Our mission is to provide all Somaliland women the opportunity for healthy pregnancies and safe childbirths, to provide all infants with the healthy start they deserve, and to eliminate the practice of Female Genital Mutilation or Female Genital Cutting (FGM/FGC).
The Foundation’s long term goals are to:
- Increase women’s access to skilled public health professionals, improve health care facilities, and provide essential equipment and supplies.
- Prevent complications associated with pregnancy and birth by ending the practice of FGM/FGC.
- We envision a society where all women have access to, and understand the importance of, prenatal care.
- We envision a society where progression of pregnancy and birth is monitored and managed by a medical professional to prevent maternal mortality.
- We envision a society where enough doctors, midwives and nurses are trained so that no woman has to go through pregnancy and childbirth without qualified assistance.
- We envision a society where the bodies of young women and girls are not violently altered from how they were created.
Edna’s Hospital will increase the survival rate of pregnant Somaliland women by training and equipping 1,000 midwives to provide medical monitoring, treatment and education. Community midwives typically assist with 150-200 births per year, while some may deliver as many as 400 babies a year. With the Edna Adan Hospital’s historical survival rate 75 percent higher than the national average, our immediate mission is to spread this success to all corners of Somaliland.
Sandeep Bathala is the Executive Director of the Edna Adan Hospital Foundation. Sandeep joined the Foundation in June 2016. She has a long history of strategizing and enhancing solutions to improve women’s health, including eradicating female genital cutting.
She led the planning, development, and implementation of seminars, workshops, and conferences, focusing on health, environment, livelihoods, population, and security issues as well as the Advancing Policy Dialogue on Maternal Health series as senior program associate for the Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative and Environmental Change and Security Program.
Prior to joining the Wilson Center, she was director of the Sierra Club’s Global Population and Environment Program where her efforts included coordinating study tours to India and Ethiopia to build a base of support for integrated reproductive health and environmental projects supported by USAID and U.S. contributions to the UN Population Fund. She also spearheaded advocacy partnerships with family planning agencies in Albania and Mali at Planned Parenthood.
Sandeep also served as direct services director at Sakhi for South Asian Women, where she led the Domestic Violence, Economic Empowerment, and Women’s Health Initiative. She assisted Attie and Goldwater Productions with the filming and producing of documentaries for national and international audiences on female genital cutting, family planning, and maternal health in Mali. Her experience in program management and social issues has also been enhanced through her work with the Domestic Abuse Project, the Rape Care Program of the New Jersey Division on Women, and Manavi, an organization for South Asian women.
Sandeep holds a BA in sociology and women’s studies and an MSW with an administration, planning, and policy focus, both from Rutgers University.
Board of Directors:
Our board of directors is devoted to our mission of significantly lowering the maternal mortality rate in Somaliland.
Rukia Dahir is the Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Edna Adan Hospital Foundation, which she launched in 2013 after a visit to the Edna Adan University Hospital. Rukia met Edna Adan for the first time in 1999 during her appeal to seek support to build the region’s first maternity hospital. She is very passionate about Edna’s work and wants to make a real difference to the lives of women in Somaliland. Rukia is the Principal and Managing Director RSD Strategies, LLC, an environmental management consulting firm located in Washington, D.C.
She previously served as Director of Legislative Affairs for an inter-governmental relations firm in Washington, DC. She advocated on behalf of mayors, high-ranking city officials and leaders of non-profit organizations before Congress and the Administration. Dahir has experience providing a comprehensive range of services to clients, including legislative drafting and tracking, policy development, governmental lobbying at all levels, and strategy creation. Rukia holds a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Resource Policy from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Keech Combe Shetty
Keech Combe Shetty is a member of the Board of Directors for the Edna Adan Hospital Foundation. Keech joined the Foundation in January of 2014. She is currently Co-CEO of global marketing of Combe Inc., known as the “most personal care products” company.
She is currently responsible for the senior management teams on global marketing, creativity, media, research and development, and participates in marketing and advertising activities. She is responsible for reporting on these functions to Combe’s Board of Directors. Keech has held several positions in Combe; she has overseen skincare and intimate health in the UK while living in London, opened Combe’s presence in India while living in Mumbai, and been global director of Intimate Health while living in New York.
Prior to working at Combe Inc., Keech worked in global marketing at Estee Lauder on Clinique skincare from 2001 to 2004. Keech spent the first five years of her life living in London and then Brussels, where she learned French and English. She also speaks conversational Spanish and beginner German. She enjoys travel, trying new foods, playing tennis, yoga, hiking and skiing with her husband and spending time with their toddler daughter. Keech has her Master’s degree in Business from the Kellogg School of Management and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University.
