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Funded Projects: 2011

The Foundation made fourteen grants in November 2011, totaling $58,000.00. Awards were given to:

  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in the amount of $8,000.00, to help the organization provide urgently needed medical care to people caught in humanitarian crises.

    From Sri Lanka to Sudan to Pakistan, MSF teams work in contexts in which civilians and aid workers are targeted or in which governments impede their ability to reach people in urgent need of medical attention. Through programs in nearly 70 countries in 2010, MSF medical teams conducted 7.3 million outpatient consultations for common illnesses like respiratory infections and diseases such as malaria and meningitis. They also provided inpatient hospital care to 362,000 people for serious medical conditions ranging from gunshot wounds and burns to complicated malnutrition and obstetric emergencies. To stem outbreaks of measles across sub-Saharan Africa, MSF vaccination teams immunized more than 3.8 million children, the majority in Malawi which suffered its biggest epidemic in 13 years.

  • Map International, in the amount of $8,000.00. MAP International is a global health organization that partners with people living in conditions of poverty to save lives and develop healthier families and communities. Founded in 1954, and recognized for their 99% efficiency rating, they provide medicines, prevent disease, and promote health to create real hope and lasting change. MAP is launching a new campaign that targets four very important areas necessary for increasing MAP's efficiency, one of which is the Global Essential Medicines Expansion (GEMS) program. The GEMS program is a means to purchase low cost, high quality generic medicines in bulk from around the world. This is a cost effective approach for MAP to distribute low cost generics to aid organizations abroad.

  • Engineers Without Borders - USA, in the amount of $8,000.00. EWB-USA is a nonprofit humanitarian organization established to support community-driven development programs worldwide through partnerships that design and implement sustainable engineering projects. EWB-USA members, comprised of professional and student engineers or other disciplines, work with local communities and NGOs in over 45 developing countries around the world on projects such as water, renewable energy, sanitation and more. Dubbed the "Blueprint Brigade" by Time Magazine, EWB-USA has grown from little more than a handful of members in 2002 to over 12,000 members today and has over 400 projects worldwide.

    This year the GPK Foundation is proud to support two EWB chapters: 1) the Yale Student Chapter, to implement infrastructure promoting clean and sustainable water usage in the community of Kikoo, Cameroon; and 2) the Central Ohio Professional Chapter, to improve the health and sanitation of a marginalized community in San Pedro Puxtla, El Salvador.

  • The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center (formerly the Oklahoma University Cancer Institute), in the amount of $4,500.00. As Oklahoma's only comprehensive academic cancer center, it is charged by the Oklahoma Legislature with taking "statewide leadership" in cancer prevention, research, clinical care and education and to seek "comprehensive cancer center" designation by the National Cancer Institute. Approximately 100 PhD-level scientists are working there on cancer research programs, including several in gynecologic cancers. Their medical teams attend to patients during approximately 60,000 patient visits annually. They are training the next generation of health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, technicians, nutritionists and social workers.

  • Planned Parenthood, in the amount of $4,000.00. Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading reproductive health and rights organization. They conduct advocacy and public education at the national level, while also supporting the activities of Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country, as they provide sexual and reproductive health care and education to five million women, men, and young people annually.

    Goals for the coming year include: Defend women's health and rights, coordinating sophisticated communications strategies with high-visibility grassroots action; provide frontline support to strengthen service delivery, including training and technical assistance to strengthen affiliate clinical, financial, and business operations; create the healthiest generation, through special outreach efforts particularly to youth and Latinos; and reach women in need, particularly in poverty-stricken areas of the South and Southwest.

  • Global Marine Initiative, in the amount of $4,000.00. The Global Marine Initiative is part of The Nature Conservancy, the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Made up of experts in science and policy, the Conservancy's Global Marine Initiative achieves tangible results by leading marine conservation research and science, developing cutting-edge tools and innovative approaches, catalyzing high-impact partnerships and advocating for policies that enable conservation.

