Global health organization plans expansion in DeKalb

A nonprofit public health organization, The Task Force for Global Health, plans to expand by potentially buying a DeKalb County government building in downtown Decatur.

The Task Force for Global Health could grow and partner with other Atlanta-area nonprofit organizations at the Clark Harrison Building in Decatur, which can hold more than 300 people. The Task Force for Global Health focuses on addressing worldwide health risks by strengthening health systems, providing vaccinations and fighting neglected tropical diseases.

The DeKalb Commission voted last week to move forward with the $12 million sale of the building, with proceeds to be spent on a building a planned government center along Memorial Drive.

“We and our partners are growing as the world understands that global health and global economic development go hand-in-hand,” said David Ross, president of The Task Force for Global Health. “The new building may well offer the opportunity for us to bring in other nonprofits who could co-locate and add to this notion of a hub for global health activity.”

The Task Force for Global Health, which has about 94 employees, has reached the capacity of its current building in Decatur. The organization has already added 20 new positions this year, and it’s likely to soon add 25 more, Ross said.

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May said the building’s sale will keep The Task Force for Global Health’s headquarters in the county and raise money for a government center on 117 acres of government-owned land near the county jail.

“It’s one of the best nonprofits in the country,” May said. “They do some phenomenal work in terms of public health, not just in the state but around the world.”

The DeKalb Commission unanimously approved the sale of the Clark Harrison Building but was divided on whether to restrict proceeds of the sale for a new government center to consolidate county employees in one location. May said the sale should close by the end of the year.

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