HFI’s Top 20 Accomplishments of 2020

1. HFI landed its first major funder: The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

HFI received $3.16M in funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to help us mobilize financing and build partnerships to address the global burden of chronic disease. Helmsley’s grant has allowed us to grow our capacity and strengthen our ability to broker investments to close the financing gap for chronic diseases. Using this funding, we have expanded our team and expertise, built our economic model, and begun designing blended finance vehicles for various NCDs. 2020’s accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

2. In response to the ongoing pandemic, we developed a comprehensive COVID-19 strategy and analytic framework

Our 3-pronged approach includes:

· Forecasting the impact of NCDs on COVID-19

· Developing an analytical framework to identify NCD risk groups to help plan and prioritize vaccine distribution

· Developing innovative finance solutions to ensure adequate funding levels for COVID-19 and NCDs

3. We engaged in exciting new collaborations with major players in global health

In 2020, HFI signed 7 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with data partners, subject experts, implementers, and private sector stakeholders worldwide. Key MOUs include Roche and Vertical’s Access for the Future Movement, Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting, City Cancer Challenge and FHI Partners. These collaborations will be crucial to increasing access to quality chronic disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

We look forward to forming more partnerships in the new year.

4. New data partnerships have been essential to our work

This year, HFI began working with several data partners including Savannah, IntelleHealth, PocketPatient MD, and A-Z Med. Blended finance relies heavily on accurate and timely data so these early collaborations are key for advancing our diabetes model and understanding the impact and outcomes of a range of interventions.

5. HFI built the first-of-its-kind dynamic-transmission model for diabetes

HFI’s Health Economics team developed a novel dynamic model for diabetes that can be deployed in any population to assess the health and economic impacts of prevention, screening, and treatment for diabetes and co-morbidities such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. In 2021, HFI will extend this model to include other NCDs.

6. Our team designed a user-friendly app interface to complement our model

This user-friendly app interface allows decision-makers to plug and play with variables such as the proportion of populations screened and costs of devices, tests, and medicines. The easy-to-use app will allow for straightforward insights into the model’s outputs and inform NCD investment decisions, including scalability of interventions.

7. Together, HFI and FHI 360 completed a costing review of diabetes and hypertension screening and treatment in Nigerian clinics

As part of an ongoing collaboration, HFI and FHI 360 designed and completed a cross-sectional review to determine the cost of diabetes and hypertension screening and treatment. The review included 12 clinics across 5 states.

8. HFI’s innovative finance experts developed a stepwise approach to forge blended finance partnerships for global health and NCDs

HFI’s innovative framework will help us standardize the process for determining an organization’s or a region’s readiness for blended finance investments. By following our steps, groups will be able to lay down the foundation for a successful blended financed deal.

9. HFI led our first blended finance design sprint

Our design sprint teaches companies how to build and implement blended finance models. If you are interested in learning more about our offerings, email us at info@healthfinanceinstitute.org

10. BBC Storyworks and the NCD Alliance featured HFI in their mini-film series

The series highlights organizations focused on turning the tide on NCDs. Watch the film here to see HFI set the stage for the health and economic impact of the growing NCD burden, dispel myths around these diseases, and provide new solutions to increase investments.

11. Andrea Feigl, our CEO, spoke at the 2020 World Economic Forum

Andrea spoke in the SDG Tent during the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The panel, Access at the Heart of Healthcare Innovation, discussed how public-private partnerships can play a role in tackling inequalities in access to medicine and financing the SDG investment gap to deliver 2020 health for all.

12. HFI joined the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (GCM/NCD)

Being a GCM/NCD participant allows us to engage with other passionate groups — including GAVI, World Health Organization Collaboration Centers, and the World Economic Forum — to combat NCDs.

13. We became an official member of the NCD Alliance network

Joining the NCD Alliance gave us the opportunity to engage with other organizations in the network, speak during an NCD Alliance webinar, and exchange knowledge with other groups focused on combatting chronic diseases.

14. Our team signed the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge

This pledge affirms our mission to form partnerships within or across sectors to promote tobacco control and decrease the burden of tobacco-associated NCDs.

15. Members of HFI spoke alongside inspirational panelists

Throughout 2020, members of HFI had the opportunity to be panelists for events hosted by groups such as the UICC, the OECD, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. We loved having the opportunity to join other #changemakers including to discuss innovative solutions to close the financing gap for NCDs.

16. Multiple news channels interviewed our CEO to talk about COVID-19, NCDs, and health financing

This past year, Andrea joined DW News, TRT News, Indus News, and others to discuss global, current events. Watch segments on important topics such as the COVID vaccine authorization, investing in mental health, WHO funding, and COVID leadership.

17. The HFI team more than doubled in size

In 2020 we hired fantastic staff members, including our first Chief of Staff, a new HR and Operations Manager, and a Business Development Advisor. We also grew our internship program and expanded our technical advisory board. Each new member of HFI brings invaluable knowledge and experience to our team.

18. We reached thousands of readers through our self-published blogs

This year, HFI launched our own Medium page, where we published 12 blogs! Through our writings, we shared our research and analysis on the COVID-19 pandemic, universal health coverage efforts, and the state of care and financing for a wide variety of NCDs. Follow us on Medium to stay up-to-date on our thinking as we continue to publish in 2021!

19. Global health and finance partners helped amplify our message

By publishing with ICTWorks, PLoS, and BeingWell, we could share our ideas with an even broader readership. At HFI, building partnerships is what we do, so we’ll continue working with others in the global health community to spread the word about the urgent need for innovative health financing solutions for NCD care. Be on the lookout for more collaborations in the near future!

20. Our Director of Health Economics became the Jane Goodall of epidemiology

HFI’s very own Jenna Patterson went viral for her tweet promoting our #Whexit blog. Read here to learn more about how politics and the COVID-19 pandemic are intertwined.




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Heart of a non-profit. Engine of an investment bank. We use economic data to facilitate investments to prevent diseases.

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