Newly renamed PAHO Foundation will channel philanthropic support for health in the Americas

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Washington D.C., May 2, 2014 (PAHO/WHO) – A new “PAHO Foundation” announced today that it will mobilize resources for improving health in the Americas, in alignment with the Pan American Health Organization’s strategic priorities. The philanthropic organization, based in Washington, D.C., was formerly named PAHEF and was created to “combat disease, lengthen life, improve health care, foster research, and train health care workers in the region of the Americas.”

From today, the Foundation will focus on helping PAHO improve health coverage, reduce the toll from noncommunicable diseases, combat vector-borne and vaccine-preventable diseases, and fight women’s cancers, among others. An additional priority will be mobilizing resources to eliminate cholera from Haiti.

“The new name reflects the fact that the Foundation is PAHO’s de facto philanthropic arm,” said Harold Hamana, Vice Chair of the Board of the PAHO Foundation. “We are confident that by further aligning with PAHO’s name and strategic priorities, we can be more efficient in improving the health conditions of the people of the Americas.”

In addition to its resource mobilization efforts, the Foundation will promote PAHO’s health messages and engage with key constituencies, including civil society groups.

“Individuals and the private sector have always been generous in supporting public health. Now they will have an even better reason to invest in the Americas region,” said Eleanor Brtva, Interim President and CEO of the Foundation. “We need to let them know about our mission and create a culture of contagious generosity.”

“We face many health challenges in our region, and the PAHO Foundation is an indispensable partner in our quest to mobilize new resources to fulfill our mission of improving the health and well-being of the peoples of the Americas,” said PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne.

Under their new affiliation agreement, PAHO and the PAHO Foundation will coordinate to identify projects and programs in PAHO’s Strategic Plan for which the Foundation should mobilize resources.

As they have in past years, the Foundation and PAHO will continue to cosponsor the Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health. Launched in 1975, the awards recognize individuals, programs, institutions, and organizations for their work in advancing health in the Americas, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. Nominations for the 2014 awards are currently being accepted

In announcing its new name, the PAHO Foundation also announced a new agreement with AmazonSmile that allows Amazon customers to designate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases as a donation to the PAHO Foundation at no additional cost.


Donna Eberwine-Villagrán,, Tel. +1 202 974 3122, móvil +1 202 316 5469, Sebastián Oliel,,Teléfono +1 202 974 3459, móvil 202 316 5679, Sonia Mey-Schmidt,, Teléfono: +1 202 974 3036, móvil +1 202 251-2646, Comunicación, OPS/OMS–

PAHO Foundation - Frequently Asked Questions

What type of organization is the PAHO Foundation?
The PAHO Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization as recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service. Gifts made to the Foundation are tax deductible against any US-sourced income. The Foundation is registered in every U.S. state to “fundraise” and is incorporated and follow the rules and regulations of businesses in the District of Columbia.

How does the PAHO Foundation help further the mission of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)?
The Foundation mobilizes resources from the private sector (corporations, foundations, other organizations and individuals) and manages them for the benefit of PAHO programs.

Does the PAHO Foundation accept gifts from organizations, corporations and individuals outside the US?
Yes, however, the Foundation reserves the right to determine which gifts to accept and abides by PAHO/WHO guidelines in this regard. Currently the Foundation is exploring with the PAHO Office of the Legal Counsel possible tax benefits for individuals in Latin America and the Caribbean who wish to donate to the Foundation.

Does the PAHO Foundation accept donations from for-profit enterprises?
Yes, however the Foundation reserves the right to determine which gifts to accept and abides by PAHO/WHO guidelines in this regard. PAHO/WHO’s guidelines preclude partnerships with or donations from private enterprises that have ties to tobacco, alcohol, weapons, or land mines; that produce other products detrimental to public health; or that cause severe environmental contamination. Other potential donations are assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine if the donor’s product line, services, behavior and public image are consistent with PAHO's mission and priorities. All donations are publicly disclosed, and anonymous donations are not accepted under any circumstances.

What are priority areas for the PAHO Foundation’s fundraising?
The Foundation’s priorities are aligned with those of PAHO and currently include helping the Organization improve health coverage, reduce the toll from noncommunicable diseases, combat vector-borne and vaccine-preventable diseases, and fight women’s cancers, among others. An additional priority will be mobilizing resources to eliminate cholera from Haiti.

Why did the Foundation change its name?
After signing a new affiliation agreement with PAHO in August 2013, the Foundation decided to re-evaluate its name in light of its renewed mission. Following an online survey, the Foundation’s board voted to change the name. The new name and logo are intended to help people recognize the Foundation’s ties with PAHO more readily and to help it mobilize resources more efficiently.

Did the Foundation’s mission also change?
To some degree. The Foundation will no longer conduct its own programs, as it did in recent years, but instead will focus solely on fundraising for PAHO programs. The PALTEX program—which provides textbooks at subsidized prices to medical students in Latin America and the Caribbean—will no longer be administered by the PAHO Foundation. As for its overarching mission, the Foundation fully supports PAHO’s mission of promoting equity in health, combating disease, and improving the health, longevity and quality of life of all the peoples of the Americas.

Is it possible to donate online?
You can click the [donate] button on the PAHO website or visit the PAHO Foundation website at Donations can be made securely through PayPal. You may also direct a portion of any Amazon purchase you make to benefit the PAHO Foundation through Amazon Smile. See details at:

Can I choose which projects or activities I want to support with my donation?

Yes. However, the online form only supports unrestricted donations. Donors who want to choose a particular project or activity are encouraged to reach out to the Foundation directly by emailing Leticia Villalon, Senior Director of Philanthropy, at

How can I nominate someone for the Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health?
Nominations of outstanding public health professionals or institutions for these prestigious awards may be submitted electronically on the PAHO Foundation website. You are encouraged to read the requirements for each award and submit your nomination at Once you have created an account with a username and password, you will find clear instructions as to what forms and information are required to successfully nominate an individual or organization. This year’s call for nominations is open until May 30, 2014.