Announcements November 15, 2018

Transition of Leadership to Maximize PIVOT’s Impact

A Message from Our Co-Founder

Five years ago, Jim and I co-founded PIVOT (along with Matt Bonds and Michael Rich) with a vision of transforming healthcare in one of the poorest places on earth. Today, we are awed and humbled by the progress that our team of nearly 200 doctors, nurses, midwives, ambulance drivers, pharmacists, researchers, support staff and so many more has accomplished in Madagascar:

  • over 250,000 patients cared for
  • nearly 30,000 children given comprehensive health evaluations
  • over 6,500 people transported to care through our ambulance system
  • quadrupling of utilization rates at PIVOT-supported health centers
  • 25% annual increase in percentage of women giving birth in a health center
  • 18% annual reduction in neonatal mortality
  • over 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals

Building a healthcare intervention for 200,000 people 8,600 miles and 8 time zones away has been no easy task. We believe that PIVOT’s success is largely attributable to the strong leadership of Tara Loyd and Matt Bonds, both of whom have been with PIVOT since the beginning and who have spent the past three years side-by-side in the role of Co-Chief Executive Officers. Together with our Country Director, Dr. Ali Ouenzar, they have turned our dream of healthcare for all into an executable plan.

When Jim and I set out to build PIVOT, we wanted to create an organization that was unique in its endeavor to treat every individual while also producing research that we could share with other groups doing similar work around the world. In our view, no patient could go untreated simply because we didn’t have a full understanding of the “best” way to build a system. However, a parallel emphasis on data-driven research seemed necessary in order  to produce a full understanding of our programs – thereby allowing us to point to our successes and failures and ultimately save more lives in the long-term.

As the organization’s Co-CEOs, Matt and Tara reflect PIVOT’s dual focus on healthcare delivery and impact research. With degrees in economics and ecology and an appointment in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Matt’s combination of field experience and research has enabled PIVOT to become a world leader in data-driven global health. In contrast, Tara came to us with a Masters in Public Health and the practical experience of building and running a healthcare intervention on the ground, having served as the Project Manager of Partners In Health’s program in Malawi as well as an early team member in Lesotho.

Together, they gave PIVOT its unique balance of care for the individual today and research for the population in the future.

Now, we are excited to mark the beginning of PIVOT’s fifth year by announcing a leadership transition that reflects the organization’s ambitions to effect change on both a local and global level. Beginning in September 2018, Tara and Matt shifted laterally into the newly-defined roles of Executive Director and Scientific Director, respectively. Both will continue to report to the board of directors as they lead the organization forward together, Tara with a focus on programs and operations, and Matt with a focus on research and science. We believe this transition will maximize the impact of our programs and staff on the ground, while also creating space for a more deliberate focus on our contribution of research and knowledge to the global agenda to ensure health as a human right.

As two of PIVOT’s co-founders, Jim and I couldn’t be more excited about what this new chapter means for the organization and the people of Madagascar. We forge ahead deeply confident that PIVOT’s work is in the right hands, and with a renewed excitement about what the future holds for PIVOT under Tara and Matt’s direction.


Robin Herrnstein, PIVOT Co-Founder