Ryan began his career with Premier Parking in November 2003 as a full time line employee while he was a full time college student. He was immediately captivated with the parking industry and his financial and visionary contributions were passionately embraced by company founder, Tony Giarratana. Following a period of field operations and strategic promotions, Ryan became CEO of Premier Parking in 2008. Today, in addition to his role as CEO, Ryan is the co-owner of Premier Parking along with the company’s founder. Ryan has been responsible for transforming the company from one parking lot in Nashville, to one of the most respected, fastest growing parking management companies in the country. The breadth of the organization and expansive scope of services enables Premier to provide solutions for surface parking lots, commercial garages, office buildings, special events, sports & entertainment venues, mixed-use buildings, residential buildings, retail buildings, hotels and healthcare facilities. Ryan has ignited the growth of the company to its current portfolio of over 300 parking assets in 20 markets.
Simultaneously, he created a culture within the organization that has earned recognition as a “winner” and a “finalist” of “Best Places to Work” and “Small Business Awards” in Nashville. Throughout his career, Ryan has attributed Premier’s growth to the exceptional service that “Team Premier” provides its clients. He maintains an open door policy with both his clients and employees and feels this transparent and service centered philosophy is what has allowed Premier’s hands-on management style and parking expertise to consistently exceed his client’s expectations. Ryan has developed a team that shares and embraces his vision for being a “Customer First” parking and transportation management organization.
Ryan is skilled in all aspects of parking and is respected in both the Nashville business community and nationally as a parking industry expert. Ryan has leveraged his success, experience and relationships in his career to lead and participate in many successful commercial and residential development projects. Ryan attended Tennessee State University where he earned a BA Degree in Real Estate and Urban Development. Ryan also earned a MBA through the executive MBA program at Lipscomb University. Ryan is a recipient of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 30 under 30 awards and the inaugural National Parking Association’s 40 under 40 awards. He is an active member of the Phoenix Club, Young Presidents’ Organization, Kiwanis Club, Urban Land Institute, Nashville City Club, Hillwood Country Club, Nashville Downtown Partnership and the National Parking Association.
Charles Ferguson is Adviser to the Board of Directors for the Edna Adan Hospital Foundation. Charles is also the founder and president of Representational Pictures, Inc. and director and producer of Inside Job, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2011, and No End In Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq, which was nominated in the same category in 2008.
He holds a Doctorate in Political Science from M.I.T., where his research focused on interactions between high technology, globalization, and government policy. Ferguson spent several years as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been an independent consultant to Apple, Xerox, Motorola, Intel, and Texas Instruments, among other technology companies. He is the author of four books, including High Stakes, No Prisoners: A Winner’s Tale of Greed and Glory in the Internet Wars and Computer Wars: The Post-IBM World (co-authored with Charles Morris).
He has recently completed a book about the roots of the financial crisis and rising economic inequality, entitled Predator Nation, which was released by Random House/Crown in May of 2012.
Meet Edna Adan Ismali:
“Don’t ever underestimate the capacity of a human being who is determined to do something.” –Edna Adan Ismail
Edna Adan was born in Hargeisa, the daughter of a prominent Somali medical doctor and was trained as a nurse in the United Kingdom at the Borough Polytechnic, now London South Bank University. She married Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, a Somali politician who was elected Prime Minister of Somalia in 1967.
In 1980 Edna Adan started building a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. However, due to the beginning of the Somali Civil war, she was forced to leave the country before it was completed.
She was the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Nursing Advisor during 1986. From 1987 to 1991, she was the Regional Technical Officer for Mother and Child Health. In this role, she was responsible for working to end harmful traditional practices which affect the health of women and children (such as female genital mutilation), and for training midwives and traditional birth attendants in the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the WHO. Afterwards, she was the representative of the WHO in Djibouti between 1991 and 1997.
In 2002, on land donated to her by the regional government on a site formerly used as a garbage dump, she officially opened The Edna Adan Maternity Hospital.
The region lacked trained nurses to staff the hospital, so Edna recruited more than 30 candidates and began training them in 2000, while the hospital was still under construction. The hospital now has two operating theatres, a laboratory, a library, a computer center and a complete wing dedicated to training nurses and midwives.
Edna Adan Ismail was the only woman minister in the Somaliland government until July 2006, when she was replaced as Foreign Minister by former Minister of Information and National Guidance, Abdillahi Mohamed Dualeh.
In recognition of her lifelong contribution to humanitarian work, the name of Edna Adan Ismail was added to the Medical Mission Hall of Fame, University of Toledo, Ohio, in March 2007. She has an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Clark University in Massachusetts and was made Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University School of Nursing in Wales on July 8, 2008. In May of 2014, she received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Pennsylvania.
In October of 2012, Edna Adan and the hospital were featured in the documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, which premiered on PBS. The series introduces women and girls who are living under very difficult circumstances and bravely fighting to challenge them. The Half the Sky PBS TV series is produced by Show of Force along with Fugitive Films and can be purchased and/or watched online at http://www.halftheskymovement.org/pages/film.
Edna has been called “The Muslim Mother Teresa” by The Huffington Post.