Impact Testimonials


Please click on the year tabs below to see reflections on the significance of each Summit from various Summit alumni.


For me the Summit is always a pleasure. I am used to being very frank in my opinions, and I see the Summit as an initiative that is open to discussing new approaches, and in particular to linking innovation and health needs.

Carlos Gadelha, Secretary of Science and Technology and Strategic Inputs, Ministry of Health, Brazil

The choice of the invitees, the variety of experiences shared, and the interactive nature of the discussions were all superb. I am a lot wiser.

Sebbaale Kato, CEO, Case Medical Center, Uganda

There are no words to express how well the meeting was organized.... Indeed the experience was productive and enjoyable. I had opportunity to make a lot of good contacts which will help us to work on future affordable technologies in eye care.

Rengaraj Venkatesh, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital

It was a wonderful experience—well planned, full of experts, and with discussions from practical experiences and wisdom.

A. K. Azad, Additional Director General (Planning & Development) & Director, Management Information System Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Bangladesh

All the Summit participants showed such great motivation to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare. I had not been exposed to many of the topics before the event, and I found them all to be very inspiring.

Jie Liu, COO, Mindray Medical, China

The opportunity the Summit created for me to engage and interact with my media colleagues from the North and South in an informal setting was very special and a first in many respects. ... being able to engage and share with colleagues from the developed world media was invaluable. We hardly ever get the time or platform to share in this way.... I have been to many health meetings and this was the first time other journalists and I were given the space to simply talk and share about what it is like to cover health in our vastly different settings.

Anso Thom, Print Editor, Health-e News Service

The ability of the Pacific Health Summit to bring together the private sector, foundations, government, and non-profit stakeholders, creates a unique opportunity for such convergence to address critical issues that matter. Key is good pre-summit preparation and timely follow-up after the summit.

Stefan Germann, Director, Learning & Partnerships, Global Health and HIV Team, World Vision International

I was impressed with the implementation of the Summit. I, and I know many others, learned a great deal about the different ways in which we each organize and do things—things which are inexpressible on paper.

K.O. Antwi-Agyei, National EPI Manager, Ghana Health Service

For the incoming CEO of GAVI, you threw the perfect party.

Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI Alliance

No doubt, this was a different kind of setting for us … definitely not the usual monotonous discussions. Rather, the interactive sessions were very interesting and showcase the Summit’s unique ability to connect science, industry and policy. ... The Pacific Health Summit has also given me an opportunity to interact and build synergies with compelling people from really diverse fields.

Suresh Jadhav, Executive Director, Serum Institute of India

The nuanced things I learned at the Summit about the pharmaceutical industry and the importance of vaccines will forever percolate in my work as a science journalist and as an individual influencing decisions about myself, my family, and my community.

Esther Nakkazi, Science and Health Reporter, The East African

It was a true privilege to participate in the 2010 Summit. The experience catalyzed numerous unique collaborations for my company. For example, in response to a Summit 'Call For Collaboration,' we joined with another company to help bring to the market, manufacture, and distribute two innovative medical devices for MDGs 4 and 5. Additionally, as a result of the Summit, we are also now collaborating with a leading international NGO to develop a healthcare worker training course on the control of postpartum hemorrhage, similar to our Helping Babies Breathe program. Finally, we formed a new global health-focused company, Laerdal Global Health, which is partnering with two leading university departments for biomedical innovation for global health.

Tore Laerdal, Chairman, Laerdal Medical

I left the 2010 Summit with an updated appreciation of the nuances of maternal and newborn health, and the people shaping the field. My company focuses on mobile health technology, and we have been engaged in global health more broadly for years. The Summit gave me a new perspective on how our work can contribute to MNH efforts specifically, and was a practical refresher on the many ways that science, business, civil society, and policy can collaborate around these issues—reinforcing how amazing things can happen when unlike minds come together. The Summit also accelerated our urgency to do more for MNH, something I'm happy to report that we've done since.

Vikram Kumar, Chairman, Dimagi, Inc.

I was unsure of what to expect and found the Summit to be a surprisingly invigorating meeting. The best summary I heard was ‘a meeting of unlike minds.’ For some people, this can be hard. If, however, you see it as an opportunity to understand a very different mindset and find a common goal, then it was exponentially more interesting than just another public health meeting. Global public health's bottom line should be lives saved. Industry's bottom line is mainly financial. But there are intersections of interest that will serve both. If we do not engage, then industry partners may not have the best data to pick priorities or may not design truly ‘fit for purpose’ products and initiatives. The key is in the follow-up and the relationships that formed at the Summit.

