Our Approach

At FACE, we’re driven by the belief that the health and well-being of communities depends on ethical public health practice and compassionate care. Compassion enables us to recognize that the well-being of the ‘distant stranger’ is inextricably linked to our own. Ethics compels us to closely examine our assumptions, motivations, practices, relationships, and impact. This applies not only to the communities we work with, but also to the many people we work alongside.


Dr. Bill Foege, co-founder of The Task Force for Global Health, emphasized the importance of “seeing the faces” of those whose health we aim to improve. The complexity and distances inherent in global health can make this difficult. FACE seeks to refocus our attention on the people behind health statistics by bringing compassion and ethics to the center of our work.

How We Work

We bring compassion and ethics to the center of global health work through many diverse projects and collaborations with key partners around the world.


We are connected with a vast network of like-minded organizations and individuals who believe in the value of compassion and ethical action. We convene key stakeholders and leading experts to provide common ground for learning, connection, and collaboration.


We offer guidance, partnership, and strategic thinking to global health leaders who contend with practical ethical dilemmas in their work. We also advise and work closely with individuals and organizations who seek to cultivate more compassionate leaders and systems.

Research & Innovation

Working alongside our partners, we develop innovative, evidence-based approaches to complex ethical challenges in global health. We also generate evidence to support organizations and ministries of health in their efforts to cultivate and demonstrate the value of compassion. We do this through primary research, systematic analysis, and testing and iterating novel initiatives.

Education & Training

We provide tailored training and curricula to foster awareness of ethical issues and support compassion cultivation among global health students and practitioners. This work provides important tools to address difficult ethical challenges and mitigate moral distress and burnout.

Why Compassion?

Compassion arises from a deep experience of shared humanity and solidarity. It can be cultivated, harnessed, and channeled in service of social justice, health equity, and dignity.

Our view of compassion—informed by neuroscience, psychology, and contemplative science—is that it is made up of three essential elements:

1. Awareness

Cognitive awareness of suffering

2. Empathy

Emotional resonance with the suffering person

3. Action

A commitment to alleviate suffering

At times, compassion is expressed by marching together in protest. In other moments, compassionate action is providing intensive, technical medical care, as seen in the heroic response of health care workers to COVID-19. At other times, the most effective compassionate ‘action’ may be simply sitting in silence and holding the hand of someone who has suffered a painful loss.

Compassion “is not just an idle wish to see sentient beings free from suffering, but an immediate need to intervene and actively engage, to try to help.” – Dalai Lama

Voices of Compassion


Professor of Global Health and Development, Director of the Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh

Shams Syed, MD MPH

Quality of Care Lead, World Health Organization

Our Team

Screen Shot 2021-08-25 at 8.38.31 PM
David Addiss, MD, MPH | Director
David is a public health doctor whose meandering career has involved migrant health, mountain medicine, neglected tropical diseases, research, philanthropy, and global health. An opportunity to study public health at Johns Hopkins University rescued him from a decadent life as a climbing bum in Yosemite. “I am absolutely delighted to be working with such amazing people, breaking new ground, and navigating the rich, creative waters of compassion, ethics, and global health.”  
Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 10.11.18 AM
Heather Buesseler, MPH |

Heather is a global health and humanitarian professional committed to health equity and social justice for marginalized populations. A native Minnesotan, she is based Minneapolis and loves urban and wilderness adventuring with her 4-year-old daughter. She also holds an adjunct faculty position in St. Catherine’s University Global MPH program in St. Paul.

“The work of designing compassionate, values-based health care is truly where I want to dedicate the remainder of my career.”

Chimdi Ezeigwe |
MPH Candidate, Intern

Chimdi is a first year MPH student studying Health Policy and Management at Rollins. She is particularly interested in global health and hopes to use her  experiences in policy and management to work towards improving health outcomes in the developing world by creating sustainable and quality systems. In her free time, Chimdi enjoys trying new recipes, listening to music, and exploring different parts of the city.

“I am very excited to be working at FACE and to further explore the importance and impact of compassion in public health and healthcare!”

Nick Chang |
MPH Candidate, Intern

In pursuing a master of public health, Nick intends to specialize in mental health policy to address systemic inequalities and unintended outcomes of current mental health care structures. He is particularly interested in examining the effects of societal stigmas on access to and usage of mental health services. During his time at Rollins, Nicholas hopes to further his understanding of health policy and mental health through coursework and build relationships both on and off campus with organizations and individuals that will become catalysts for change in the mental health policy space.

“Working at FACE creates opportunities to jump-start the conversation about mental health and well-being around the world.”

Ashley Graham, MJ, PhD |
Director of Research and Operations

Ashley is a medical anthropologist interested in ethics, global health policy, and infectious disease. She loves living in Atlanta, trying different foods around the world, writing, and doing anything outside. Her latest adventure is as ‘Mama.’

“I met David at a conference on ethics in global health and three weeks later I started working with FACE. The program really is that special.”

Patricia Richmond, MPH |
Project Support Specialist

Patricia’s professional journey has always been fueled by compassion. Her studies of world religions, peacemaking, and social permaculture underpin a varied career encompassing public health, public schools, and the promotion of robust, resilient communities. Patricia parents, sings, and tends an ever-evolving food forest just outside the city limits of Atlanta.

“Working with FACE is an affirming intersection of the many paths of inquiry I have followed, in the hopeful quest for a more compassionate world.”

Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 10.12.01 AM
Amy Richards |
MPH Candidate, Intern

Amy is a socially and globally focused public health student, seeking to secure a voice and dignified standard of living for the least heard and visible communities via partnership they own. Forever curious and driven by care, you may find her asking questions like “who have we forgotten?”, “what assumptions are we making?”, and “have we adequately incorporated human context into this initiative?” 

“It is crucial we truly see the humans and communities we walk alongside as we support their potential, quality of life, and inherent value.”

WhatsApp Image 2022-04-03 at 9.07.20 PM
Elisaveta Petrova-Geretto |

Elisaveta is passionate about her job as assistant professor at the Faculty of Public Health in Sofia which harmoniously combines her professional and personal aspirations for a fairer and just society. Teaching is her contribution to making the world a better place as she believes education is the single most powerful tool in bringing change. Presently, Elisaveta is a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at the Rollins School of Public Health.

“Joining FACE is the highlight of my fellowship year- I work with incredible professionals who dedicate their intelligence and humanity to making our world a better place.”

Hallelujah Anteneh |

Hallelujah recently graduated from the University of Georgia where she majored in Health Promotion, minored in Sociology, and got a certificate in Global Health. She is currently gaining some work experience before going back to school for her Masters in Public Health. She has a passion for minority health and equity, and is very interested in the impact social determinants of health have on overall health outcomes. In her free time she enjoys taking pictures, making jewelry, up-cycling clothing, and spending time outside

I’m so excited to be a part of an organization that emphasizes the importance of compassion and ethics.

Header photo caption: Somphou Sayasone, MD, of the Lao PDR Ministry of Health oversees a public health program to eliminate a parasitic disease called schistosomiasis from islands located in the Mekong River in southern Lao PDR. Photo credit: Billy Weeks.

Scroll to Top