Franklin C. Baer, MHS-TM '77
Global Achievement Award
Health Systems Development Specialist
Franklin Baer is one of the world’s leading and most experienced technical advisors for strengthening primary health care services in resource-constrained settings in Africa. After completing his degree at Johns Hopkins in 1976, he helped develop one of the first faith-based managed health zones in DR Congo (then Zaire). In the 1980s, he served as project manager for the USAID-funded SANRU (Santé Rurale) project to develop 100 decentralized health zones, many with faith-based partners. Since 1991, he has worked as an independent consultant and technical advisor to many different governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Baer is widely admired for his knowledge and consensus-building skills in designing and improving primary health care systems. He has worked in 28 countries, primarily within sub-Saharan Africa. In 2000, he led the design of the SANRU III project to begin the rebuilding process for DRC’s health system. Similarly, he made more than twenty trips to Liberia (2006-2013) as a key advisor to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to develop its national health plan to rebuild and decentralize its war-torn health system. In 2011, he helped SANRU evolve into a national NGO, and serves as its Vice-President. SANRU is currently Principal Recipient for Global Fund, GAVI and other donor funding to develop, rebuild and sustain more than 400 health zones across DRC. Baer has also been a long-term leader of the organization Christian Connections for International Health, and in 2017 received its International Health Champion award.