Global Partners was created in 2008 to improve the health & well-being of the global communities we serve by inspiring volunteerism throughout Gundersen Health System and local communities.
These long-term, sustainable relationships and community-to-community partnerships expand beyond Gundersen Health System’s typical borders. In doing so, this global health model will improve the overall health of the region, education of the citizens and quality of life for people in our partner communities located in South Dakota, Nicaragua and Ethiopia.
Global Partners is a program of the Gundersen Medical Foundation, funded by philanthropy and fueled by community volunteers. Gundersen is not working on this project alone. We have developed partnerships with community groups—including school districts, universities, service clubs, businesses and other organizations—in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, as well as the areas Global Partners serves.
Global Partners-Ethiopia teams deliver medical and surgical care, educational opportunities, encouragement and support for local healthcare providers, students and community members in collaboration with Project Mercy. Project Mercy is an Ethiopian-based NGO and is our partner in Yetebon.
The United States and Ethiopia have a long history of partnership. Global Partners found a great opportunity to build upon those connections and help improve the quality of life in Ethiopian communities, focusing first on the Yetebon community.
- Ethiopia faces extreme poverty, with nearly one in every three people live on less than $1.25 a day (World Bank, 2011).
- Ethiopia faces a vast shortage of healthcare workers, with less than one physician for every 30,000 people, and less than three nurses and midwives for every 10,000 people. (World Health Organization, 2011).
- The mortality rate for children under age 5 per 1,000 live births is 77, compared to the United States, which is 8 per 1,000 live births. (WHO, 2011).
- Nearly 78 percent of the families in the Yetebon Region do not have access to clean drinking water. (Project Mercy, 2004).
- A 2013 UNESCO report found that approximately 57 million children worldwide were not attending school in 2011— 29.8 million of those children were living in Sub-Saharan Africa.