Meet the Team
BASICS is the inspiration of four best-in-class organizations to integrate proven but stand-alone approaches into one practical, cost-effective and scalable solution to catalyze changes in how health systems prevent infections.
Save the Children brings to the BASICS partnership decades of experience in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in some of the world’s least-served communities. Its Clean Clinic Approach works with national health ministries to develop criteria by which healthcare facilities achieve “clean clinic” status, and with local facilities to make incremental improvements to reduce the risk of infections. Save the Children will also provide global expertise in strengthening health systems, influencing national health policies and protocols and generating local demand for and utilization of quality health services.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is recognized globally for its cutting-edge research, training and continuing education in maternal and newborn health, healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance, behavior change and monitoring. BASICS will use LSHTM’s training program TEACH CLEAN to improve training and practice for healthcare workers responsible for maintaining hygiene in the healthcare setting. The program is tailored for use with cleaning staff with limited literacy skills but can be applied to wider facility staff.
WaterAid is the world’s largest civil society organization focused solely on water, sanitation and hygiene. Its mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people by improving access to these essentials. Its programs have reached over 25 million people with clean water, 25 million people with decent toilets, and 18 million people with good hygiene. Through BASICS, WaterAid will be responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure construction and rehabilitation in health facilities as required; capacity building for governments and stakeholders on operations and maintenance; and supply chain management.
Kinnos is a social venture whose products help solve infection prevention challenges. Its dye, Highlight, will be used as a BASICS training tool to help improve cleaning and disinfection efficiency in health facilities. Kinnos won the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Fight Ebola Grand Challenge for developing Highlight. It was first used in Ebola treatment centers in Liberia during West Africa’s 2014 Ebola outbreak. It is now being used to help combat the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in U.S. hospitals.
Steve Sara has 10 years’ experience working on global health and international development programs. For the past six years, Steve has been a member of Save the Children’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) team, where he leads the agency’s global WASH portfolio. Steve and his team implement WASH activities that improve the quality of maternal, newborn and child health in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Steve is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. Prior to joining Save the Children, Steve served as a Captain in the U.S. Army for six years, where he was an operations manager and a liaison to the U.S. Agency for International Development and various partner governments and militaries. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Purdue University and a Master’s Degree in Global Environmental Health from George Washington University.
Rachel Taylor, Health Advisor for Save the Children’s Department of Global Health, is BASICS’ Global Project Director. Rachel supports health systems strengthening programming and leads strategic initiatives. She has 22 years of progressively responsible leadership and management experience. In her most recent position as the leader of Save the Children’s multi-disciplinary team on USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program, Rachel provided strategic, technical, operational and financial oversight for program activities against a $63 million budget. She motivated and led a diverse group of global and country staff to translate evidence-based maternal, newborn, child health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions into practice in 20 low-resource countries. Rachel has resident work experience in Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda, and also provided technical and management support to programs in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Laos, Mozambique, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, among others. Rachel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Grinnell College, and in 2019 completed the Women’s Global Leadership Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Wendy Graham is Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She is an academic, an adviser and an advocate for maternal and perinatal health improvement in low-and-middle-income countries. Her career spans over 30 years, having trained at Sheffield and Oxford universities. The initial focus of her work was the prevention of maternal deaths, seeking to strengthen the evidence base on the burden and on effective interventions, and by working with national and international stakeholders to promote evidence uptake into practice, programmes and policy. These activities enabled engagement with partners in over 25 low-and-middle income countries and with major global leaders and organizations.
Teaching and learning have long been a core part of Wendy’s career, including medical student learning in global health and support for the next generation of leaders in research and in maternal and perinatal healthcare, both in the United Kingdom and overseas.
In the past seven years, Wendy has focused her research on the reduction of healthcare-associated infections among mothers and newborns in maternity units, with a particular emphasis on environmental hygiene, provider practices and the prevention of antimicrobial resistance. She established an evidence-based charitable trust – The Soapbox Collaborative – which undertook research and action in this area of work. The organization completed its mission in June 2019, having both contributed new knowledge on maintaining a clean care environment and influenced major international agencies and events, including the 72nd World Health Assembly. Its legacy lives on through research at LSHTM.
Jason Kang is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kinnos, the New York-based company that is revolutionizing how patients, caregivers and the public are protected from infections. Kinnos’ innovative work in infection prevention has ranged from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals.
Prior to Kinnos, Jason served as Vice President of Engineering at Jibon Health, where he invented a low-cost medical device to treat postpartum hemorrhage. The device was awarded a Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge seed grant by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, UKAID, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was brought to clinical trials in Bangladesh.
For his work in global health, Jason was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in Healthcare, served as an AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador, and was recognized as a Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellow. Jason received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University, where he was an Egleston Scholar and graduated Tau Beta Pi. He currently sits on the Columbia Engineering Young Alumni Board.
Jason Lopez is a senior specialist in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) with Save the Children’s global health department. His current projects include WASH and infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities, maternal and child health, WASH marketing, water infrastructure and nutrition, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Jason has lived in Laos, Tanzania, and Liberia while working in WASH. Before joining the Peace Corps as a WASH officer in Peru, Jason built hospitals as a construction engineer, and in high school, he had a job cleaning healthcare clinics.
Alison Macintyre of WaterAid Australia has led WaterAid Australia’s strategy, policy, research and programming on the intersection of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) with human health since 2013. She supports health-related research, programming and policy work in the South-East Asia and Pacific regions and contributes to WaterAid’s global policy and advocacy. Her main areas of focus are Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities, maternal and newborn health, quality universal health coverage, nutrition and antimicrobial resistance. Between 2015 and 2018, Alison was seconded to the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva to support the Global Action Plan on WASH in healthcare facilities, with a particular focus on policy, advocacy and leadership. She holds a B.S. and BSc from Latrobe University and a BSc (Honors) and Master of Public Health from the University of Melbourne.
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