SCOPE partners with medical and faith communities to improve health in Ethiopia through outreach, education, and training.

Who We Are

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The Strengthening Care Opportunities through Partnership in Ethiopia (SCOPE) project is a partnership between the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health, University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington, the University of Gondar, Ethiopia, and the North Gondar Diocese of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

With limited funding and in a short time frame, SCOPE has achieved remarkable success by developing a model of collaborative engagement between the religious and medical communities towards a common goal of improving the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS. The impact of SCOPE’s accomplishments includes:

  • More than 800 people being tested for HIV through the testing campaign pilot hosted by the Gondar Diocese, including the Archbishop and 55 priests.
  • Training 25 priests at the North Gondar Diocese’s first HIV/AIDS priest training program, designed to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention, control, support, stigma-reduction and care.
  • Currently, a SCOPE fellow is working with the outreach teams and clinic staff to understand how to best identify and enroll pregnant women into care after the Beruh Tesfa pilot project ends and the teams no longer have weekly check-ins with SCOPE.

SCOPE has been recognized internationally as a highly successful model of collaborative HIV care delivery. Results from SCOPE projects have been published and presented in numerous international forums, including the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa and the 2012 American Public Health Association Conference. SCOPE was selected as a finalist for the Microsoft Alumni Award and was highlighted during 2012 Perspectives: How Faith-based and Secular Organizations Partner for Better Global Health.


PMTCTphotoSCOPE improves health in regions affected by HIV/AIDS through medical and faith community partnerships dedicated to outreach, education, and training. 

  • Outreach to local communities, aimed at reducing stigma and expanding HIV testing, diagnosis, treatment and care.
  • Education of new global health leaders through university-affiliated fellowship programs.
  • Training local faith leaders in the importance of reducing barriers to HIV testing and care.


FrontwhatwedoThe SCOPE fellowship project represents a unique cooperation between the University of Washington Department of Global Health, University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, WA, the University of Gondar, Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

This partnership between university-based medicine and the religious community builds on the strengths of both, using the broad and influential reach of the faith community to expand understanding of and access to modern medical diagnostics and treatment.

Why Ethiopia?

In the Gondar region, nearly 700,000 individuals are HIV+. HIV/AIDS prevalence is 50% higher than the national average, and 44% of Ethiopia’s HIV/AIDS orphans live here. Despite available HIV counseling and testing, participation remains low, in part because of discrimination against HIV+ individuals. Among those who do get tested and are HIV+, many do not access care or adhere to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) drugs. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) has great influence on the community. Although the EOC supports HIV prevention, many HIV+ individuals in Gondar cite “religious reasons” for not seeking treatment, i.e., using holy water instead of ART or stopping ART during religious fasts. The situation is particularly dire for pregnant women: less than 1/3 of all pregnant women seek prenatal care. As a result, the medical community can’t identify and treat HIV+ women to prevent transmission to their children and to help them live longer, healthier lives to care for their children.

Our Team

Nancy Andrews


SCOPE Co-Director and former Microsoft Executive

Peggy Sarjeant


SCOPE Co-Director, Seattle pediatrician and writer.

Judd Walson

M.D. - MPH

Seattle, WA

Associate Professor of Global Health, Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Washington

Grace John Stewart

M.D. - MPH - PhD

Seattle, WA

Professor of Global Health, University of Washington, Director UW Global WACh

Sandra Fisher

RN - DNP Candidate

Seattle, WA

Barbara Clinton


Getahun Asres


Gondar, Ethiopia

Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Gondar

Meheret Endeshaw


Seattle, WA

Former SCOPE Fellow, Research Coordinator, Department of Global Health, University of Washington

Ezra Teshome

Seattle, WA

Seattle Rotary Club

Paula Rowland


Seattle, WA

Senior Associate, Organizational Research Services (ORS)

Ken Kierstead

University Presbyterian Church Outreach Director

Wesen Kitfew


Former I-Tech Ethiopia staff

Brian Jacobsen

Sophia Teshome


 Former SCOPE fellow and CDC Ethiopia HIV/AIDS consultant

Kate Pfizenmaier


SCOPE Program Manager

Gail Johnson


Seattle, WA

Clinical Assistant Professor at the UW School of Nursing

David Brenner


Awoke Temesgen



Steering Committee

Sisay Yifru


Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Gondar, Ethiopia

Soloman Assefa

Lecturer at the Institute of Public Health

Gondar, Ethiopia

Wubet Birhan Yigzaw

Vice Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Gondar, Ethiopia


North Gondar Diocese Manager

Gondar, Ethiopia

Kesis Dawit Bekal

North Gondar Diocese former HIV/AIDS Project Coordinator

Gondar, Ethiopia

Shitaye Alemu


Department of Internal Medicine

Gondar, Ethiopia

Abebaw Gegeyehu

Gondar, Ethiopia

Head of the School of Public Health

Getahun Asres


SCOPE Program Director

Gondar, Ethiopia

Kefyalew Addis

SCOPE Fellow

Gondar, Ethiopia


Head of the Zonal Health Bureau

Gondar, Ethiopia



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