Mercy Project Receives the Vizient, Inc. Norman Borlaug Humanitarian Award for 2017



"the man who saved a billion lives"

IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vizient, Inc. has selected Mercy Project as the winner of its annual Norman Borlaug Humanitarian Award honoring the organization’s extraordinary work helping others and making a difference in the world. Vizient presented the award, which included a grant to further the work of the Mercy Project, on Wednesday, April 5, at the 2017 Vizient Connections Summit in Las Vegas.

Vizient’s humanitarian award is named for the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, an agronomist who was known as “the man who saved a billion lives” for his revolutionary approach to plant breeding that radically changed agriculture and resulted in a wheat variety that exponentially increased yields while actively resisting drought and disease. His “green revolution” breakthrough saved nearly a billion lives in rural parts of Mexico, India and Pakistan. Borlaug dedicated his life’s work to finding ways to end famine and feed the world’s hungry. Dr. Borlaug was one of only six people to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Honor, and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Mercy Project began in 2010 with a vision of freeing children from child slavery in Ghana, Africa. Their goal is to work with the fishing communities that historically used child slave labor and empower them instead with more sustainable fishing and processing methods for selling fish. As a result of this work, the children have been voluntarily released back into the care of their families. To date, Mercy Project has successfully introduced its aquaculture fishing process to five villages and 80 children have been freed from slavery and reunited with their families. In total, Mercy Project’s work has impacted more than 1,500 people in the Ghana’s fishing communities and paved the way for more than 180,000 hours of school for children who were formerly slaves. Additionally, Mercy Project has begun developing fully integrated aquaculture businesses in order to create jobs for the lowest income sector of the population, thus further reducing the financial burden that fuels child slavery.

“The Mercy Project, in order to free children from slavery, literally teaches men how to fish in a sustainable aquaculture industry so they no longer have the need for child labor. Through this sustainable and relationship-driven process, Mercy Project has the opportunity to eradicate this problem forever in Ghana,” said Rand Ballard, chief customer officer for Vizient. “The Mercy Project truly embodies the spirit of Dr. Borlaug and his life-long commitment to hope and his dedication to creating a better world.”

About Vizient, Inc.

Vizient, Inc., the largest member-driven health care performance improvement company in the country, provides innovative data-driven solutions, expertise and collaborative opportunities that lead to improved patient outcomes and lower costs. Vizient’s diverse membership base includes academic medical centers, pediatric facilities, community hospitals, integrated health delivery networks and non-acute health care providers and represents more than $100 billion in annual purchasing volume. The Vizient brand identity represents the integration of VHA Inc., University HealthSystem Consortium and Novation, which combined in 2015, as well as MedAssets’ Spend and Clinical Resource Management (SCM) segment, including Sg2, which was acquired in 2016. In 2017, Vizient again received a World’s Most Ethical Company designation from the Ethisphere Institute. Vizient’s headquarters are in Irving, Texas, with locations in Chicago and other cities across the United States. Please visit as well as our newsroom, blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube pages for more information about the company.

About Mercy Project

Mercy Project is an innovative Texas based non-profit working in Ghana, Africa. Their mission is to rescue children from slavery. They accomplish this by partnering with families and communities trapped in the cycle of poverty, empowering them with sustainable economic solutions in order to free children from forced labor.


Vizient, Inc.
Angie Boliver, 972-830-7961

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