    As a leader in the field of coral reef conservation, The Conservancy was chosen by NOAA in 2009 to lead an innovative new 36 project partnership to protect coral reefs. The Partnership is aimed at protecting the health of the nation's valuable but increasingly vulnerable coral reef ecosystems in Florida, the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The four-year agreement which runs through 2013, addresses the top three threats facing coral reef ecosystems: climate change, overfishing, and land-based sources of pollution.

  • National Public Radio, in continuing support of its noncommercial educational programming, in the amount of $3,500.00. Each week NPR--in partnership with more than 900 independent public radio stations--provides on-air, in-depth, big-picture reporting to 27 million listeners. Each month they also reach 18 million Web and digital readers. Their mission statement is "to create a more informed public--one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and culture".

    This is the third year in which the GPK Foundation has supported the efforts of NPR.

  • Mercy Corps, in the amount of $3,500.00. Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian organization that exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by building secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps helps more than 19 million people in 41 countries turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress. Since 1979, their programs have been driven by local needs to provide communities with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives.

    Goals for 2012 include: Support young people in developing skills and accessing employment opportunities so they can support themselves and thrive; expand food security programs to reduce vulnerability by influencing national and international food security policies and strategies; and respond to disasters by providing immediate, life-saving aid, such as food, water and sanitation.

  • The Central Asia Institute, in the amount of $3,500.00, in support of education in Afghanistan and Pakistan. CAI was founded by Greg Mortenson, known for his book Three Cups of Tea. This is the fourth year in which the GPK Foundation has supported the efforts of CAI. They have now helped build and/or support 145 schools, and aim to continue to help support these projects and continue to build 8-12 new schools each year. They will also focus on community-based participation, to initiate, implement and manage the education process in its entirety.

  • Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, in the amount of $3,000.00. Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy is dedicated to creating a treatment and cure by: Funding and advancing a comprehensive research program; supporting SMA families through networking, information and services; improving care for all SMA patients; educating health professionals and the public about SMA; enlisting government support for SMA; and embracing all touched by SMA in a caring community.

    With this grant, the organization intends to support their 2011/2012 research initiatives for new Basic Research, Drug Development and Clinical Research programs. These nine brand new projects represent the most progressive research being conducted in the quest for a treatment and cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Projects being conducted at respected institutions such as Columbia University, Ohio State University and Emory University will continue to fill the drug development pipeline ensuring our best chances of finding a therapy to treat, and one day cure, individuals living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

  • Ducks Unlimited, in the amount of $3,000.00. Founded in 1937, Ducks Unlimited is a non-profit conservation organization that has conserved more than 12 million acres of wetland habitat. Their goal is to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl and wildlife. Annual objectives include: Protecting or restoring 100,000 acres of habitat in the highest priority landscapes for waterfowl; evaluating current landscape priorities to determine continued relevance to the core mission; and influencing public policies and regulations that will ensure the long-term protection of landscapes important to waterfowl.

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), in the amount of $3,000.00. AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society (with a membership of about 120,000, including scientists and engineers from all disciplines, as well as educators and others) and publisher of the journal Science. It seeks to enhance communication among scientists and between scientists and the public, provide a voice for science on societal issues, and promote the responsible use of science in public policy to activities that aim to strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce, foster education in science and technology for everyone, and advance international cooperation.

  • PRISMS (Parents and Researchers Interested In Smith-Magenis Syndrome), in the amount of $1,000.00. SMS is a rare (1/25,000 births) chromosomal disorder associated with a range of special needs due to the physical and developmental/intellectual disabilities and complex pattern of behaviors that characterize the syndrome. People with SMS have genetically driven maladaptive and self-injurious behaviors exacerbated by a chronic circadian sleep disorder. PRISMS bridges the gap of isolation families encounter, offering information, support, and advocating for programs and research to benefit SMS families.

  • SETI Institute, in the amount of $1,000.00. The mission of the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Priority one for SETI today is getting the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) back online as soon as possible and once again fixing our gaze on the stars. The ATA is a powerful field of linked radio telescopes that enable countless avenues of astronomical study, chief among them the search for evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations and insight into the nature of our cosmic origins.