In 2008, David Addiss began to explore formally the role of compassion in global health. He convened a meeting that brought together international religious and public health leaders to discuss the value of compassion. David was particularly intrigued by how someone in the field of public health could find him or herself no longer able to feel, discuss, or connect with compassion… the core motivation behind why many join the public health arena! In 2010, Julie Hliboki joined the exploration, and contributed her perspectives on cultivating compassion, contemplative practices, and interfaith appreciation.
“Global health is rooted in the value of compassion. It is grounded in an awareness of our interconnectedness and a concern with the whole. Global health and compassion both seek to build bridges between people who are separated by geography, politics, resources, and other factors.” – David Addiss, Founder
David Addiss, MD, MPH, received his MD from the Medical College of Georgia in 1981, completed an internship at Valley Medical Center in Fresno, California, and was a general practitioner in a migrant health clinic in the San Joaquin Valley for two years. After completing an MPH at Johns Hopkins University in 1985, he trained in infectious disease epidemiology at the Wisconsin Division of Health in Madison. Dr. Addiss completed a residency in preventive medicine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1988 and joined the Division of Parasitic Diseases, where he conducted research on the prevention and control of parasitic diseases. He co-directed the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Control and Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in the Americas, based at CDC. Dr. Addiss has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications, a book, and several book chapters. He joined the Fetzer Institute in 2006, where he directed the program in Science and Spirituality. He is currently the Program Director of Children Without Worms at the Task Force for Global Health.