Type to search

Morad Fareed, Dr. Ana Langer, Emmanuela Gakidou, Olesya Struk, Rick Ridgeway, and Elizabeth Keith Deliver Building Healthier Humans Panel at Humanity 2.0

Morad Fareed, Dr. Ana Langer, Emmanuela Gakidou, Olesya Struk, Rick Ridgeway, and Elizabeth Keith Deliver Building Healthier Humans Panel at Humanity 2.0

Building Healthier Humans panel was delivered by Morad Fareed, Dr. Ana Langer, Olesya Struk, Rick Ridgeway, Emmanuela Gakidou, and Elizabeth Keith at Humanity 2.0 (Vatican City)


  • Approx. 200,00 women die from pregnancy related causes annually
  • Every year a woman spends in school, child mortality rate goes down by 10%
  • Patagonia has the most developed on-site child development & education center in the world


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Morad Fareed, CEO of Humanity 2.0 Lab, Dr. Ana Langer, Coordinator Dean’s Special Initiative on Women & Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Emmanuela Gakidou, Senior Director of Organizational Development & Training at IHME, Olesya Struk, Senior Director of Sustainability for Philips, Rick Ridgeway, VP of Public Engagement for Patagonia, and Elizabeth Keith, EVP of Sponsorship & Mission Integration for Dignity Health

Rev. Philip Larrey – Chairman, Humanity 2.0: 00:00

And now we’re going to have a further panel on maternal health called building better humans… healthier. Coming from a priest that’s… so Morad please.

Morad Fareed – CEO, Humanity 2.0 Lab: 00:25

Can we call up the panelist please for the healthier humans panel. Thank you. I’m just going to introduce the topic here. So we’ve talked all morning about the science, public health and human implications of the maternal health crisis. And what we wanted to do was bring on some organizations that are actually developing tools and programs that in the real world support mothers and families. So we’ve invited leading organizations to share really best practices and some of the best working models in the world. This will be moderated by dr Ana Langer. And if you’d like me to read off the list. Here, our panelists, we have Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou from IHIE joining us. Olesya Struk from Phillips, Senior Director of Sustainability. Rick Ridgeway, Vice President Public Engagement at Patagonia and Elizabeth Keith of Dignity Health, Executive Vice President of Sponsorship and Mission Integration. Thank you all for being here.

Dr. Ana Langer – Coordinator Dean’s Special Initiative on Women & Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: 01:39

It’s wonderful to have you here. I would like to invite each of you to say in a few minutes, maybe three or four minutes, a little bit about your work and your organization and in what way you are making a difference in the real world because that’s the focus of this panel. And then we will talk among us about how to connect the dots and maybe build some collaborations among these multi-stakeholder panel represented here. So in the order we have your endeavor program Emmanuela the floor is yours.

Emmanuela Gakidou – Senior Director of Organizational Development & Training, IHME: 02:16

Thank you Anna. And thank you very much for having me here. I’m a with the Institute for health metrics and evaluation. My colleague Alison Tracy spoke earlier today, so you saw some of the numbers that we produce. So we’re essentially the numbers and the metrics people. We’re driven by the belief that we need better data to make decisions, particularly in the case of maternal health. This is super important and we don’t really want to emphasize whose numbers to use or whose numbers are better. All the numbers show the same thing. Essentially there are about 200,000 women that die every year from pregnancy related causes. And that is about 200,000 too many. We also have about 5 million children that die before their fifth birthday. So if part of those 200,000 women survived, there is very strong indication, a very strong evidence that a lot of those 5 million children that die before their fifth birthday would also make it.

Emmanuela Gakidou – Senior Director of Organizational Development & Training, IHME: 03:21

Now, what is exciting about this problem and this challenge is that we know how to address it. We also know where it is. So if you look across the world, there are five countries that collectively make up about half of those deaths. So between India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the DRC, democratic public of the Congo, and Ethiopia, about half of the maternal deaths happen in those five countries. Now my field is health and health measurement. There’s no other problem in the world thay is as concentrated as the problem of maternal health. So if Humanity 2.0 wants to take on this challenge, it’s a great chance that they take on and it’s a great chance for which we can show results. Now there are some things that we don’t measure so well so we know that’s, and we know what makes women sick. What we don’t measure as well and the area of metrics could certainly improve on is what else happens when these events happen.

