On the occasion of PIH’s 25th anniversary in 2012, four founders shared their reflections and remembered their friend and fellow Co-founder, Thomas J. White, who passed away in 2011.
Cange today is not recognizable as the barren place of our origin. In that transformation lies the heart of what we do at PIH. Our work now stretches from the Navajo Nation to Rwanda and beyond, fueled by the conviction that everyone deserves access to high-quality care. Through decades of growth and change, as we’ve taken on tuberculosis and AIDS, maternal mortality and the plagues that stalk the poor, we’ve been accompanied by the many who support PIH. The road ahead—broadened by a quarter-century’s experience, new partnerships, and the ever-growing family that has joined us along the way—offers the chance to deliver on the promise of global health.
Now, our great challenge is finding partners to help us respond effectively to the persistent and pernicious epidemic of poverty. True partnership is tough. But it’s the way towards true north, as the past 25 years have taught us—all of us; PIHers around the world; our patients, our teachers, our students; and especially my partners in health Ophelia, Todd, Jim, and Tom, whom we miss so much.
Taking our first steps in pragmatic solidarity a quarter-century ago, we couldn’t have predicted where the path would lead. Today, we’re bringing PIH solutions to a global scale. We’re seeing that passionate pragmatism has relevance across all regions and development contexts. In other words, our work has just begun.
If accompaniment is the root that feeds PIH, I surely was the first who needed to be accompanied. Unlike Paul, Ophelia, and Jim, who crafted multiple day jobs to build partnerships in health, I was committed to other professional pursuits. I remain forever indebted to my co-founders, and the ever-growing PIH community, for helping ensure that, as I live ensconced in circles of excessive consumption, I remain connected to our generation’s most vexing issue: the stark realities of the world’s poor. And, 25 years on, I still feel privileged to do what I can to help “expand and secure” our programs, which now span continents and involve dozens of partners. I remain heartened and humbled by so many who have joined our effort to work for a more preferential option for the poor.
Before joining Air Canada, Mr. Dee held senior positions within the Government of Canada, including the Department of Canadian Heritage and Environment Canada. Mr. Dee is a member of the board of the OnexOne Foundation, where he focuses his efforts on the health and welfare of vulnerable children in Haiti. In 2005, Duncan was recognized as one of Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and in 2012 received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.