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Vital Strategies Welcomes Drs. Mary-Ann Etiebet and Lisa Fitzpatrick to its Board of Trustees

Feb. 24, 2021 (New York) – Vital Strategies, a leading global health organization bringing large-scale solutions to bear on the world’s most pressing health problems, today announced two new members to the Board of Trustees: Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director of Merck for Mothers, and Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, infectious diseases physician, epidemiologist and a founder of Grapevine Health.

“I am pleased to welcome Drs. Etiebet and Fitzpatrick to the Board of Trustees,” said Louis James De Viel Castel, Chairperson. “Vital Strategies was focused on making health a priority for all, long before the pandemic demanded it become a priority, and Drs. Etiebet and Fitzpatrick share that same resolve. Together they bring decades of leadership and expertise from across the health sector as physicians, researchers, advocates and program implementers that I know will add great value to the board. On behalf of the trustees, we look forward to working together on Vital Strategies ambitious mission to build strong public health systems for all around the world.”

“At this critical moment in global public health, it is an honor to have Drs. Etiebet and Fitzpatrick join the Vital Strategies Board of Trustees. Respected and venerated public health practitioners, their wide-ranging knowledge and new perspectives will be welcome additions to the organization as we enter our next phase of growth and innovation,” said José Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies.

As a physician, researcher, implementer, funder and advocate working across the public, private and global development sectors, Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet has two decades of experience improving health care outcomes for vulnerable populations and transforming health care delivery at the frontlines. She is the Lead and Executive Director of Merck for Mothers, Merck’s $500M global health initiative to help create a world where no woman has to die giving life. Dr. Etiebet holds an M.D. and M.B.A. from Yale University. She is a member of the Center for Global Development Board of Directors and the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 High-Level Commission. She also serves as the private sector representative on the World Health Organization hosted the Investors Group of the World Bank’s Global Financing Facility.

Vital Strategies’ position as a leading global health organization makes it an exciting and rewarding time to join the Board of Trustees. I look forward to working with my fellow board members to advance our critical mission while also establishing new and worthwhile goals that further our impact to help all people live longer, healthier lives,” said Etiebet.

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick is a medical doctor who has also worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her career has spanned academic and prevention research, clinical medicine, global health, community health education and patient advocacy. She recently served as the medical director for Washington DC’s Medicaid program. She is also a clinical professor and professorial lecturer for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Milken Institute School of Public Health. A member of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network, she was selected as a 2017 Aspen Institute Health Innovator Fellow. Dr. Fitzpatrick has a Masters in Public Health from the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health and Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

“It is a pivotal moment in public health, and I am delighted to join Vital Strategies’ Board of Trustees and their global efforts to make sure that everyone, everywhere is protected by a strong public health system,” said Fitzpatrick.

The appointment of Drs. Etiebet and Fitzpatrick to the board comes at a time when Vital Strategies and the world are grappling with response to COVID-19 and the racial and social inequities laid bare by the pandemic. The Board of Trustees remains committed to broadening our efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of operations and governance. The Board will continue to take action and view all work with this lens, recognizing equity not only as an important social goal but also as a critical public health issue. 

A trusted partner of governments and civil society around the globe, Vital Strategies manages $131 million in worldwide programs touching more than 73 countries, with the goal of supporting governments’ rapid adoption of life-saving interventions and policies.

To learn more about Vital Strategies’ Board of Trustees, please visit:

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.  

To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat

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