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Erin Will Morton offers farewell thoughts on her last day as GHTC's director.

August 18, 2016 by Erin Will Morton

Erin Will Morton. Photo: GHTCErin Will Morton. Photo: GHTC
Change is never easy, and today is no exception. On my last day with GHTC, I have so much to look back at and reflect on. It is a bittersweet transition to leave this great team of people. Together with our members we have built a strong coalition and can be proud of our impact in global health research and development (R&D).

But today is not a day to look back. It is time to look forward. On to 2017 and the future of global health R&D. We have a lot of work ahead of us and much to look forward to. The coalition will continue to thrive and be the strong collective voice of the global health research community. In my new role as a member of the coalition, I look forward to working with all of you to hold policymakers accountable for the public sector’s role in research.

We know our mission is strong. We know we fight for a good cause. But it is not always that easy to convince decision-makers that this is the right thing to do. To help build our case, GHTC is working on two reports to help build our advocacy capacity. The first is a comprehensive overview of the US government’s role in global health R&D. Examining both funding and policies, GHTC and the research team at Duke University’s Margolis Center for Health Policy and Global Health Institute are digging deep on what the government is doing, where there are gaps, what is working well, and what could be done better or different. Even when things seem to be working, we must continue to question process and look to find new solutions to advance the development of new tools to address our most pressing global health challenges.

GHTC’s second report is an update to our 2012 Saving Lives and Creating Impact: Why investing in global health research works report with Policy Cures. Once again, GHTC and Policy Cures will look at the return on investment in global health R&D for the US government to help build a strong case for this continued role. I am looking forward to having both of these in hand for our advocacy work with a new Congress and new administration in 2017 and beyond.

These reports and other evidence from members must continue to inform our advocacy work. In a challenging fiscal environment in which new money is hard to come by, we must make a strong case for our work. Global health R&D is a smart investment, it saves lives, and it can reduce health costs. These are the arguments we will continue to make.

I am very proud of what we have accomplished over the last two years. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and GHTC’s mission. I look forward to continuing the fight and working to save and improve lives around the world!

About the author

Erin Will MortonGHTC

Erin Will Morton is the Director of GHTC.