June 15, 2010

by Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D.

frist at global health gathering 6.14

Last night, Hope Through Healing Hands hosted a meeting for local, Tennessee global health nonprofit institutions, universities such as East Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, and Lipscomb University, and faith communities to gather for an authentic sharing of stories, interest, and work.

Senator Bill Frist, M.D. keynoted the event, discussing the unique city of Nashville, as a hub for health care, music, and faith, and how these 50 organizations might intersect especially with the faith communities given a shared global interest in caring for the widow, protecting the orphan, and over all – loving our neighbors – even if across oceans.

Jars of Clay, an amazing group of men who have been longtime activists in the movement against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, shared the stage with Senator Frist. They sang an apropos song for the evening, Two Hands. Dan Haseltine, the lead singer, spoke eloquently about his longtime vision of a unified front of global health advocates in Tennessee who might work together, hand in hand, to face the issues of global proportion. Their experiences and work have led them to found Blood:Water Mission, a Nashville-based nonprofit focused on building wells in Africa. In terms of raising awareness and advocacy in the United States, together we are stronger.

The goal of the evening was to allow a space for the coalition representatives to genuinely get to know their fellow colleagues better. Hope Through Healing Hands’ hosted small group sessions for a sharing of goals, missions, and work as a beginning for deeper relationships beyond the meeting. We want to encourage a robust network of friendships and partnerships among the global health community, especially for those times of global crisis and emergency relief.  

We wish to offer a special thanks to Brentwood Baptist Church for kindly offering us a facility, gratis, to host the event. We look forward to the inclusion of more faith communities and their involvement in the global health coalition in the future.

jars of clay 6.14global health gathering small group