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Rotary’s PolioPlus Chair Commits To Finishing What It Started In 1988
In 1985, Rotary International made the decision to tackle polio eradication. In 1988, it officially launched the effort, hoping to complete eradication by 2004 when the global service organization celebrated its centennial celebration. Now 15 years late, Michael McGovern, the volunteer chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee says he and Rotary are committed to finishing what they started.
Early in his Rotary career, which spans more than three decades, one of the members asked him out for drinks and asked him to make a pledge to fight polio. “That was an expensive drink,” he says of his commitment. He’s still following up on that today.
Interview with Michael K. McGovern, the Chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee of Rotary International.
The following is the pre-interview with Michael K. McGovern. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
What is your personal or professional connection to polio?
Chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee since 2014
Where are you presently focused?
We have the wild poliovirus cornered in the smallest geographic area in history, and Rotary is doubling down on our commitment to end polio for good.
How do we get from where we are to total polio eradication?
We must remain vigilant in rallying global political and financial support as we push towards a polio-free world.
More about Rotary International:
Rotary brings together people of action from all continents and cultures who deliver real, long-term solutions to the world’s most persistent issues. Each year, Rotary members contribute millions of dollars and volunteer hours to promote health, peace and prosperity in communities across the globe. Rotary is the driving force behind efforts to eradicate polio. With its partners, they have achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in polio, with less than 35 cases reported in 2018 compared with 350,000 a year three decades ago.
Michael K. McGovern. Photo Credit: Rotary International
Michael K. McGovern’s bio:
Michael K. McGovern is the chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. A member of the Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth, McGovern has also served on Rotary International’s Board of Directors and on The Rotary Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
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