Emmanuela Gakidou – Senior Director of Organizational Development & Training, IHME: 04:23

So for example, there are a lot of non-health associated impacts of a maternal death or the woman being sick that we don’t capture an accurate and metrics that people outside of the field of health care about. For example, the economic impacts of losing a woman in a household, the emotional and social impacts of losing a woman in a household. And that is something that IHME would be very excited to work on and capture the impact of interventions that prevent maternal death and illness. And in terms of what can be done about it, we know a lot of interventions. I think there’s no group in the world better position than the Catholic church network to take on this challenge. The interventions to improve maternal and child health span from healthcare and we heard the over 20% of healthcare facilities globally are affiliated with the Catholic church network. Education, the 140,000 schools that are through the Catholic church network. And what we know is that for every year that a woman spends in school, the child mortality rate goes down by about 10% now that is a staggering number. So if through the Catholic church network and Humanity 2.0 we can improve healthcare, we can improve education for women and also have the impact on the community because a lot of the interventions that need to happen are at the community level. We can jointly solve the problem and address this challenge. Thank you very much.

Dr. Ana Langer – Coordinator Dean’s Special Initiative on Women & Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: 06:08

Thank you very much Emmanuela that was wonderful. Olesya, over to you.

Olesya Struk -Senior Director of Sustainability, Philips:06:15

Hello, my name is Olesya Struk. I’m working for Phillips company and we are in a health stack and I work in sustainability area where we actually committed in sustainability and overall in the company to improve in people’s lives. So we committed to improve 3 billion people’s lives by 2030. And within that, we committed to improve people’s lives in the underserved area and communities. And of course, so pregnancy and maternal health is in scope because in the health stack also with our customers and partners, we see so many unused resources or wasted resources at the same time, so many gaps and, and unaddressed area. So we can use those resources much more purposefully if we collaborate. It’s really extends the field of collaboration across the borders and functions. Let me give you an example. In Africa, the evidence that maternal and pregnancy health and safety is not only a medical issue, it’s a social issue.

Olesya Struk -Senior Director of Sustainability, Philips:07:24

And this evidence is his most acknowledged, right? So in Phillips we had our innovators live in, in the areas, in the rural remote areas where pregnant women, in order to get to the healthcare facility, they need two weeks, two weeks to travel, to stay, to come back. But they work in the agricultural setting. So they cannot really get this to two weeks. And for this, then we teamed up with communities with local health community, with other facilities and set up their community life centers, which is two buildings, access to water, clean water supply, electricity powered with solar energy. And with that medical trained practitioner’s basic medical technology and also where possible is the backbone technology platform for this. So each, each of those units, it takes time and the huge collaboration, but we are firm believers in this and if you find an economically sustainable model that it can be scaled up I believe it’s a great a great power that we can utilize altogether. That’s why the, the project that that Morad presented in team resonates very much.

Dr. Ana Langer – Coordinator Dean’s Special Initiative on Women & Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: 08:45

Thank you very much. That was wonderful. The role of technology and the impact that technology can have on maternal health. Rick, over to you.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 08:53

So I work with the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia. We’re still a privately held company based in the United States, but operating globally. And because we’re private our founding owners tell us that we get to do what we want to do and what they want to do and what all of us at the company want to do is use our company for the higher purpose of promoting environmental protection and social justice. That is why we are in business. And in terms of social justice, that justice begins with our own employees and we have a suite of family support policies that help our families to avoid what is often the difficult decisions between their work lives and their private lives by breaking down the barriers so that there are no tradeoffs. You know, first of all we give our young mothers, our employees who are pregnant, 16 weeks of paid maternity leave after the birth of their children.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 10:00

And we also pay their spouses 12 weeks of paid paternity leave. Then when they come back to work if a woman has to travel for her job, then we pay for a caregiver to go with her so that she has child support while she’s traveling. And then we, when she comes back to work we have the most developed onsite child development and education center of any company that I’ve ever known. Now, companies often hear this and go, how can you afford to do that? We’ve been in business for about 45, almost 50 years now. We’ve been committed to these policies for 40 of those years and we’ve never been more financially successful than we are now. So this is creating enormous business value for us. When young mothers have their first child and come back to work in the United States between 25-35% of them can’t return to their jobs cause they have no place for their children. At our company, the number of women that come back to work after having their child over a 7 year period is now at 98%.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 11:19

