Richmond, VA – The Executive Board of World Pediatric Project (WPP) has elected four new members and has created a new board position of Vice Chair for Global Health Initiatives.
The new board members are Sanjeev Dutta, Jenn McKean, Linda Norman and Bruce Thomas, who will also serve as the Vice Chair for Global Health Initiatives.
“Our four new board members bring a wealth of global health experience to the WPP Executive Board,” said Brian Clare, chair of the board. “Their depth of knowledge, wealth of experience and extensive networks are invaluable as we work to scale up beyond our pre-COVID levels of service and look for new ways to help more children within and beyond the Caribbean and Central America. We are very pleased to welcome them to the WPP board.”
A pediatric surgeon by training, Sanjeev Dutta currently serves as vice president at Intuitive, a robotic surgery company based in Sunnyvale, California. Before joining Intuitive, Dutta was vice president for medical devices at Johnson & Johnson. He has also served as a consultant for Stryker and as an associate professor of surgery at Stanford University.
Dutta is a graduate of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, the University of Toronto, McMaster University, Dalhousie University, and the University of Calgary.
Jenn McKean is a long-time supporter, volunteer and St. Louis board member for WPP. She has traveled with a team of medical volunteers to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the WPP hub in the Caribbean. She is currently serving as a critical care nurse at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Prior to that she was a physical therapist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
McKean received her BS in physical therapy from the University of Missouri and her BS in nursing from the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.
Linda Norman is dean emerita of the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, Norman led a school of more than 140 fulltime faculty members and 900 students. She significantly increased the number of nurse scientists actively engaged in clinical practices and created clinical scholarships to provide support for clinically based project. Norman also created curriculum revisions to include care of marginalized and underserve populations in all advanced practice specialties, including expanding the number of elective clinical experiences for students in Central America and an expansion of school clinics for underserved populations.
Norman was named the Valerie Potter Menefee Professor in Nursing at Vanderbilt and received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Virginia, where she received her undergraduate degree. She earned her doctor of science in nursing, adult health from the University of Alabama Birmingham.
Bruce Thomas is Founder and Managing Director of The Arcady Group, a global health consultancy that works to improve health outcomes by addressing access-related issues. As a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, Unitaid, Stop TB Partnership, and several other global health organizations, Thomas has assisted in the development and scale-up of new approaches to transform care models for TB and HIV patients in China, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa, and in the scale-up of novel technologies to reduce the impact of dengue, zika, and chikungunya in high disease burden, resource-limited settings.
Thomas also has assisted the Medicines for All Institute, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grantee that uses novel chemistry approaches to reduce the cost of, and thus improve access to, a wide range of HIV, TB, NTD, COVID-19, and malaria medications. Finally, Thomas advises Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ Digital Medicines team – helping bring health outcomes-enhancing digital tools to patients, doctors, and nurses around the world. Before founding Arcady Group, Thomas served as president of MeadWestvaco Healthcare, the global healthcare division of MeadWestvaco, a $7B global packaging business.
As Vice Chair for Global Health Initiatives, Thomas will work with Vafa Akhavan, World Pediatric Project CEO, and the WPP staff and Board to help expand the range of services offered under the WPP umbrella, to expand the patient populations served both in and beyond the Caribbean and Central America, and raise visibility and connect WPP with global health funders and peer organizations to increase collaboration and access new or additional expertise and resources.
“All my professional life I’ve been captivated by big, transformative ideas and opportunities,” Thomas said. “I joined the WPP board because I think this organization has the capability to truly transform pediatric care in the Caribbean and Central America, regions and patient populations that are dramatically underserved. Patients in these regions need and deserve more and better care. I know WPP is the organization best suited to deliver that more accessible and enhanced care.”
“I am excited to be working with Bruce and the other board members and our staff to continue to make WPP a true leader in global health,” said Akhavan, who started his tenure at WPP on October 25. “One of the things that drew me to WPP was the potential to scale and grow the organization to build capacity and help more children. That is precisely what we will be doing.”
About World Pediatric Project
World Pediatric Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization celebrating 20 years of healing critically ill children and advancing pediatric healthcare in the world. Since 2001, WPP has sent pediatric diagnostic and surgical teams to low-resource countries in the Caribbean and Central America and has provided children with access to critical care through hospitals in the United States and international partners, mobilizing more than $160 million in services through in-kind contributions and supply donations to reach more than 15,000 children. Learn more at worldpediatricproject.org.