Courage Talks

Mollie Williams has courage and guts!

 Statements From Mollie Williams             

No matter what a person’s stand on abortion, one should respect Mollie Williams, who worked for Komen for the Cure. Worked is the operative word. Mollie quit in the face of Komen’s decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood to deliver breast cancer screening services. In doing so, Komen removed an important source of access to these services.

Jeffrey Goldberg wrote about the controversy in the recent issue of the Atlantic magazine.  The decision, made in December, caused an uproar inside Komen. Three sources told me that the organization’s top public-health official, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately following the Komen board’s decision to cut off Planned Parenthood. Williams, who served as managing director of community-health programs, was responsible for directing the distribution of $93 million in annual grants.

Apparently, thousands of people were disturbed by Komen’s changes in funding guidelines. No matter how much Komen protested, the way the funding decision was made appeared political, intended to punish Planned Parenthood. With the viral power of the Internet to transmit messages, word spread quickly about what Komen had done. In the face of huge anger over their decision, Komen officials rescinded their new policy. Kudos to Mollie Williams! While I am sorry that Mollie paid the price with her job, I admire her moral/ethical stand. I am proud that Mollie is a student in our Health Policy and Management Executive DrPH program. She has a lot to teach people.

Read Mollie’s statements about the controversy in the sidebar.

Exciting February events

February may be a shorter month, but we’re having some great events. Friday night, Bernard and I had the too-rare experience of going to Memorial Hall. We saw the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a wonderful, rousing, invigorating group. (However, reports of my dancing in front are inaccurate.) This month, there will be a global health gala and our 33rd annual Minority Health Conference. I’ll mention MHC next week. The gala will be good fun for a great cause.

On Thursday, February 16th, the Student Global Health Committee is hosting the 5th annual fundraising event to raise money for Tiyatien Health. Co-founded by UNC alum Dr. Raj Panjabi (who’ll be present), Tiyatien Health serves rural, post-war Liberia by creating a new health workforce.

From Tiyatien Health's 2011 Annual Report

Through training community members and former patients to serve as frontline health workers, more rural communities now have access to home-based medical and social services.

Come to the 5th Annual Charity Gala to have fun, give to a worthy cause and learn more about TH’s commitment to rebuild health and hope in remote corners of Liberia. Enjoy performances, speakers and local cuisine. If you can’t attend, consider donating to Tiyatien Health.  Join them, others and me February 16th!

I watched part of the Super Bowl (really!) while working through the infinite backlog of journals and articles I carry around. My team did not win. Hope yours did! Happy Monday! Barbara

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