A message from our Chairperson

I am delighted to see the coming together of the Union’s North America office (UNA) and World Lung Foundation (WLF) to culminate in the launch of a new brand – Vital Strategies.

Vital Strategies will be an affiliate of The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and will partner with The Union on many of its programs. We will share Board and executive management leadership as well as a common vision, enabling us to work seamlessly together and unite in our efforts to address public health challenges around the world.

While the brand is new, the organization has a strong foundation of a wealth of accomplishments derived from its legacy organizations. 

UNA is home to two major projects backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies: The Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety and the Data for Health program. The Global Road Safety Initiative’s goal is to save lives by reducing traffic crashes in ten selected cities and five counties through proven interventions. And UNA is a principal partner of the Data for Health program, which will enable 20 low- and middle-income countries to improve data collection and dissemination to help better prioritize and address public health issues.  UNA has also implemented The Union’s International Management Development Programme, that provides critical workforce development trainings around the world.

Over the past decade, WLF became a major conduit for support for international organizations working in tobacco control including The Union, World Health Organization and the Framework Convention Alliance. WLF also achieved strong successes in its mass media communications work, resulting in the launch of over 165 campaigns in 32 countries. In conjunction with the American Cancer Society, WLF published three editions of The Tobacco Atlas, the most definitive source of information about the global tobacco epidemic. WLF also produced an important Atlas on Acute Respiratory Infections, initiated a pioneering lung-health training program in Ethiopia and built a significant program in Tanzania that is dedicated to reducing maternal mortality. 

Going forward, Vital Strategies’ focus will include and add to its lung health mandate. In addition to continuing the work of our legacy organizations, we will be vigorously engaged in non-communicable disease prevention strategies on a global scale.

Vital Strategies’ key strength is a multidisciplinary approach to the world’s most pressing health problems. With our combined team’s proven record in advocacy, policy development, project management, strategic communication programs, workforce development, epidemiology and surveillance, and research and evaluation, we are better equipped than ever to offer the tools, resources and assistance that will help our partners in low and middle income countries to implement transformational health programs.

As UNA and WLF combine our resources and expertise, our strength and commitment become more than the sum of their parts. We look forward to making an even greater contribution to public health as Vital Strategies.

Louis James de Viel Castel
Chairperson, Vital Strategies Board of Directors