difficult place to create a working health program. Yet The Fund for Global Health continues to focus in Nigeria because it has the highest number of unnecessary child deaths. We can save many of those lives.

"How can we have the greatest impact?" is always the question for The Fund for Global Health.

Sherri Zysk is a Hillsboro resident and volunteer with The Fund for Global Health, a nonprofit aid and advocacy organization that focuses on health and hunger in the developing world.

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