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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University June 9, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 37
35-Year-Old Jhpiego Gets a Facelift Reflecting Refocused Mission

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Have you noticed something different? Yes, Jhpiego has a new look — and not just the slimmed-down letters in its name. The Johns Hopkins-affiliated international health organization has recently rolled out a campaign to re-brand itself in order to better reflect the 35-year-old organization's refocused mission.

Jhpiego (pronounced "ja-pie-go") was established in 1973 to improve health care access for women and their families. The name originally stood for Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO). This year, the organization lowercased its name to lose the connection to the original acronym, viewed as obsolete, and have it officially become the word by which it has become known worldwide.

From its origins as a provider of technical expertise in reproductive, maternal and child health, Jhpiego now also assists in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria and cervical cancer, reflecting the increasing interconnectedness of global health.

In addition to the subtle name change, Jhpiego has adopted a new mission and vision statement, redesigned its Web site and created a new logo, which uses the phrase "innovating to save lives."

The re-branding effort came as a result of the organization's new strategic plan, completed last year. Leslie Mancuso, president and CEO of Jhpiego, said that the organization decided to roll out the changes this year to coincide with its 35th anniversary.

"We wanted to highlight the message of innovating to save lives, a phrase that came out of our strategic planning discussions," said Mancuso, who joined Jhpiego in 2002. "People know us worldwide by the way we innovate. We wanted our new brand to show our commitment to developing the technical expertise that can be put into practice."

The organization, which reports to the Office of the Provost, focuses on training and support for health care providers working in limited-resource settings throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Jhpiego's headquarters in Baltimore coordinates activities with the organization's offices and programs in more than 50 countries. It employs more than 450 people worldwide.

As reflected in its new vision statement, Jhpiego assists front-line health workers by designing and implementing effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families. It partners with organizations from the community to the national level, building sustainable, local capacity through advocacy, policy development, and quality and performance improvement approaches.

By putting evidence-based health innovations into everyday practice, Jhpiego works to break down barriers to high-quality health care for the world's most vulnerable populations. For example, Jhpiego serves as a technical resource for state-of-the-art training materials and for HIV/AIDS care and treatment guidelines, protocols and standards. Currently, the organization has staff in 25 countries throughout Africa and the Caribbean who work on innovative approaches to HIV/AIDS treatment, counseling, testing and prevention.

The new logo and Web site, developed by Jhpiego staff, utilize the colors blue and green, meant to signify life, strength and growth. To the left of the name rests a simple circular symbol, a green dot wrapped by matching blue elements.

Mancuso said that the new symbol, which signifies knowledge and life, is open to interpretation.

"Some people see it as two hands clasped around a child's head, or two arms around the globe," she said. "Others see it as a seed of knowledge."

Over the next few months, the organization will add new navigation components and upgrades to the Web site and will continue to incorporate the new branding into all its communication, marketing and education efforts.

"We anticipate it will take a full year to completely roll out," Mancuso said. "We want to phase this in. We need to do this in a coordinated and cost-effective way."

To learn more about the organization and view the changes, go to


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