From Sight and Life: On the evening of November 8, Sight and Life proudly announced two winners of the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award at the SUN Global Gathering in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. Dr. Shilpa Bhatte and Dr. Ellen Piwoz were recognized as great leaders in the nutrition field who have a vision of an improved world and who inspire others to do the same.
“There are many types of leadership. Here at Sight and Life we back leaders who are agents for change, who role up their sleeves and work hard to accomplish their vision, and who serve as role models for the next generation. Shilpa Bhatte and Ellen Piwoz embody these traits and have transformed systems in order to improve nutrition at the national and global level.” Klaus Kraemer, Sight and Life Managing Director.
Bhatte is a medical doctor and a public health physician with more than 10 years experience of working in the maternal and child health sector in India. She has been part of the emergency obstetric care program (EmOC) of Govt of India, technical team of Operation Eyesight & Child Eye Care Charitable Trust in slum communities of Mumbai and currently heads Vitamin Angels in India as Senior Program Advisor. Over last 7 years under her leadership, Vitamin Angels, a platform providing lifesaving vitamins to mothers and children at risk of malnutrition in India, Bhatte’s efforts have successfully reached 12 million children under five with vitamin A supplementation and deworming interventions through a local network of 400+ NGOs.
“This world has too much or too little of everything - we have to strive towards attaining a better balance!” states Bhatte.
In addition, she has also been able to support at least 6 state governments in India, with technical information and training, which has helped them to adopt using the vitamin A capsules as a more scientific and globally acceptable form of providing vitamin A to children under five.
Piwoz is an alumnus of both Duke University and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Healthwhere she has held adjunct faculty appointments as well. An expert in the field of nutrition, breast-feeding and HIV prevention, she has been published in an over 46 peer reviewed journal articles, 18 books and monographs, and 4 chapters. During her career she has taken on impactful roles as senior advisor on nutrition advising the Africa Bureau Office of Sustainable Development at USAID, and co-investigator on numerous clinical trials and behavioral studies on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
In 2007, she joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and currently leads the Nutrition Strategy Data, Analytics, and Evidence Initiative. Her work has lead her to shape and manage a diverse portfolio of grants including research on healthy birth, growth, and development and new intervention development; testing new delivery models for improving maternal nutrition, breastfeeding, and complementary feeding at scale through successful programs such as Alive & Thrive.
“I'm honored to receive this award alongside such a diverse group of leaders. I'm incredibly proud of the collective progress made, in my 35 years of work on this issue, and I am looking forward to working together until every woman and child, in every country, has the nutrition they need to live healthy, productive lives.” Piwoz shared.
Bhatte and Piwoz join an inspiring group of past recipients of The Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award such as Dr David Nabarro, Dr Robert Black, Dr Anna Lartey, and Dr Shawn Baker. Congratulations to two very deserving leaders in nutrition diligently working to change the face of nutrition for the better.
Watch the complete Scaling Up Nutrition Awards Ceremony during the SUN Global Gathering in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire here.