We’ve lost two cause their husbands had to relocate to someplace else. And when they come back, they know that because we have this world-class on tight onsite child development center, that their children are there working with them. They can take their children to their work desk. If they’re in a meeting and their baby needs to be breastfed, somebody calls up, the baby’s brought to the meeting and they breastfeed them while they’re having the meeting. We have integrated our child development across our campus so that it is on purpose located in multiple locations. Morad was there a few months ago. You got to witness how this works. And the reason we do that is strategic because we’ve found that when you’re on our campus and you cannot get away from the sound of children playing, that that has a psychological impact on you. When there are children around, you feel like you’re with a family because you are with a family or with a business that operates itself with family values.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 12:31

And guess what? You start to treat each other better. You just can’t be a mean human being ora bully in a meeting, when there’s kids outside the window playing, it has an enormous psychological effect. But there are all kinds of other business values. You know, our employees stay there for a long time. My wife was the co-founded the marketing department at Patagonia. She started bringing our first daughter to work with her, but the other employees around called the baby the “Whaler” and she was totally disrupting the work environment. So the founder of our company got a trailer, put a babysitter in it, and the baby’s hitter took care of our, our first child. And then pretty soon other women had babies in the trailer filled up. So that was the beginning of our onsite child development center.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 13:22

And then today both of our daughters work at the company. Now, I call it pretty good employee retention. Now our middle daughter is pregnant in her last trimester with her second child and her first child is there with her all during the day. And you know, as she’s getting closer to her delivery, she has no stress. She knows that there is a home for her second daughter when she’s delivered, that she’ll be taken care of. And as we heard from rod and many of the panelists today, stress is an enormous part of a young mother’s health and her baby. So I’m offering all this so that you understand in, in our view that we’re thinking of this not just as what we as a company can offer to support the health of our young mothers during their maternity, but postpartum after they have their children.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 14:19

And I would offer that that is an extension of the conversation that all of us should probably be having as well. About a year ago, I was at another conference with one of your colleagues, Ana. Professor Deckshaun cough from the Harvard school of public health, and he is the world’s leading authority on the early childhood neurological development. And, and he gave a presentation where he showed how over 30 years of research, they’ve mapped the neurological development of young children from ages two and three days through five years against a very specific set of activities. So they’ve isolated the activities that most develop young kids’ brains. And I was so thrilled to see that every activity that he had mapped against neurological development, using scans was reflected in our program in our company. So finally, and we’ll talk about this this afternoon, but this is providing enormous business value. All of these commitments are revenue positive for us. And so all companies should be doing this. You can actually be more successful as a business by supporting the young mothers and their children with your business.

Dr. Ana Langer – Coordinator Dean’s Special Initiative on Women & Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: 15:55

Thank you so much, Rick, for emphasizing the joy of motherhood and family building. That’s wonderful. And that’s something that we sometimes forget about and also for emphasizing how investing in women and children pays off. So now over to you Liz.

Elizabeth Keith – EVP of Sponsorship & Mission Integration, Dignity Health: 16:16

Thank you. I must share what a humbling experience it is for me to be here after being a part of the heal the ministry of the church and as a mission leader for over 20 years to be here in this sacred space is quite humbling. And as I was sharing with Jenny earlier, you know, I couldn’t help but notice the artwork in here and how it’s not rocket science, it’s human. Every portrait or painting shows the touching of mother and child. And so it’s not rocket science. It’s pretty basic stuff. So it’s been going on for thousands of years. So we can do this. I would tell you a little bit about Dignity Health and then what the new development that happened as a February 1st. Dignity health is a Catholic ministry is part of a 25 hospitals that are Catholic and 14 that are other than Catholic.

Elizabeth Keith – EVP of Sponsorship & Mission Integration, Dignity Health: 17:11

And our mission is to further the healing ministry of Jesus and to advocate for those that are, are disenfranchised and poor, and also to advocate and to identify needs and to respond to the needs and all through in, in response to the gospel that we are taught. And that’s what our call is to respond to the needs of people in our communities where we serve. So Dignity Health serves in California and Nevada and Arizona and approximately 60,000 employees. But something happened that we able to close a ministry alignment with Catholic health initiatives in February, thus making us now the largest Catholic system in the United States. We’re now 160,000 employees across 21 States in the United States and over 25,000 clinicians, which basically makes us an entity or a ministry that could serve 1 in 4 in the United States.

