About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

1What is Touch Foundation?

Touch Foundation is an international 501(c)3 non-profit organization (TIN 20-1469976) dedicated to improving health and saving lives in Tanzania. For over a decade, we have been building Tanzania’s healthcare workforce, enhancing the quality of healthcare education, and improving access to care. We work holistically, strengthening the diverse building blocks of the health system – all of which need to be functional to enable effective delivery of care.

Learn more about our strategic priorities and approach.

2What is Touch’s Mission?

Touch combines the best of private and public sector approaches and expertise to improve the health of Tanzanians by strengthening the health system. Touch expands its impact by sharing acquired knowledge with the local and international public health community.

We focus our activities on two key elements of the health system:

  • Improving the quantity and quality of healthcare workers
  • Enhancing healthcare delivery

3What is Treat & Train?

Treat & Train began as an initiative to improve medical education by connecting hospitals so medical students could gain valuable experience in smaller external rotations while also helping to provide better patient care to under-resourced health facilities.

After external rotations proved a successful model for improving education, we realized the value in creating connectivity among health institutions that previously operated singularly. We have continued to develop this integrated Treat & Train Network of healthcare and educational institutions and this ‘network’ concept shapes all of our programming. By strengthening hospitals within the Treat & Train Network, scarce resources are shared and maximized, and we are able to achieve systems-level improvements. Read more about healthcare worker external rotations or about the Treat & Train Network.

4When was Touch founded? Who founded it?

Touch was founded in 2004 by Lowell Bryan, now a Director Emeritus at McKinsey & Company.

Learn more about our History.

5Where is the ‘Touch Foundation’ name from?

Prior to Touch Foundation’s incorporation, a committee called “Touching Tanzania” was formed and led by Fr. Dr. Peter Le Jacq, MM, a priest and physician who had worked at Bugando Hospital for nearly 10 years, to fund the establishment of a medical school at Bugando in Mwanza, Tanzania. In 2004, our President and Founder Lowell Bryan founded ‘Touch Foundation’ as an independent entity, and he chose to honor the heritage of the ‘Touching Tanzania’ committee with its name. Within 18 months of becoming a foundation, Touch raised over $13 million for Bugando, jumpstarting a transformation at Bugando that would begin to transform healthcare in Tanzania.

6Where does Touch work? Why Tanzania?

When Touch launched in 2004, Tanzania ranked near the bottom, worldwide, in a host of health indicators and its health system was not equipped to provide care for its people. Touch recognized, however, that coupled with this need were strengths that made Tanzania well positioned for meaningful and sustainable interventions:

  • Peaceful stable democracy with strong economic growth
  • Significant existing foreign financial aid and supportive global health community
  • Government commitment to invest in health system improvements
  • With 51 million people, Tanzania is also East Africa’s most populous country, enabling Touch’s work to affect an exceptionally large population.

These factors have provided a solid foundation for our work and have continued to present Tanzania with opportunities for improvement. Our years of focus in Tanzania have also provided us with invaluable relationships and a deep understanding of the local healthcare environment – both critical assets as we work to promote quality healthcare for Tanzanians

7How does Touch use its funding?

Touch depends upon the support of our generous donors. We maintain the highest standards for efficiency, transparent use of funds, and organizational accountability. Charity Navigator has named Touch Foundation a four-star charity, its highest rating, based upon our management practices.

Learn more about our finances.

8Do healthcare workers trained with Touch support stay in Tanzania?

We are proud to report that 96% of graduates from our flagship partner Bugando are actively working in the Tanzanian health system, delivering quality healthcare to the population across the country. These graduates are working throughout Tanzania and approximately 85% of graduates are performing clinical work.

9What is Touch’s relationship with McKinsey & Company?

Touch is an independent, secular non-profit organization founded by a Director Emeritus at McKinsey, Lowell Bryan.  Touch is fortunate to receive the generous support of a diverse group of individual and institutional donors. McKinsey & Company, the global management consultancy, has contributed valuable in-kind support since Touch’s inception in 2004. Additionally, joint McKinsey-Touch projects have informed Touch’s strategy and approach to addressing the healthcare crisis in Tanzania throughout our history. Many members of our team have management consulting backgrounds as well, from McKinsey and other firms, contributing to the diverse expertise and skill sets of our hard working team.

10Why do your staff have McKinsey email addresses?

We are very fortunate to benefit from McKinsey in-kind support of some of our IT functions, including our email accounts, as well as our office space.  This enables our small team to devote more funding to programs instead of overhead and support services.

11Does Touch work with volunteers?

Yes! In the past, volunteers have contributed their valuable time and skills, working alongside our teams in New York and in Tanzania. Volunteers in New York have organized events, run races, conducted outreach, and supported our team operations in the office. Individuals available for longer periods of time have volunteered for specific projects in Tanzania related to their expertise. Visit our volunteer page to learn about some of our past visiting experts.

If you are interested in contributing your time to our work, please contact Touch_Foundation@McKinsey.com to learn more about current opportunities and needs.

Thank you for your interest in joining with us to address the health crisis in Tanzania

12Can Touch fund my non-profit or program?

Touch is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that does not make general grants to other programs, non-profits, or individuals.

13Where does Touch’s funding come from?

Our work is funded by foundations, the U.S. government, corporations, and individuals.

Although we are fortunate to rely upon a diverse group of supporters, the funds provided by individual donors are critical to the success of our programs. Learn more about how you can support our work.

14Where does Touch work?

The hub of our activities has long been Mwanza, Tanzania, located on the shores of Lake Victoria. We are also working at several health facilities throughout the surrounding Lake Zone  of Tanzania, strengthening the regional health system network. Additionally, our staff are frequently in Dar es Salaam, working with partners and on policy at the national level.

Learn more about our programs.

15Why doesn’t Touch work outside of Tanzania?

For over a decade, we have been working with our partners to improve the health system in Tanzania.  Developing long-term relationships with strong local partners and acquiring a depth of knowledge  concerning healthcare challenges are core elements of our strategy.  We believe our work is transferrable to other areas of the world with the possibility of other organizations adopting our approach and specific program design.

Moreover, the results of our early focus on increasing the number of trained healthcare workers are evident, with 17% of the medical doctors in Tanzania trained through our support. Yet much remains to be done. The number of healthcare workers in Tanzania remains short of the WHO recommended minimums, leaving  many people without access to basic, quality healthcare. In addition to our efforts to increase the number of healthcare workers in training, Touch is also working on enhancing the quality of medical education. We are also working on initiatives that strengthen the entire health system, such as technological innovations and financing.

Learn more about our work.

16How can I learn more about working with Touch?

We are always interested in hearing from enthusiastic and talented people to join our team.

Please visit LinkedIn to see our current opportunities or learn about other ways to get involved with our work.

Thank you for your interest in supporting our work!