World Services of La Crosse, Inc.

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Open World Leadership Center

Open World Mission:

To enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eurasia and the Baltic States by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and its free-market system.

World Services staff and volunteers have served as a national hosting organization with the Open World Program since 2002. For more information about the current Open World calendar of exchange topics and local host cities administered by World Services, please click here.

The congressionally sponsored Open World Program brings emerging leaders from participating countries to the United States in order to give them firsthand exposure to the American system of participatory democracy and free enterprise. The program allows American leaders and their counterparts from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan to engage constructively with one another in a manner that complements the U.S. Congress's public diplomacy efforts on timely issues such as accountable governance, human-trafficking prevention, young leadership development and rule of law. The principles of accountability, transparency, and citizen involvement in government are among the concepts emphasized by the Open World Program. Today, Open World has more than 25,000 alumni and a network of 7,500 host families. The program is administered by the Open World Leadership Center, an independent entity established in the U.S. legislative branch in 2000. The program serves Members of Congress - and their constituents and staff - and demonstrates to delegates the role of the legislative branch in a mature democracy, with the goal of helping these delegates strengthen legislative bodies - and citizen involvement in the legislative process - in their own countries.

Read more about the Open World Leadership Center.


Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (2010 - 2016)

The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases and health conditions.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Foundation helps reduce health disparities around the world. The Foundation engages partners to develop, execute, evaluate and promote innovative programs to improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa; hepatitis in Asia; type 2 diabetes; mental health and well-being in the U.S.; and cancer in Europe. In addition, the Foundation also supports other charitable initiatives that meet Foundation criteria.

World Services has been funded by the BMS Foundation’s Bridging Cancer Care program in Russia since 2010, and is now engaged with Russian partners to establish a Cancer Nursing Center of Excellence, creating a replicable model of nursing education and practice which can be implemented throughout the country to enhance cancer care and prevention strategies.

Read more about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.


American International Health Alliance

American International Health Alliance (AIHA) has been strengthening health system capacity through volunteer-driven twinning partnerships and initiatives since 1992. AIHA’s partnerships and projects harness the knowledge and expertise of the US healthcare sector in a coordinated response to public health challenges in developing and transitioning nations around the globe.

AIHA's mission is to help resource-constrained communities and nations make positive, sustainable changes that improve accessibility to a broad range of high-quality healthcare services and prevention programs.

AIHA funding supports peer-to-peer exchanges of information, skills-based training, broad-based programmatic management, and technical assistance that help partner institutions and communities make the best use of limited financial, material, and human resources.

World Services has been fortunate to partner with Winona State University School of Nursing to support the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in efforts to enhance nursing education (2012 - 2017).

Read more about the American International Health Alliance


Community Connections (2006 - 2013)

The Community Connections Program, managed by USAID’s Bureau of Economic Growth and Trade(EGAT)/Office of Education and administered by World Learning, promoted public diplomacy through the exchange of cultural ideas and values among participants, U.S. families and local community host organizations.

The Community Connections (CC) Program provided home-stay based practical training opportunities in the U.S. for entrepreneurs, local government officials, legal professionals, non-governmental organization leaders and other professionals. The goals of the Community Connections program:

  • provide participants with professional training and exposure to day-to-day functioning of a free market system;
  • encourage public-private partnerships in Europe/Eurasia by including private sector and government participants on U.S. visits;
  • create links between U.S. and Europe/Eurasia regions and communities

During the 2006 - 2013 program period, World Services served as a national hosting organization with the Community Connections program and hosted 12 delegations from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine. The three week exchanges were designed to encourage public-private partnerships in Europe/Eurasia and create more robust links between American and European / Eurasian regions and communities.

For more information about the Community Connections professional development exchanges designed by World Services, please click here.