Global Livingston Institute and Bridge of Life Partner to Support HIV Prevention and Free Health Services to More Than 3,000 Ugandans

DENVER, Feb. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Global Livingston Institute has partnered with Bridge of Life, an independent nonprofit organization founded by DaVita Inc., and Reach a Hand Uganda to provide free health services throughout the iKnow Concert Series in Uganda. The concert series will take place in Kampala on March 8; Masaka on March 9; and Kabale on March 12. Performances include artists Michael Franti, Rob Drabkin and top Ugandan artists including Navio, Nina Roz and other international artists.

Volunteer, Fátima Silva, takes a participant’s blood sample during Bridge of Life’s 2018 chronic disease screening in Uganda.

Since 2014, the Global Livingston Institute in partnership with Reach a Hand Uganda has hosted free concerts in East Africa centered around sharing culture, public health and economic development. Over the past six years, more than 160,000 Ugandans have attended the concert series, over 25,000 Ugandans have been tested for HIV while attending the shows and a vast array of essential health services have been provided.

"If you're going to bring thousands of young people together for a free concert, why not also provide free health services?" Ryan Grundy, executive director, Global Livingston Institute said. "By partnering with Bridge of Life and collaborating with local health providers and in-country partners at the concert venues we are hoping to reach 3,000 individuals and also provide follow-up care, ongoing prevention education and recommended treatment plans to patients."

Bridge of Life focuses on early detection and prevention as key components in the fight against chronic kidney disease and its root causes. Their volunteer team, comprised of teammates from DaVita, will implement newly designed protocol for screening a younger population that focuses on behavioral health change of high-risk habits such as tobacco and alcohol use, physical inactivity and diet. Additionally, on the days between concerts, volunteers will screen adults in nearby communities for chronic kidney disease and its root causes such as hypertension and diabetes. The professionals from Bridge of Life use real-time, lab quality testing to identify individuals who have signs of chronic illnesses and offer health education to encourage patients to take a proactive role in their own health. They will help ensure that high-risk patients receive the necessary care long-term by working with local clinics and hospitals to establish a referral process.

"Through the iKnow Concert Series and now the Girls Festival series, we are able to reach large populations of young adults in Uganda at a time when access to accurate information and education can help aid and direct individuals in making crucial decisions with regards to life skills and development, behavioral change or sexual reproductive health and rights with constant support of both teams, peer educators and cultural icons," said Humphrey Nabimanya, founder and team leader, Reach a Hand Uganda. "This is only made possible by partnering with organizations like the Global Livingston Institute and Bridge of Life to bring these health services closer to our communities."

"Our vision is a world where all human beings have access to quality healthcare. We are hoping to screen and educate thousands of Ugandans through the iKnow Concert Series which will help put us ahead of the diseases before they become life-threatening problems," said Greta Walker, senior director of donor relations and communications for Bridge of Life. "Young adulthood is a critical time to form life-long health behaviors, but many people in this age group lack awareness of their own health and receive significantly less health services. This project will transform the methods that local clinics use to address life-threatening chronic illnesses by enhancing the skills and knowledge of health authorities, community health workers and community members."

About Global Livingston Institute
The Global Livingston Institute (GLI) is dedicated to improving communities globally. The organization educates students and leaders on innovative approaches to international development and empowers awareness, collaboration, conversations and personal growth in both East Africa and in the United States. GLI is named after Johnston R. Livingston, a visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Colorado and was founded in 2009, by Jamie Van Leeuwen after he traveled to Uganda and Rwanda as part of the Livingston Fellowship. GLI programs include immersion trips, internships, GLI Concert Series, Women's Leadership Retreat, Youth Summit and trainings. To learn more visit GlobalLivingston.org.

About Bridge of Life
Bridge of Life (BOL), an independent 501(c)(3) public charity founded by DaVita, is an international nonprofit organization working to strengthen healthcare globally through sustainable programs that prevent and treat chronic disease. BOL's vision is a world where all human beings have access to quality healthcare. The organization strives to empower local staff, community health workers and patients through training and education to make sustainable changes to healthcare. To learn more about Bridge of Life and their global medical missions, visit BridgeofLifeInternational.org.

About DaVita Inc.
DaVita Inc., a Fortune 500® company, is the parent company of DaVita Kidney Care and DaVita Medical Group. DaVita Kidney Care is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, delivering dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. As of December 31, 2018, DaVita Kidney Care operated or provided administrative services at 2,664 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 203,000 patients. The company also operated 241 outpatient dialysis centers located in 9 countries outside the United States. DaVita Medical Group manages and operates medical groups and affiliated physician networks in California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington in its pursuit to deliver excellent-quality health care in a dignified and compassionate manner. DaVita Medical Group's teammates, employed clinicians and affiliated clinicians provided care for approximately 1.7 million patients. For more information, please visit DaVita.com/About.

About the iKnow Concert Series
In 2014, a group of extraordinary and eclectic musicians from Colorado, New Orleans and Nashville came together for the First Annual iKnow Concert on Lake Bunyonyi in Southern Uganda. Performing with a cadre of talented and wild local musicians and rising stars on the East Africa music scene, more than 4,000 people turned out for the free concert and a record 826 received free HIV testing. The concept of this idea and innovation behind this free concert is to create HIV awareness and prevention in communities that are sometimes very hard to reach. Over the past six years, more than 160,000 Ugandans have attended the concert series, over 25,000 Ugandans have been tested for HIV while attending the shows and a vast array of essential health services have been provided. As the concert series continues to grow in partnership with partners at Reach a Hand Uganda, the concert series seeks to provide year-round medical services, spreading the same positive public health message and economic impact to the people of Uganda. The iKnow Concert Series is one of the largest events that happens in these communities each year bringing together the community through music and the arts, promoting public health, supporting economic development and culture sharing. For more information, visit iKnowConcertSeries.org.

Media Contact:
Greta Walker
Sr. Director of Public Relations
Bridge of Life
303-618-4004
greta.walker@bolteam.org

Volunteer, Naweza Halkose, consults with a participant at a Bridge of Life chronic disease screening station.

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SOURCE Bridge of Life

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