Why We Do What We Do: Dawit Tatek

Dawit Tatek, GHLI Program Manager for the Ethiopia Hospital Management Initiative (EHMI) became interested in public health after seeing people unnecessarily die from preventable diseases. “The problems I saw were more common among residents who lived far from health facilities. Seeing positive results from health programs in improving equity in access to health service was the turning point in my career as public health professional.”


Dawit completed his undergraduate training in Medical Laboratory Technology and Clinical Nursing at the University of Gondar, Ethiopia. After working at the Gondar hospital for six years, he joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative to work in the Ethiopian Millennium Rural Initiative program, and was appointed primary health care unit coordinator. He worked in remote areas to improve implementation of the health extension program, increase HIV counseling and testing, and increase delivery of services. In 2011, Dawit joined GHLI and has been working with EHMI, managing two Master’s of Hospital Administration programs in Ethiopia while acquiring a Master’s Degree in General Public Health. 


One of the aspects of GHLI that Dawit enjoys most is the use of critical thinking and an evidence-based approach. He commends GHLI for applying scientific problem solving techniques to improve quality in hospital and healthcare management.  

“I find it extremely rewarding to help transform hospitals managers into confidant and outstanding leaders through the MHA program. It is very satisfying to receive good feedback on the program and know that I have helped.”

But Dawit’s job is not without its challenges. Working with stakeholders who may not always understand the urgency of the problem can lead to inefficiency in job performance, and students are not always willing to learn and change as quickly as the program demands. However, despite these challenges, Dawit hopes to assume more leadership responsibilities and become involved in strategy management processes. He also hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in health economics and health policy in the near future.

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