Coalition Of The Reasonable: Pregnancy Edition

I had an epiphany during my commute home yesterday. Instead of focusing my energy and attention on differences of opinion about the recent spate of legislation and panels about birth control, religious conscience, abortion and payment methodologies, I realized I should focus on our common ground. There s something in between the “War on Women” and “Reclaiming Family Values.”

It seems like there shouldn’t be any. But I think people have gotten into the habit of cutting their noses off to spite their faces. I’ve decided I’m smarter than that. I think you are too. So here is my proposal about women’s and family health to the Coalition of the Reasonable that I believe is out there. Continue reading

Expert Witness: Assessing Kony 2012 With Reason

It’s not often that when a video that goes viral:

A: It is about an actual issue and not a cute but mischievous cat.

B: It causes serious discussions across social and news networks.

C: You are related to an expert of the topic of controversy.



As a result I am beyond pleased that I had the excuse to interview my father Rev. Dr. Emmanuel K. Twesigye, Aden S. and Mollie Wollam Benedicts Professor of Christian Studies, at Ohio Wesleyan University.  Dr. Twesigye has studied the Lord’s Resistance Army in the context of his academic background in Christian ethics, theology and church history for the past several decades. As a result, he is able to give us a point of view on the current controversy over the video, Kony 2012, that is not the result of  rigorous googling but rather a career of research and personal knowledge of Uganda, as he left as an adult avoiding persecution from Idi Amin.

Here is what the interview has to offer you:

  • His take on the Kony 2012 video
  • A brief history lesson on the convergence of theology and political conflict as it relates to Joseph Kony, Idi Amin, former President Milton Obote and current President Yoweri Musevini
  • Thoughts on reconciliation and whether holding destructive leaders accountable for their atrocities actually leads to healing
  • What the reconciliation process may look like in Northern Uganda
  • The priorities of the people and organizations working in Northern Uganda

As always we have a Deep Dive conversation where the interview goes deep into all of the topics covered above above and for those who lean toward the ADD end I have two shorter versions for you.

This clip get’s right to the heart of what so many people have been asking recently: What do you think about the Kony 2012 video?


This clip discusses the history of religion, geography and political conflict that created the opportunity for Kony in the first place.

Many people have come up with many reasons on why not to give to Invisible Children.That’s fine. Some of you may want to start your own organization-in which case you need to read a previous helpful post.

I’m giving you links to people are providing services on the ground in Northern Uganda. So for those who would like to help—you may have to do some research (these are links and should not be construed as certification of good organizations) but you can help those who are helping others in a very tangible fashion.

Civil Society Organizations for Peace in Northern Uganda

Conciliation Resources

Developing Education for Africa (DevEd) [Disclaimer my Dad is the President]

Uganda National NGO Directory


Soccer Without Borders Baltimore
For those of you who want to keep your money in the US, I personally vouch for this organization. The student-athletes that make up the program have been recently resettled to Baltimore City from a variety of countries including but not limited to Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia, Rwanda, DRC, Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Iraq, Bhutan, and Nepal.




Post-Partum Depression, Perinatal Mood Disorders And Anxiety Oh My!

Several years ago a friend of mine had a baby while we were both in nurse practitioner school. She had a typical first pregnancy, labor and delivery. I visited the family several times in the hospital and bonding appeared to be going just fine. In the few weeks that followed the birth things began to unravel. Breastfeeding was not going well, she wasn’t feeling like herself and even her husband called to appeal for help. During a light moment, we laughed about how “we of all people” trained in women’s health had no idea what to do to make things better.

And then I stopped laughing. Continue reading

Certified Professional Midwives and Homebirth

Audra Phillips, CPM and Treasurer for Midwives Alliance of North America took the time to talk about her path to becoming a Certified Professional Midwife and the importance of home birth being a safe option in the US.

I think this conversation is very timely since ‘Mother Robin’ won CNN Hero of the Year just last week. The internet has been a buzz with midwifery–but midwifery in the US has had an “interesting” evolution and is highly politically and at times emotionally charged.

Watch the interviews on my Vimeo Channel here: OR listen to the podcasts on iTunes.

In our TWO LOVELY conversations we cover: Continue reading

3 Must Use Resources For Starting A Health Based Social Enterprise

Breaking News: School Doesn’t Teach You Everything

Problem: You just spent $$$ on your degree and you still don’t know how to do what you went to school for.

Solution: Build Your Own MPH/MPP/MWD/MBA (Master of Public Health, Master of Public Policy, Master of World Domination and Master of Business Administration)

This is easy for me to say because I have some of those degrees anyway. But honestly—when I finished my programs, there were still skills that I needed in order to get to where I wanted to go in life that just didn’t fit into the school experience.

If you are still wondering:

  • How do I get my nonprofit/social enterprise to become sustainable?
  • What are the legal frameworks for setting up a social enterprise?
  • How do I build traction behind my great social enterprise/nonprofit idea?

Here are 3 resources to get the practical skills you need whether working in the US or abroad:


NESsT develops sustainable social enterprises that solve critical social problems in emerging market countries.

