McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster professor vies for $10M award

Published: July 16, 2012
Christy Gombay
Christy Gombay, assistant director of McMaster's Masters in Global Health program and an assistant professor in the School of Nursing

Christy Gombay, assistant director of McMaster’s Masters in Global Health program, was nominated for a $10 million award to support a project that has already saved the lives of hundreds of Guatemalan people.

He was one of two Canadians among 65 finalists in a competition called Saving Lives at Birth, which is sponsored in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Although, Gombay did not win the award, announced July 14, he says the work will continue.

Gombay, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has worked with the health ministry in Guatemala to set up classes to teach 1,000 Mayan famers to become community nurses and health workers in remote communities of rural Guatemala, where five million people have little access to health care.

“We gave them a basic tool, a cell phone, to talk with doctors in health centres. Today 300,000 people in one province have access to care,” he said, adding that the lives of 100 women and children have been saved. Gombay said he would use the funds from the award to expand the program to two more provinces.

His plan now is to forge ahead.

It might just take a little longer, he said.

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