Elizabeth Keith – EVP of Sponsorship & Mission Integration, Dignity Health: 18:19

So our approach to what I really wanted to emphasize is as we have this conversation is our approach to building healthy communities. And the three pillars that we find extremely important because it is through our collaboration and partnerships and our relationships that we build with people that we serve within communities. And then third, the innovation piece. We cannot operate and be relevant if we’re not keeping up with technology. So those are the three pillars that we think of when we’re partnering and considering building healthy communities. I think I’d like to share a few a couple of examples when we get further in discussion. Would you want me to do that now? Okay. Well, two in particular with maternal health services and again, I’m speaking only about Dignity Health because the birth of Common Spirit Health is the only sense of February 1st.

Elizabeth Keith – EVP of Sponsorship & Mission Integration, Dignity Health: 19:14

But of the of the 43 hospitals within dignity health, 29 of them have maternal services. And in those what we did is we provided, through our foundation a postpartum depression initiative. And this was an initiative that we felt that if women when they were identified at pregnancy and then track them through their pregnancy and then at the, at the end to have the study done to see where they were in their postpartum depression and be able to track it and then identify that women that were in postpartum depression needed somewhere to be identified for further consultation. And so that was one of our major initiatives with a postpartum depression because we felt that it’s such a stigma for women to talk about it. It’s not received well. We felt that we just had to really just amplify. And bring the awareness and provide material printed material that would say, if I’m not feeling well, I need to speak out. And that’s what the material was all about is that it’s okay to say that you’re not feeling well or you’re depressed and it was part of our overall initiative as we continue to develop our postpartum depression initiative.

Dr. Ana Langer – Coordinator Dean’s Special Initiative on Women & Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: 20:45

Thank you very much Liz for highlighting the role of faith-based organizations and emphasizing as the president of Malta did the role of perinatal depression as a major issue that affects both mothers and children. So when you were all speaking, I was thinking that something we owe to Morad is to develop together an action agenda. So, distilling a few points that you all made that are critical for the field of maternal and child health, let me is start by mentioning disparities, in one way or the other. You all mentioned, you talked about this in franchise populations. You talked about countries that were particularly vulnerable. So I would like you to have that in mind as one. My question to the panel then, you talked about sustainability. That’s another big issue that we face in the field of maternal and child health. Maybe we have a wonderful project and project shows a lot of impact, but once the funding goes away, well that impact is not sustainable anymore.

Dr. Ana Langer – Coordinator Dean’s Special Initiative on Women & Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: 21:56

So that’s another very important issue. You talked about the integration of roles that women have in the family and in society and how poorly supported that integration is by policies. I mean you are very lucky you and your family and so many others to be working in a place where that integration is made possible. But that’s something that women struggle with all over the world and families. How to play those multiple roles in the most effective ways. And of course, Emmanuela you talked about measurement, we all need to show that whatever we do has an impact and has an effect and we also need to gather data to make the adjustments that are needed. So, I would like to emphasize those four points and ask you all, and I will go around the panel, to think about or say a few words about how we could connect the different stakeholders that are represented here. It’s not common to have someone from academia, someone from the private sector or someone from the private sector and someone else from the faith-based organization sector. So how could we leverage what each of us does and make a more, have added value to our efforts to improve the situation of women and children everywhere. I don’t know if it’s still complicated, but feel free to just share some thoughts with us and I don’t know who would like to start. Thank you.

Elizabeth Keith – EVP of Sponsorship & Mission Integration, Dignity Health: 23:33

Well, one of the taglines that we have is human kindness. And I think it’s something that resonates with all of us is that we could start from there and if you were, look us up, we have a lot of ads about hello human kindness and how basic it is. It’s a very common acts of kindness that we can do every day. So I think that’s one that we across, you know, the panelists that we have in common is that we all desire to, to be part of the solution of, of creating a healthy community and creating a community that’s where people are flourishing. One of the things that we do is through our community health needs assessment. And that’s through our partnerships. We identify the needs of our communities to address the disparities in our communities. And it’s through our investments and our grants that we provide in our communities to address local projects and meet the identified needs of that particular community. And it’s through our community health programs such as asthma and diabetes, you know, so I really think that if we began to see this is a mind, body, spirit interconnectedness, that we’re all interconnected regardless of where it is that we live. And if we see that when one person is hurting, regardless, we all hurt. So I think that’s a very basic beginning.

