Internationally-recognized Expert on HIV and Youth, Donna Futterman, MD, Named Chair of mothers2mothers International Board of Directors
Cape Town, South Africa – 23 June 2015: – Dr. Donna Futterman, an internationally-recognised leader and activist in the care and prevention of HIV among youth, has been named Chair of mothers2mothers (m2m) International Board of Directors. Dr. Futterman will help guide the organisation as it continues to innovate and scale its programme to achieve its goals of eliminating paediatric AIDS and nurturing healthy families throughout Africa.
“It is thrilling to be part of an organisation that has achieved a reduction of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by empowering HIV-positive women as Mentor Mothers to support and educate their communities. Engaging HIV-positive women in the healthcare system is one of the great successes in the fight against paediatric AIDS and the work that mothers2mothers does is a model of that,” says Dr. Futterman.
Dr. Futterman is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of the Adolescent AIDS Program at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York. She has served on a number of national initiatives targeting HIV and youth, including the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Pediatric AIDS and the NIH-funded Adolescent Medicine HIV/AIDS Research Network.
She has been a critical member of m2m’s Board of Directors since its inception. “As one of m2m’s longest serving advisors and board members, Donna knows well how effective the Mentor Mother Model is in improving the health and wellbeing of mothers and children, reducing mother-to-child transmission rates, while at the same time creating significant savings on HIV treatment costs,” says Frank Beadle de Palomo, President and CEO of m2m.
“We are so fortunate to have Donna’s wealth of knowledge and experience to help guide us as we look to create an even greater impact by helping women access medical care earlier and stay in treatment. Her leadership comes at a critical time—as mothers2mothers unleashes the power of the Mentor Mother Model to improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents and children,” he adds.
Dr. Futterman has published extensively on the care of HIV-positive and at-risk youth, including an award-winning book entitled, Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. For the last 10 years, she has led HIV/AIDS initiatives in South Africa, including scaling up HIV testing and linkages to care in the public health sector in South Africa with a PEPFAR grant from the CDC.
“Even when we eliminate paediatric AIDS, we won’t be able to sustain it unless HIV is treated as more than just a medical problem, but also a social, family, and societal problem. m2m’s programme has demonstrated that it can do that,” says Dr. Futterman. “We need to institutionalise the Mentor Mother Model and apply what we’ve learned to other parts of the epidemic, and other areas of the countries and communities that we serve.”
mothers2mothers (m2m) is an African-based not-for-profit organisation at the forefront of eliminating the transmission of HIV from mothers to babies, and creating healthy futures for mothers, their families, and communities. Since its founding in 2001, Mentor Mothers have reached more than 1.3 million HIV-positive mothers in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The m2m model has been identified as a key strategy in the United Nations Global Plan to eliminate paediatric AIDS and promote healthy motherhood. Join us by visiting m2m.org or follow us @m2mtweets.
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