GHESKIO, a leading Haitian public health nonprofit, has named Haitian-born actor Jimmy Jean-Louis as its first Ambassador. Since 1982, GHESKIO has provided health and social support services for hundreds of thousands of Haitians, all at no cost. Best known for its treatment and care for people with HIV and tuberculosis, GHESKIO’s groundbreaking research has influenced public health policies worldwide, including those of the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
Born in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, Mr. Jean-Louis was named Ambassador-at-Large to Haiti by Haiti’s president in 2014. In his new role as GHESKIO’s first Ambassador, Mr. Jean-Louis will work to raise the visibility of medical, social and economic needs in Haiti and how GHESKIO is working to address them.
“Jimmy Jean-Louis believes in GHESKIO’s mission of providing opportunities for all Haitians, especially the most vulnerable and the underprivileged. It is a great privilege for GHESKIO to have as an ambassador, a world-renowned artist, with a strong desire to give back to his native country,” said Dr. Jean Pape, the Executive Director of GHESKIO Centers.
Mr. Jean-Louis began his career as a dancer and a model in Europe and South Africa. Now based in Los Angeles, he is a producer and award-winning actor with a long list of credits, including the highly acclaimed “Rattlesnakes,” the NBC hit “Heroes,” and “Joy” featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. His films have won awards across the world and he won Best Lead Actor Award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards 2020 for the movie “Desrances”. His most personal role was playing the title character in “Toussaint Louverture,” for which he was honored as Best Actor at the Pan African Film Festival.
Jimmy Jean-Louis stated, “It’s an honor to collaborate with GHESKIO in an effort to provide the best possible health services to the Haitian people during this health crisis that the world is going through.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Mr. Jean-Louis’ collaboration with GHESKIO,” said Scott Morgan, Executive Director of the New York based Haitian Global Health Alliance, which is dedicated to supporting GHESKIO. “Mr. Jean-Louis’ global appeal and high profile are a natural fit with GHESKIO.”
GHESKIO operates a network of clinics in Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti. It is an international leader in clinical care and research for HIV, tuberculosis and other infectious and chronic diseases. Since the earliest days of the HIV epidemic, GHESKIO has been at the forefront of the HIV response, implementing testing and prevention strategies and treatment protocols that have influenced guidelines worldwide over the last 39 years.
GHESKIO has been a leader in Haiti’s decrease in HIV prevalence from 6.2% in 1993 to the current level of less than 2.0%. GHESKIO is also the Caribbean’s largest provider of tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment. GHESKIO is world-renowned for its research, with more than 35 years of continuous support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for clinical trials and decades of support from PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) for the treatment and care of people living with HIV in Haiti.
GHESKIO is a member of the prestigious AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and GHESKIO researchers have published over 250 peer-reviewed journal articles. Dr. Pape, who was born in Haiti, returned to his country after completing medical school at Cornell University. Dr. Pape who leads GHESKIO is one of nine members of the newly formed Science Council of the World Health Organization of which he will advise the organization about priorities and emerging global health issues.