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Dr. James G. Hakim Scholars Program Gift

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Dr. James Hakim

On August 4, 2023, a gift to the University of Colorado Foundation was presented by the ZATA Project to honor Dr. James G. Hakim, a founding member of the ZATA Project and an invaluable member of its Advisory Board. The gift was delivered to Dr. Vineet Chopra, Chair of the CU Department of Medicine, by Jane Oppenheim, ZATA President, with Tina Campbell, Secretary, and Kathy Johnson, Treasurer, in attendance. Medical residents from the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) will be chosen to visit the CU Anschutz Medical campus as James G. Hakim Scholars to train with CU Faculty.


Dr. Hakim sadly passed away on January 26, 2021 from complications of COVID-19. Dr. Hakim was also a highly respected leader of the international research efforts of the NIH AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and HIV Prevention Trials (HPTN) Networks, and a leader in the Medical Education Partnership (MEPI) and Health Education Partnership (HEPI) Initiatives that established numerous educational and mentorship programs in Zimbabwe and other Sub-Saharan African countries to foster educational and research training for young healthcare professionals. Dr. Hakim was a past chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS), and together with faculty in the Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, established the "CoZIE Program" as a bilateral exchange program to benefit the faculty and postgraduate clinical trainees at both institutions.

The gift was provided as a supplement to support the "CoZIE Program" within the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Specifically, expenditures will be used to support travel, and related costs, for postgraduate student chosen to be James G. Hakim Scholars travelling from the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to receive instruction and guidance from faculty in clinical, research, and educational areas of mutual interest and expertise, as part of the Program.


From left to right:  Dr. Vineet Chopra, Chair of Medicine; Dr. Steven Johnson, Professor of Medicine; Jane Oppenheim MPH, ZATA President; Kathy Johnson, ZATA Treasurer; Tina Campbell, ZATA Secretary and Thomas Campbell MD, Professor of Medicine


The ZATA Project Background

The ZATA (Zimbabwe AIDS Treatment Assistance) Project was founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2004 in cooperation with University of Colorado (CU) Anschutz Medical Campus AIDS experts to raise funds through donations and the sale and auction of Zimbabwean art and sculpture. The ZATA Project funds have been a critical source for the University of Zimbabwe's physician faculty in their fight against the AIDS epidemic, which has been catastrophic for so many Zimbabweans and their families. While more and more Zimbabweans now have access to life-saving antiretroviral medications, many health-related needs still remain. 

The ZATA Project has raised almost $450,000 for a number of critical expenses in Zimbabwe. Not only have we been able to buy life-saving AIDS medications for University of Zimbabwe (UZCHS) patients, but we also funded a clean water well in 2009 at the UZCHS AIDS Research Centre to stave off an outbreak of cholera. Additionally, we funded AIDS-related research projects of two talented UZCHS post-graduate students and provided support for orphans and farmers affected by the AIDS epidemic.

In 2019, ZATA purchased thoracic ultrasound equipment for the Department of Medicine physicians and staff at the University of Zimbabwe. We collaborated with Professor Ali Musani, Vice Chair, Global Health, Department of Medicine at the CU School of Medicine on the purchase and Dr. Musani trained the faculty and staff at UZ on the equipment on February 26 and 27, 2019. The ZATA Board is very appreciative of the training and travel support provided by the Department of Medicine CoZIE (Colorado Zimbabwe Exchange) Program.  

The ZATA Project organization is managed by an entirely volunteer Board of Directors in Denver and San Diego, as well as an Advisory Board comprised of mostly medical experts in Colorado, California and Zimbabwe.


The beautiful, original Zimbabwe artwork that our CU AIDS researchers have been bought directly from the Zimbabwe artists and have been brought back to Colorado. In the past, this artwork has been made available at our numerous auctions (See "Events" page). However thanks to our generous donors who have purchased this fantastic art over the years, our current inventory is very low so unfortunately we do not have artwork to purchase at this time.

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