The NCD Synergies project was launched at a conference hosted in Kigali in July 2013 by the Rwanda Ministry of Health, attended by representatives from ministries of health across 12 African countries. NCD Synergies builds on the clinical and planning models jointly developed by Partners In Health and Rwanda to address NCDs and injuries among the poorest.
Dr. Gene Bukhman, Founder and Director
Gene Bukhman, MD, PhD is the Director of NCD Synergies. He is the Senior Health and Policy Advisor on NCDs for Partners In Health. At Harvard Medical School, he is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and has directed the Program in Global Noncommunicable Disease and Social Change since 2010. By training, Gene is a cardiologist, an internal medicine physician, and a medical anthropologist. For the past decade, his work has focused on the design, planning, and evaluation of integrated strategies to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries of poverty. He is the lead author and editor for the (2011) PIH Guide to Chronic Care Integration for Endemic NCDs. In 2013, Dr. Bukhman helped launch the NCD Synergies project, an initiative focused on developing a community of learning and support for governments addressing the NCDs and injuries of the poorest billion.
Dr. Neil Gupta, Clinical Director
Dr. Neil Gupta (email@example.com) is an internist, pediatrician, and public health specialist who currently serves as Clinical Director for the NCD Synergies Project and the Lancet Commission for Reframing NCDs and Injuries for the Poorest Billion. He has previously worked as Chief Medical Officer for Partners In Health in Rwanda, where he was responsible for the strategy, design, and implementation of clinical programs provided in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Dr. Gupta is Primary Investigator for the Simplifying Hepatitis C Antiviral Therapy for Elsewhere in the Developing World study, which aims to promote access and availability of Hepatitis C treatment, and the Population Health Implementation & Training grant in rural Rwanda. He is a lecturer at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda and leads strategic planning for the university’s teaching hospital. Dr. Gupta is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Harvard School of Public Health, and he completed his residency training at Brigham & Women’s and Boston Children’s Hospitals. He is currently an Associate Physician of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston and is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Wendy Bennett, Senior Advisor
Wendy Bennett is a Senior Advisor to NCD Synergies. Wendy has worked in philanthropy and development for thirty years for both US based and international organizations. Since 2003 she has been engaged primarily in consulting on international grantmaking strategies in global health, with a particular interest in strengthening health systems, and prevention and care for noncommunicable diseases in developing countries. Recent clients have included the Medtronic Foundation and UnitedHealth Group. Previously she served as a consultant to corporate and family foundations across a range of issues, and was a program officer at the Archibald Bush Foundation. Wendy lived in Europe for 11 years and has enjoyed extensive travel internationally. She has a BA from Harvard College, and a Masters in Music from the University of Minnesota. Wendy has served on numerous nonprofit boards. She is a founder of the Minnesota Friends of the Children’s Heart Fund of Ethiopia, and she serves as a Global Ambassador for the Nature Conservancy.
Maia Olsen, Program Manager
Maia Olsen is a Program Manager for NCD Synergies at Partners In Health. She holds an MPH in International Health from Boston University and a BA in Anthropology and Global Development Studies from Grinnell College. She has been working with Global Oncology since January 2013, serving as project leader for the Patient Education Materials project, and assisting with the GO-QECH Malawi partnership and GO Talks. She was named a 2013 Summer Graduate Fellow for the BU Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, conducting research on the links between policy and advocacy for HIV/AIDS and NCDs and the feasibility of cancer control efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. She comes to NCD Synergies with a background in non-profit program administration and resource development.
Chris Noble, Program Coordinator
Chris Noble is a Program Coordinator for NCD Synergies at Partners in Health. He joined the team in February 2016 while finishing his Masters in Public Health at Boston University School of Public Health concentrating in Global Health and Access to Medicines with a BA in Integrative Biology and a minor in Nutritional Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. Chris has worked with a number of NGOs in access and global development including Universities Allied for Essential Medicines on their North American Coordinating Committee and All Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad as their In-Country Liaison for their Dominican Republic and Haiti grassroots diabetes education programs. Chris comes to NCD Synergies with a passion to support people’s access to NCD health resources globally that stems from his own diagnosis of type one diabetes over 20 years ago.
Paolo Reggio d’Aci, Rwanda
Paolo Reggio D’Aci is a Senior Management Consultant for NCD Synergies, seconded to the Rwandan Ministry of Health. He holds an MSE and MBA, and comes to the project with a background in strategy consulting and business modeling from Ernst & Young. In Kenya, he mentored micro-entrepreneurs and developed business plans submitted to micro-lenders. After a brief experience as Finance Manager in Iraq, he moved to Rwanda. Since 2012, he has supported the Ministry of Health in Rwanda in planning, costing, and budget negotiation related to national strategic plan in the health sector, HIV, TB, and NCDs. His work focuses on using business management education and management consulting to develop people, organizations, and communities in need.
Wubaye Walelgne, Ethiopia
Wubaye Walelgne is the NCD Technical Advisor to the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and a consultant working for PIH, supported by NCD Synergies. He was born and educated in Ethiopia and is now a Medical Doctor by training with a postgraduate Specialty Certificate in Internal Medicine at Addis Ababa University.
Dr. Wubaye has extensive experience in clinical and program management of tropical health problems in East Africa (Ethiopia and South Sudan) for a total of 19 years and has been working in the public sector for a total of 6 years. Starting at the primary health care level then in tertiary hospitals, Dr. Wubaye now teaches at the Medical school in Addis Ababa. He has worked in the private sector as a consultant Internist starting in 2006 up to his current practice of clinical medicine. He also worked in International NGOs like Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University-ICAP and KNCV TB Foundation for the past 10 years.
Dr. Wubaye has programmatic experience in chronic diseases like Tuberculosis and MDR TB, HIV and Diabetes. His interest is in establishing a robust chronic care service at primary health service level for NCDs that are increasingly affecting resource limited settings like his home country.
Jutta Adelin Jørgensen, Kenya
Jutta Adelin Jørgensen is a Senior Management Consultant for NCD Synergies who will be seconded to the Kenyan Ministry of Health. She brings with her substantial experience in the area of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) with particular reference to developing countries. A graduate of the University of Copenhagen, she is a medical doctor (MD) and holds a MA in African Studies. In her previous position as adviser to the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar she was instrumental in strategy development, planning, and advocacy for NCDs. She has expertise and experience in clinical medicine, epidemiological research and health sector strategic planning within an African environment that will enable her to support the Kenyan Health Ministry on best practices in NCD health care.