February’s luncheon offered one a graduate brother who is a “rock-star” in the academic achievement arena. Craig Rubens ’74 followed his studious undergraduate days at the University of Washington with the study of Immunology and Microbiology at Columbia where he earned his PhD. The study bug was still under his skin, so he then attended the School of Medicine at the University of South Carolina.
In July of 1984 he joined the staff at Children’s Hospital (called Children’s Orhopedic Hospital or COH back in those days). Craig’s has enjoyed an illustrious career in pediatrics at Children’s, and this foundational experience has led to his current position as the Executive Director of a global research effort touting the goal to reduce and prevent premature and still births.
This global research effort offers this far reaching title: “Global Alliance to Prevent Prematruity and Stillbirth (GAPPS)”. It is a far-reaching and ambitious initiative led by Seattle Children’s.
Craig engaged the crowd by asking members of each table to offer examples of significant changes in the past 40 years. The responses were revealing — copy machine, fax machine, cell phone, internet, laptop, etc. After reviewing these great technological advances, Craig put in perspective that his field has seen great advances for keeping people alive. BUT there have not been corresponding advances in preventing the problems. Little work has been done to improve the outcome of pregnancy.
Each year around the world there are 130 million births of which 10% are pre-term and an additional 4 million die at birth / stillborn. The GAPPS goal is to spawn research around the world that will improve the outcome of pregnancy. Craig cited information that a drop in birth-related mortality will result in a reduction of birth rate. Thus it can be said that a more predictable outcome with pregnancy can actually result in less pregnancies and less births.
Funding for GAPPS has come from UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, and others
We thank Craig for a most interesting presentation.
Jamey kept everyone asking questions long past our usual ending time. It’s a credit to his engaging presentation. First he shared “Hedge Fund 101” which was an introduction to the hedge fund business. How they work, what they charge, and why the recession created a double-big hole for the hedge funds. With his three years of experience with hedge fund, Tremblant Capital, this alone was worth attending the luncheon. Then Jamey moved on to “Non profit 202” to explain the motivation and process that drove him and his cohorts to create “Construction for Change”. With a bunch of bright young guys volunteering their time (like Jamey) the contributions flow nearly 100% to the end projects. What’s not to like about a bunch of committed, earnest young guys doing good in highly leveraged situations to maximize the impact of every contributed dollar? The back story was very interesting, and the description of the schools they’ve built in Africa was quite interesting. The need for school facilities is high, and Construction for Change has taken on projects in Brazil (Orphanage), Zambia (School), Kenya (Housing), Cambodia (School) and India (Hospital).
The Sigma Tau chapter’s 2009 fundraising effort generously funded a second school for the Zambia project. And, more importantly, four current fraternity undergraduate members (Brad Bissell ‘10, Nate Thramer ‘11, Pete Montgomery ’12, and Sam Barnes ‘12) were able to travel to the project site and assist with the school construction.
The presentation give and take included recommendations that Jamey’s group approach the national fraternity to expand their efforts to partner with local chapters. You can find more information on Construction for Change at this web site www.constructionforchange.org We appreciate Jamey’s flying in from New York to speak to the luncheon group. You might enjoy reading the latest newsletter update about Construction for Change. Click here to view the news letter. And by all means, we encourage you to contact Jamey at this e-mail: James Stoner firstname.lastname@example.org
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