Electrochemical Society – Solving Society’s Problems Through Science

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Electrochemical Society (ECS) earned a 2015 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for its Science for Solving Society’s Problems Challenge, a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and RTI International to leverage the brainpower of the many scientists attending ECS meetings to define solutions to societal issues.

ASAE honored the program which began in 2014 with more than 100 researchers participating in a guided brainstorming and working group session with the theme of improving access to clean water and sanitation in developing countries.

ECS awarded over $210,000 to four projects addressing critical technology gaps in water, sanitation and hygiene challenges being faced around the world. Winning projects included: producing bio-catalytic septic cleaning materials that incorporate microorganisms to remove contaminants, while simultaneously creating electricity; developing microbial electrochemical reactors that harvest energy from human waste substrates using bioanodes engineered to process the waste into biofuels while simultaneously cleaning water for reuse; investigating the electro-Fenton approach using activated carbon to efficiently oxidize most of the organic and biological materials present in sanitary wastewater, so that the waste water may be recycled; and developing a non-toxic portable, biodegradable and compostable power source for water measuring and monitoring systems.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization – Enhancing Care in Developing Countries

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National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) earned a 2015 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for its Global Partners in Care program (GPIC), which builds partnerships to enhance compassionate care in developing countries so people with advanced illness are afforded comfort and dignity.

ASAE honored NHPCO’s program that enables U.S. hospice and palliative care organizations to engage in bi-directional collaboration, capacity-building, strategic planning, education, fundraising, and technical assistance to expand and improve services for those in need. At present, over 82 hospice partners from organizations across the U.S. provide resources to advocate for and assist in the provision of quality, compassionate hospice and palliative care in Africa, India, Nepal and will continue to expand in other countries.

Since 2004, Global Partners in Care has provided over five million dollars directly to international community-based hospice and palliative care organizations from U.S. partner donations.

American Society of Anesthesiologists – Improving Patient Safety Around the World

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American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) earned a 2015 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for its Global Humanitarian Outreach (GHO) Program, sending volunteers to teach anesthesia in countries with a critical shortage of physician anesthesiologists. Since 1991 the GHO, has trained hundreds of anesthesia providers and has greatly improved patient safety in the countries served.

ASAE honored the program which serves a great societal need. According to a 2010 Lancet article, two billion people are without access to emergency and essential surgery worldwide, and 34 million anesthetics are delivered annually in low-income countries without the standard safety equipment needed or a trained provider. This crisis has resulted in shocking mortality rates that most often impact pregnant women, children and those who are otherwise healthy. Some countries have less than one physician per 10,000 people and even less than one physician anesthesiologist per 100,000 people. The ability to provide safe anesthesia for surgery, labor and delivery, as well as for acute and chronic pain, is nearly absent in many countries.

The GHO’s direct humanitarian efforts include work in Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador, Guyana, Rwanda and Ethiopia. GHO has directly reached an estimated 500,000 people in 10 countries, directly impacting the health of men, women and children in the developing world.

Congratulations and thank you for filling a vital need, as well as raising the visibility for how the association community enriches the lives of people every day.

Association Spotlight, brought to you by ASAE and The Power of A, was created to showcase how associations create a better America and world. If you would like to have your organization’s efforts featured in a future Association Spotlight, please email Mary Kate Cunningham at mcunningham@asaecenter.org.

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