Olesya Struk -Senior Director of Sustainability, Philips:25:03

If you were to add to that, I fully agree. It’s also community-based needs to be community localized at the same time. The topic, the goal set is a global that resonates with all and across the different sectors. So that’s a wonderful and in our view, we need to work together on transforming the health care overall, globally and locally. And the scope which is here is also a bit broader than healthcare. It is the, the environment. So the partnership is the imperative, the usual way of working. And there are different of course models and models for that in terms of making it sustainable. That’s where the local community or a healthcare organization or a faith organization so that’s the group that we would be relying on to make it to make the continue to work. And last but not least in terms of the measurements, so it’s probably coming from also innovation perspective let’s set the mindset is going to be iterative approach, right? So as you mentioned we’re going to make the measurement go to, set the goal, but then reassess, readjust, and just go on, on this journey. Keeping the goal and vision in mind. And that’s going to be great.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 26:32

Yes, thank you. So Ana, one of the questions was to ask ourselves and challenge ourselves how as a group we can help change. What can all of us do? And in our case at our company, again we’re scoping this to try and convince other companies to follow our lead in developing family support policies that, that we have. And I told you earlier that they provide business value and we have in our team work to quantify what that is. And in terms of defensible dollars we’ve the cost of our for example, our onsite towel development center is recovered. We recovered over 90% of that. In terms of business value that we can measure with hard dollars, there’s a very justified. And then when we try to add a dollar value to the softer things, like I told you earlier, that benefit to our culture where we treat each other better, the reduction in stress in our workplace.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 27:46

The number comes in at about 120 to 140%. So that’s what we’ve gone out into the marketplace with to try to get every opportunity we could to come to events like this, to find partners where we could make those arguments. Now the goal is to get other companies to follow our lead, but that goal would be so much easier with better policies to support these things in all of the governments around the world and our government in the United States. We just took a step backwards with the new tax policy because 35% of that 120 to 140% ROI return on investment for our company was in the tax benefits, the tax credits and the tax reductions both that we received that were just lost with the new tax policies of the Trump administration. So now we’re below 100%. It makes our argument that much more difficult to influence other businesses because of a backwards looking policy in our view. Now with our company, that’s not a problem. We calculated that we made about 10 million more dollars with this new tax policy. So we just take part of that 10 million, put it into our subsidization, we have our own tax return benefit refund, right? And then in our company, we took the rest of that money, which we didn’t feel we deserve to get. We feel it was really an ill founded policy and we gave it all away to environmental nonprofits around the world, all $10 million.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 29:27

And we still have the highest percentage of profit for our business. In our 50 year history right now despite doing all this. So if any of you in the room can find an audience for our little company in California to be able to speak to other businesses and to speak to other governments, to institute better policies, and to encourage them, the leaders in these other companies, to know that this still creates business values despite policy setbacks where we’re available and willing to engage. Thank you.

Emmanuela Gakidou – Senior Director of Organizational Development & Training, IHME: 30:11

Can I just say sitting on this panel that what you described happens in your company is kind of like a pipe dream for most working mothers. I haven’t spent the good chunk of the last couple of weeks trying to figure logistics on how to bring my daughter here and my mother from opposite sides of the worlds so I can be here today. I guess if I look for a job in the private sector Patagonia would be the place to go. So it’s delightful. But I think what has come up today, I’m very excited to be here today because of the diversity in the audience. This is not the audience that predominantly cares about health issues, particularly maternal health. So it’s super exciting to see Humanity 2.0 bring together all these diverse stakeholders and join forces. I think we can learn a lot from best practices, not just from companies like Patagonia, but also we heard earlier this morning about the midwifery model in Orlando, Florida.

Emmanuela Gakidou – Senior Director of Organizational Development & Training, IHME: 31:13

We also heard about Serena Williams finding her voice. There’s a lot of best practices around the world that do not get disseminated very widely. I mentioned Ethiopia is among the top five countries for maternal deaths. Ethiopia has also had a massive decline in maternal mortality. So they’re doing something right. And I think part of how we can all come together is identify those best practices and then make them more easy for others to implement in their daily practice. Maybe not all employers will reach the Patagonian standards, but they can be inspired by it. And even small steps can have massive implications if implemented at a large scale.

Dr. Ana Langer – Coordinator Dean’s Special Initiative on Women & Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: 32:00

Thank you Emmanuela. I think that very positive note is the perfect way to end this panel. I hope this conversation will spark many more ideas about how to work together. I think that learning from success stories, as you said is so important and many of them were represented on this panel today. So thank you very much for the opportunity Morad and looking forward to the rest of the day.


Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *