Global Pediatric Health

Dr. Mark W. Kline, physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and chair of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, was presented with the Program for Global Pediatric Research (PGPR) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Child Health 2014. The ceremony took place this past weekend during the 2014 PGPR symposium in conjunction with the 2014 Pediatric Academic Societies/Asian Society for Pediatric Research Joint Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Dr. Alvin Zipursky, Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Dr. Mark Kline, Dr. Roger Glass, Dr. Bob Black, and Dr. Stanley Zlotkin at the Pediatric Academic Socieities / Asian Society for Pediatric Research Joint Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Kline was chosen as this year’s recipient based on his significant contribution to changing the global child health landscape through capacity building, leadership training and program implementation focused on revolutionizing the care of children with HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Kline is president of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital. Under the leadership of Kline, BIPAI was founded in 1996 and is part of the Texas Children’s Hospital Global Health Initiative. BIPAI was created to bring the most advanced pediatric HIV/AIDS treatments to children in the developing world.

“Dr. Kline is a globally respected leader in pediatric HIV/AIDS and deserving of this recognition for his outstanding research achievements in the field, especially in reaching populations in greatest need in the developing world,” said Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, the inaugural award recipient and Co-Director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health.

What started out as a single clinic in Romania has grown exponentially over the past 18 years and is now one of the world’s largest pediatric HIV/AIDS treatment programs. BIPAI provides medication and care to more than 200,000 children and families in eight countries, which is more than double the number of HIV-infected children in care in every medical center in the United States, Canada and Western Europe combined.

“To be chosen by my peers, many of whom I admire greatly, is a great honor,” said Kline. “The work is far from done, but I find it both gratifying and comforting that so many outstanding healthcare providers are united together in this mission to improve global health and am grateful to the PGPR for this award.”

In addition to BIPAI, the Global Health Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital includes a center for vaccine development for neglected tropical diseases, led in partnership with the Sabin Vaccine Institute; the Childhood Tuberculosis Program; the Global Hematology / Oncology Initiative, including a first of its kind sickle cell initiative; the Global Women’s Health Initiative; the Global Surgery Initiative, including efforts to address both general pediatric surgery and cardiovascular surgery; Texas Children’s Global Health Corps; a program targeting global gaps in pediatric emergency medicine; a maternal child health platform addressing preventable child death; and broader newborn and child health efforts in Latin America.

“Dr. Kline’s work is a wonderful example of effectively implementing health care solutions to help some of the most vulnerable children in the world, while building local capacity and ensuring sustainability,” said Dr. Alvin Zipursky, Chair and Scientific Director of PGPR, SickKids Centre for Global Child Health.

The PGPR is a component of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health. The Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada, is dedicated to improving the lives of children and their families in resource poor environments around the world through collaboration in ground-breaking research, sustainable capacity building through education, and the active communication of results through advocacy, knowledge translation and the use of evidence for policy development.

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