Entrepreneurs of the Year 2012
William Blattner, MD and Robert Redfield, MD
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the largest public health program in global history, now operating with a budget of $48 billion. William Blattner and Robert Redfield Jr. are being jointly honored in recognition of their success in building the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s PEPFAR program in Africa and the Caribbean.
Each of these scientists, who are associate directors and co-founders of the IHV and professors in the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine, has brought enormous credit to our University. But it is their entrepreneurship in global HIV/AIDS care, treatment, and prevention that distinguishes them for this award.
Blattner and Redfield have demonstrated impressive entrepreneurial capacity, creativity, and energy as pioneering experts in providing antiretroviral therapy to millions of patients and training thousands of health care providers in nine countries.
Carrying out their global projects required the development of new structures, operating processes, and attitudes on the University campus. The results of their work are historic: In addition to the nearly 500,000 patients placed on antiretroviral treatment, more than 800,000 have received care and support services and close to 3 million have received prevention interventions and HIV testing.
In uncharted waters, Blattner and colleagues in the IHV established the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) not for profit corporation as the mechanism that allowed $294 million in grant funding to the University in the last nine years.
The impact of this effort is best measured in the clinical care, treatment, and prevention services to 944,004 Nigerians who were counseled and tested for HIV; 896,555 mothers who were screened to prevent infections of their babies; 139,857 patients who received antiretroviral therapy; and 22,639 health care workers who were trained.
The partnerships developed with IHVN and multiple Nigerian universities position the University of Maryland, the Institute of Human Virology, and the School of Medicine for sustained benefit to our global research, clinical, and educational mission.
Since 2004, the IHV’s Division of Clinical Care and Research, under the leadership of Redfield, has been awarded more than $189 million for the development of a consortium known as AIDSRelief. Redfield has built dedicated teams of more than 200 faculty and staff who are providing emergency response training, building local health care capacity, and strengthening key institutional partners in Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
These teams are committed to making a sustainable impact on current global health priorities, providing care and treatment for more than 500,000 people, making a significant overall contribution to the U.S. PEPFAR program. Based on the success of this business model, Redfield’s teams have been awarded 24 additional international grants.
“Drs. Blattner and Redfield have branded the Institute of Human Virology and the University of Maryland in all nine countries,” says Joseph O’Neill, MD, MS, MPH, director of the University of Maryland Office of Global Health and former director of the PEPFAR program. “They have built a reputation among the Ministries of Health and local in-country universities in all of these countries, as the expert in global infectious diseases; HIV, TB, and malaria.”