Global Health Corps Holds Training and Orientation at Yale

Medical Records in Shashemene clinic in 2006 (left) and in 2007 (right), after on-site mentors arrived

        Barbara Bush, ’04, is glad to be back at Yale in a new role – orchestrating orientation for the newest group of Global Health Corps’ (GHC) fellows. Founded two years ago, the GHC provides year-long fellowships for young persons from diverse backgrounds to work on the frontlines of the fight for global health equity.

The Yale Global Health Leadership Institute (GHLI) partnered with GHC in the planning of this year’s orientation. “GHLI also has a commitment to educate young professionals for leadership roles in health care systems around the world. Together, we hope to expand effective partnerships and train the next generation of leadership in global health,” said Elizabeth H. Bradley, Ph.D., faculty director, GHLI.

On July 11, Dr. Bradley presented to GHC fellows about health systems strengthening. Using GHLI’s work in Ethiopia and Liberia as examples, Dr. Bradley discussed “the science of improvement” as contributions to global health systems strengthening efforts. When Ministry of Health officials in Ethiopia and Liberia decided to decentralize the health systems in their countries, GHLI faculty and staff focused on how they could help translate the government policies into practice in hospitals and health centers around the country. As part of the Ethiopia Hospital Management Initiative (EHMI), GHLI worked together with the Clinton Health Access Initiative to place on-site mentors in 16 hospitals across Ethiopia. The EHMI program, now entering its 7th year, also facilitated the establishment of a “CEO” model of hospital leadership, and created a Master’s of Hospital Administration program at two Ethiopian universities to train newly appointed health care executives.

The program grew out of improvements made at the local level. In Sheshemene, the medical record was redesigned to be more complete and locally relevant, and registration was centralized and computerized to prevent bottlenecking among patients. Evaluation of the projects showed tangible quality improvement across the participating hospitals.

During the talk, one GHC fellow in the audience asked how the team members dealt with any negative reaction from the hospital staff or managers. “It starts with listening,” responded Dr. Bradley. “You cannot go in and try to change everything right away. You need to learn how the system is working currently and from there find ways to accommodate people and create incentives.”

Nina Gumkowski, GHLI Intern

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