In the 2012-13 Rotary year, future District Governor, Tonya Watson, was team Leader for the Group Study Exchange
(GSE) to Bangladesh and a member of that team was Meredith Potts.  Meredith has had a long history of service. Starting at age 7 she was with Meals on Wheels, by her 20’s she was in India with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, a few years later she became involved in fighting Hepatitis in Mongolia.
Her path to Rotary was a simple one; she was immediately drawn to the diverse, welcoming, efficient and global community of Rotary. She became a member of the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar and then in 2015 she joined the Flagstaff Rotary club. 
Meredith’s passion falls squarely in the area of focus of Disease Control and Prevention, and with that I am going to have her tell the story about what she does and why.
                                                     Hepatitis Free Mongolia
Mongolia has the highest rate of liver cancer in the world, 6 times the international average, and among the highest rates of hepatitis B and C in the world. Globally, hepatitis results in more deaths every year than HIV, TB and Malaria, combined.
In 2015, after several years of working together on liver health programs in Mongolia and also being Rotarians, Dr. Munkhjargal Ayurzana and myself were inspired by Rotary’s exemplary work with Polio to develop a grant expanding the liver screening model we had created.
The Ulaanbaatar Rotary Club, Dr. Munkhjargal’s home Rotary Club, worked closely with the Flagstaff Rotary Club, my home Rotary Club, to develop a new Global Grant, Hepatitis Free Mongolia. In 2017, after two years of design, development and fundraising, this Global Grant was implemented with a budget of $112,000.
In six weeks, we screened 5,017 people in 13 rural clinics for a variety of liver issues, covering all the health care facilities in the Dornod Province. All of the test results were entered into the national health database, per local regulations. We vaccinated 2,000 people against hepatitis B and educated thousands of community members. We trained 35 health care workers through classroom training and hands on bedside training as well as distributed 20 computers, one for every clinic and hospital in the province. We had an advocacy meeting with 20 local government officials and community and business leaders. We surveyed 600 community members about their Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (a KAP survey) in regards to hepatitis to inform future work and needs. You can view the full report of the project here. 
Local partnerships in Mongolia helped us save 15% of the project budget. Over the following 18 months, these extra funds were used to develop a new partnership with Saga University in Japan to modify their already proven “Hepatitis Coordinator” role for Mongolia. Hepatitis Coordinators are community-based health care workers and social workers with additional hepatitis specific training. At the conclusion of the grant, the local government of Dornod Province had plans to utilize these Coordinators in the ongoing hepatis fight as well as addressing other health issues.
This global grant process builds sustainability. A project’s sustainability is the ability for its impact to continue into the future after the project implementation and the efficiency with which the project is implemented. We want to ensure that we are empowering, teaching and strengthening communities to create lasting change. 
The “Hepatitis Free Mongolia, Phase 2,” GG2011973, grant application is currently in the evaluation process at Rotary Foundation. We have increased our scope with the goal of eliminating hepatitis C in one province, completely. We hope to start work in Mongolia in spring 2021.
To Have Meredith do a program for your club and to support this project please contact her at:
1-928-600-6361 or email at
For more information: FINAL REPORT - Hepatitis Free Mongolia, Phase 1, GG1529067, 2017-2019
Videos of Hepatitis Free Mongolia, Phase 1
Photos of Hepatitis Free Mongolia, Phase 1