With a Larger Headquarters, The Task Force Looks to Reach More People

The Task Force for Global Health has purchased a larger headquarters in downtown Decatur, GA to meet the growth needs of its existing programs and allow the organization to launch a new program in noncommunicable diseases.

Since 2014, The Task Force has been adding 20 positions annually and now exceeds the capacity of its current headquarters. When fully renovated and occupied, The Task Force’s new headquarters will accommodate up to 375 staff members, more than triple The Task Force’s current staff size.

The Task Force purchased the larger building at 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. from DeKalb County with a $10-million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and a $2-million gift from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. These donations kick off a $24-million capital campaign for the purchase, repair, and renovation of the 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. facility. The Task Force hopes to reach its campaign goal by the end of 2017.

“We are deeply grateful to the Woodruff and Hilton Foundations, as well as DeKalb County, for supporting us in acquiring this facility,” said Task Force President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Ross, ScD. “Our new headquarters will give us the means to increase the impact of our existing programs, launch new programs, and recruit the best talent in global health. The building will also help fuel our region’s economic development and raise metro Atlanta’s profile as a global health center.”

The Task Force has worked closely with DeKalb County to acquire the 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. facility. In April 2016, the DeKalb Board of Commissioners approved the sale of the property for $12 million. The sale closed on Dec. 15. The Task Force expects to move into its new headquarters in fall 2017.

Larry Johnson, who serves as the chair of DeKalb County’s Board of Commissioners, said The Task Force’s expansion to the 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. facility will help fuel economic development in the county. “Their growth means hundreds of new high-paying jobs and increased international visibility for the county,” he said. “I’m also excited about developing a new partnership to address health disparities in DeKalb County.”

The Task Force is exploring how it might help address high chronic disease rates in parts of DeKalb County. In addition, the organization envisions developing a new collaborative center for global health at its new headquarters, where other global health nonprofits may co-locate and work with The Task Force.

DeKalb County and The Task Force will share the six-story building for a period of up to five years. The Task Force will initially occupy three floors and DeKalb County will lease back three floors.

The Task Force’s new headquarters is expected to help raise metro Atlanta’s visibility as a center for global health, which is a new focus of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (MACOC). Growing the global health sector is one of MACOC’s 2017 strategic pillars.

“The Task Force for Global Health is helping address some of the world’s greatest health needs,” said Robert W. Woodruff Foundation President Russ Hardin. “They work in partnership with hundreds of organizations to leverage resources and expertise for an extraordinary collective impact.”

The Task Force receives significant in-kind contributions from pharmaceutical companies for disease control and elimination programs. In 2016 alone, Pfizer, Merck, and GSK donated $3.2 billion worth of medicines, which makes The Task Force the second largest nonprofit in the United States according to Forbes.

Much of The Task Force’s growth in recent years has been due to increases in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a childhood mortality initiative and global Zika response, among other projects.

In September, The Task Force received the $2-million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize – the world’s largest award of its kind – for its extraordinary contributions to alleviating human suffering.

The Task Force is part of the official program at the SXSW 2017 Interactive Festival in Austin, TX. In a March 11 panel discussion titled “How to End a Plague: Smartphones, Science, & Partnerships,” Task Force experts will share their approach for eliminating trachoma as a public health problem by 2020. For more information, visit http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP61321.

To make a donation to The Task Force capital campaign, visit www.taskforce.org/capital-campaign.

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