Joy Lawn, Director, Global Policy and Evidence, Saving Newborn Lives, Save The Children

As a result of the Summit, we’ll see vital collaboration and fruitful partnerships emerge, bringing important progress and viable solutions.

Paul Farmer, Co-Founder, Partners In Health

Rarely, if ever, have so many top stakeholders gathered to ‘talk TB’—from prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, to social impact and innovation—as they did at the 2009 Summit. TB research and development had been moribund until just a few years prior, and the Summit clarified both how far we've come and how very far we still need to go. MDR-TB still threatens to take us back to the pre-antibiotic era. Academics, industry leaders, government officials, and technical and donor partners debated and brainstormed with an energy that had been lacking to date.

Important, concrete outcomes emerged. NIH announced its groundbreaking intention to open up HIV clinical trial sites for urgently needed TB research. An unprecedented new collaboration among pharma partners also resulted: the Critical Path to TB Regimens, which promises to develop new drug regimens well before any anticipated deadline. Civil society representatives voiced their demand for new tools for the poor. Since June 2009, we have also seen remarkable steps forward in increasing access to MDR-TB treatment, in the introduction of a new rapid TB diagnostic, and in the expansion of drug and vaccine pipelines.

The Summit’s value was in catalyzing interest and enthusiasm among high-level people who had never before been engaged in this field. Driving down TB rates and halving TB deaths are key 2015 targets and necessary precursors to TB elimination—the 2009 Summit helped us focus our eyes on the prize.

Mario Raviglione, Director, Stop TB Department, WHO


The Summit offered an unusual and much-needed opportunity for making new contacts, meeting new partners, and finding essential support. It’s about what I bring back—TB has no boundaries. I couldn’t not come to the Summit.

Colonel Vladimir Troitskiy, Head, Medical Department, Russian Federal Penitentiary Services

From a public health standpoint, malnutrition is one of the largest contributors to poor health outcomes. While good evidence exists about what can be done to address it, taking solutions to scale has proven difficult. The 2008 Pacific Health Summit provided a venue to bring together thought leaders not only from civil society and the public sector, but also, importantly, from industry. Ultimately, this dialogue laid the foundation for major movements and initiatives like the GAIN Business Alliance expanding its role, more projects from the private sector around the 1,000 Days campaign to focus on the most vulnerable populations, and the inception of the Access to Nutrition Index, which will benchmark market channels and industry's increasing role in improving nutrition impact at scale.

Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director, GAIN

The Pacific Health Summit is more than a conversation among important stakeholders; it provides a process that leads to tangible outcomes. The 2007 Summit on avian flu—and the pre-meeting we co-hosted with the Summit organizers in Beijing—produced an important new response paradigm for fast-tracking regulatory vaccine approval in emergency situations. That represents a critical step forward.

Yu Wang, Director, China CDC

In the lead-up to the 2007 Pacific Health Summit and in the years that followed, the world has been grappling with many complex questions. Among them: Will we have enough pandemic vaccine to protect enough people in time to avoid a catastrophe? Apart from ensuring equitable access to vaccines, which is, of course, a priority, how do we all provide leadership that will make efforts to avoid infection more rational and better coordinated? This leadership, of course, will need to be based on evidence and a firm understanding of the connection between science and policy. The deliberations of the 2007 Summit, and the collaborations that resulted between individual leaders in the room there, made major contributions to this objective. These commitments strengthen our collective security.

Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO

Ever since attending the first meeting in 2005, I have come to think of these Summits as the 21st century version of an 18th century salon. Seasoned thought leaders from government, business, and a variety of academic disciplines from many countries come together to have elevated conversations on a topic at the intersection of health, healthcare, and technology. The Summit draws on the assembled expertise to explore how to better use modern biomedical and information technology and bioengineering to enhance human well-being around the globe.

It is impossible to come away from the Summit without being stimulated to take one’s research in new directions or to develop concrete projects to put into practice what was discussed.

Uwe Reinhardt, James Madison Professor of Political Economy, Woodrow Wilson School Princeton University

The inaugural Summit in 2005 was an innovative, memorable forum where ideas on healthcare, health systems, and better quality of care through early diagnosis and treatment were given a milieu for expression and exchange among distinguished leaders, especially those from the Pacific Rim. In the years since its creation, the Summit has expanded beyond the Pacific and achieved new heights. The 2010 Summit was a forum in the true sense of the word as ancient Romans would have it, where social entrepreneurs, donors, and policymakers exchanged ideas on how to further the cause of better health and healthcare for all peoples, especially those in emerging market and developing countries.

May Tsung-Mei Cheng, Health Policy Research Analyst, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

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