Atlanta, GA, Dec. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Center for Global Health Innovation – an organization committed to providing tomorrow’s solutions for today’s global health challenges – announces the official launch of Becoming Better Ancestors™, a landmark project co-produced with Lexicon Strategies, committed to solving global health concerns and creating positive change for future generations.

Developed by Drs. Bill Foege and Mark Rosenberg and featuring 29 of the most experienced global health leaders from around the world, Becoming Better Ancestors™ is premiering a free, original virtual series and curriculum called “9 Lessons to Change the World.” It is based on nine simple, proven, and reliable ways to approach global health threats learned from the successful effort to eradicate smallpox. Additionally, Becoming Better Ancestors™ will demonstrate how these lessons can be applied to COVID-19 and influence larger societal problems, including climate change, structural racism, gender equity, and criminal justice.


Pioneered by public health legend Dr. Bill Foege and President Emeritus of The Task Force for Global Health and former US Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Mark Rosenberg, 9 Lessons to Change the World encompasses the expertise, knowledge, support, and participation from many of today’s foremost public health figures and philanthropic changemakers, including:



In 1966, with support of many governments, an international team led by D.A. Henderson, launched the campaign to eradicate smallpox, which stands among global health’s greatest success stories as the only human disease that has ever been completely eradicated. Dr. Foege’s important contributions to this unique accomplishment were recognized in 2012 when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama who called his work, “one of medicine’s greatest success stories.”


“It is not a matter of if, but when the next global health crisis will threaten the health and prosperity of humankind,” said Dr. Bill Foege. “Pandemics and disease do not discriminate and affect everyone – no matter race, religion, socioeconomic status, or gender. The 9 Lessons to Change the World is an effective, plausible, and tested framework that offers the best path to solve and eradicate global health concerns, so everyone has the opportunity to live long and healthy lives.”


The program was organized by the Center for Global Health Innovation and piloted in September at TEPHINET, a global scientific conference in Panama City, Panama. Program sponsors include the Conrad N. Hilton FoundationExemplars in Global HealthFord FoundationSkoll FoundationThe Carter CenterThe Rockefeller FoundationThe Task Force for Global Health, and the CDC Foundation.


“Dr. Foege has helped the world understand how we can tackle the largest global health challenges we face as human beings,” said Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “All who aspire to solve global health issues would benefit from his approach – and from the knowledge, commitment, and compassion he has brought to his decades of inspiring work.”


The complete virtual learning series and curriculum are now live at and are available for the general public online at no charge.




Additional Program Champions & Partner Quotes for Media Use


Dr. Larry Brilliant, MD, MPH- Founder & CEO of Pandefense:

“Working on smallpox eradication was one of the hardest and most rewarding pursuits of my life. Bill Foege taught us so much — by his daily example — about how to solve big problems, how to become better ancestors… and how to do it with heart, camaraderie, conviction, and dare I say it: love. These 9 Lessons reflect that spirit.”


Dr. Tshidi Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

“These 9 Lessons capture some of the fundamentals and sound approaches to solving the serious problems we face today.”


Dr. Seth Berkley- CEO of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance:

“Working across the globe on big problems requires strong frameworks to hold it all together. These 9 Lessons speak to me as time-tested, grounding principles for solving global challenges.”


Zainab Salbi, Founder of Women for Women International:

“Working on the Becoming Better Ancestors project has been so inspiring for me. Working with Bill Foege, Mark Rosenberg, and meeting all of these public health figures across the globe has reminded me that we have much in common in our pursuit of creating change in the world. If we all use these lessons, it’s another way we can work together and share the burden of taking on these large and challenging problems.”


Dr. Kashef Ijaz, M.D., M.P.H., Carter Center Health Program Vice President

“The historic impact of the smallpox campaign’s success continues to drive us to ensure more diseases are relegated to the history books, including Guinea worm disease and polio. The Becoming Better Ancestors project outlines important lessons learned and demonstrates how disease eradication can permanently improve quality of life worldwide.”


About The Center for Global Health Innovation

The Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI) is a 501(c)(3) organization that was launched in January 2020 to bring talented people and companies together in the Global Health, Health Technology, and Life Sciences industries to accelerate the innovation opportunities inside of Global Health problems and provide tomorrow’s solutions for today’s health challenges. For more information, visit


Follow CGHI on Twitter (@Center4Global) and on Facebook and LinkedIn.


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About Lexicon Strategies

Lexicon Strategies is a highly-qualified team of expert problem solvers helping navigate the toughest community challenges with thoughtful, creative solutions and proven know-how. In an era when serious problems large and small can be transformed into opportunities for advancement, to improve our communities, we help take action to reshape the landscape and leave a lasting impact. Visit Lexicon at


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