They have created what looks to be about 157 FREE PUBLICATIONS for the studious Smurfs among you to take advantage of on Issu (a digital publishing platform).

These are serious (but short) documents that range from a legal series geared specifically for social enterprises -to- tested methods that can help you distribute your products to reach your intended market.

Risky Business: The Impacts of Merging Markets and Mission uses analyses of 45 social enterprise cases from 15 countries to examine impact in terms of financial performance, mission/values, organizational culture, relations with stakeholders, etc.

Unite For Sight

Unite For Sight is a nonprofit organization committed to excellence in global health. These people throw a real conference. No time to sit and do nothing. Unite For Sight’s Global Health conference is truly jam packed with SO MANY GOOD options that you’ll wish you could split yourself into pieces to attend all the sessions. Go to the conference this April. Register by December 31st for the cheapest rate

Now that you’re registered for the time of your life, go bone up on your missing skills at the online Global Health University. Enrollment in the Certificate in Global Health is available to any student or professional who is interested in global health. Global Health University helps to effect widespread innovative change in global health through comprehensive training workshops, Global Health Certificate Programs, fellowship and internship opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, social enterprise consulting, and online courses.The total cost to enroll in the Global Health Certificate Program is $65.

Cheaper than grad school—right?

Partners In Health (PIH)

These are the leaders in providing preferential health options for the poor across the globe. If you don’t know them check them out.

The best made a Program Management Guide so you HAVE to read it. I just downloaded it last night in a zip file and it rocks!

This 14-unit program offers a structured approach to starting a program, revamping an existing one, or expanding a site based on PIH’s experiences in the field. Program managers can use this guide to anticipate and find creative solutions to common challenges that PIH and other similar organizations have confronted in resource-poor settings.

Table of Contents:
Unit 1 Learning about the local context
Unit 2 Understanding legal matters
Unit 3 Building site infrastructure
Unit 4 Managing a procurement system
Unit 5 Strengthening human resources
Unit 6 Improving programs through training
Unit 7 Improving outcomes with community health workers
Unit 8 Establishing a financial system
Unit 9 Creating a development strategy
Unit 10 Working with partners
Unit 11 Addressing the social determinants of health through a program on social and economic rights (POSER)
Unit 12 Using monitoring and evaluation for action
Unit 13 Conducting research
Unit 14 Maximizing impact through advocacy

Are you still whining about how you don’t’ know where to go for help to get your project off the ground?

Better Than The World Cup- Soccer Without Borders Baltimore

You may have heard about soccer being used as a tool to engage at risk immigrant children. Well, Jill Pardini is doing just that with Soccer Without Borders-Baltimore (SWBBaltimore).

This is heart-work. This is justice work. This is transformational stuff in Baltimore, MD.

Even though I wave my hands so much during the interviews that I look like a baby bird trying to take flight–you HAVE to watch the videos or at least listen to the podcasts on iTunes.

When you get overwhelmed with all the bad news streaming in from other media sources…come back and listen again. The Grinch himself would join SWBBaltimore at practice because their work is just that good. Continue reading

How to Use an 8-track…I mean modern technology in clinical practice

I had a wonderful Skype session with Dr. Jennifer Shine Dyer right after Thanksgiving. It was so good that I have been talking about one of her off-hand comments almost every day since then. Since you are going to have to wait for her installment on the Vanguards of Health Innovation Skype Series….let’s start with something that I don’t think should wait.

Dr. Shine Dyer is a pediatric endocrinologist and as such, has the privilege of taking care of teenagers who are diabetic. Now, those of you who have ever spent time with teens know how hard it is to get them to do anything–let alone get a straight answer out of them. So imagine trying to cheer lead them into checking their blood sugar and figuring out if they actually checked it in between visits. Continue reading

World AIDS Day-5 Things You Can Do In the U.S.

Today is World AIDS Day and there are many very eloquent statements about the history and trajectory of this disease.

As innovators in health I challenge you to up your game–particularly in the US.

You can watch my Call to Action with Housing Works here


In the United States, public and private sector investments in research, advocacy and education have yielded noticeable progress in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment since the 1980s. Yet even with this progress, in 2008 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the latest estimate of new HIV infections in the United States for 2006– which were roughly 40 percent higher than previously estimated, indicating that the HIV epidemic is worse than previously known.  Furthermore, HIV/AIDS remains a serious problem in the US—particularly among racial, ethnic and sexual minority communities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009). Continue reading

The Benefits of Using Empathy and Story Telling to Change Health Care

Thought leaders like Ashoka and NPR are currently engaging people in empathy building and storytelling. Last spring I went to a conference where a senior staffer at Ashoka began discussing their (at the time) new idea about building empathy, as a means to drive understanding and build public will. People nodded their heads but had plenty of questions about how do you actually go about doing it.

Today Alicia Haywood gives you the scoop on how to get it done.

Continue reading

How can I help the universe when my student loan debt is suffocating me?

Logic that seemed sound to many not that long ago went something like this:

taking a low-paying non-profit job or basically paying someone to show you the ropes (happens often in international settings) was fine to do after college and while starting a career because there would be a financial reward/stability later that would balance the risk.

Does that logic still hold?

Continue reading