GPA is guided by our commitment to grassroots community empowerment, cost-effectiveness and sustainability
Dr. Scott Cohen, a pediatrician and former Albert Schweitzer Fellow in Africa, founded Global Pediatric Alliance on a simple premise: empowering community health workers through education will improve child and maternal health in poor, rural areas. In 2002, he volunteered at a health project in the eastern jungle of Guatemala where, as in many areas in Latin America, access to formal health services is extremely limited and traditional midwives and health promoters provide essential care. He recognized that training these frontline health workers could empower them to increase, and sustain, the quality of care for women and children. Later that year, he established GPA to offer workshops in Western medicine for community health practitioners.
Today, GPA has expanded its focus to empower communities as well. We’ve met many grassroots groups that have the knowledge and motivation to find their own solutions to child and maternal health problems. What they lack is funding or technical expertise. In response, we created our Community-Designed Small Grants Program to support health projects designed by communities, for communities.
GPA’s evolution has been guided by our commitment to grassroots community empowerment, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability. With this focus, we continue to develop methods to help improve the lives of women and children in Latin America.
Dr. Scott Cohen working in a community clinic in rural Guatemala
Global Pediatric Alliance’s mission is to promote grassroots empowerment and community-based healthcare to reduce maternal and infant mortality, and improve the lives of women and children in Latin America.
GPA is founded on a simple premise: empowering community health workers through education will improve child and maternal health in vulnerable, rural areas.
We train community health workers and midwives, strengthen their leadership and advocacy skills, and provide financial and technical support to small organizations and community groups in marginalized areas, using approaches known to have a significant impact on maternal and child mortality, including clean water and latrine projects.
Watch the inspiring 3 minute video on Scott Cohen's hopes for GPA.