We left New Haven to spend a week in Washington, D.C., visiting the State Department and government representatives. What impressed us most in DC was the priority that the U.S. officials gave us, ensuring they spent time with us in spite of their work load to help us in our endeavors to transform our ministry and country. The level of respect we received at the Department of State and all other places was exceptional. As this was the first visit to D.C for many of us, we were also anxious to see the landmarks about which we had heard so much. The Foreign Service Institute was much bigger than we had expected, and The White House, Capitol and Lincoln Memorial visits were unforgettable.
After our impressive visit to the U.S., we confidently take home guidance and experiences to embark on a strategic mission to implement our foreign policy both with vigor and commitment.
In July the Global Health Leadership Institute hosted the International Health and Social Care Leadership Programme, a partnership between GHLI and the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT). SEPT provides health care services to U.K. communities and has a partnership with GHLI to strengthen the capacity of health and social care leaders. The 18 delegates worked with GHLI on field assignments tackling public health issues, and presented their final assignments at the conference. Delegates also heard lectures from Yale faculty and visited health care facilities in and around New Haven.
GHLI faculty director, Elizabeth Bradley, Ph.D., provided a history on health care systems in the U.S. including community health care centers and health maintenance organizations. Dr. Bradley highlighted the physician-led Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania as a model of high quality integrated health care services. She ended her presentation with a charge to delegates to continue brainstorming ways in which health care systems can be improved.
Site visits to health care facilities are a key part of this program. Delegates visited the Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, Connecticut Valley Hospital and the Cornell Scott Hill-Health Center. Following the site visits, delegates shared their experiences. They were impressed by the investment several of the facilities made in their employees, from their interview stage to ongoing reinforcement for employees throughout their careers. “We struggle to get staff feedback and retain employees for any length of time,” said one delegate. “The investment in employees we observed set up a strong system for employee engagement and long-term retention and that is something we can do better.” Delegates also noted that the U.K. seemed to be better at long-term follow-up with patients after they left a hospital. This type of follow-up helps them rate the quality of care, which is something they felt could be improved in U.S. hospitals.
The SEPT delegates said they felt re-energized to tackle challenges they face as health care leaders and plan to continue working together.
|GHLI executive director Michael Skonieczny and GHC co-founder Barbara Bush|
For the third year in a row, the latest class of Global Health Corps (GHC) fellows came to Yale University for a two-week training program preparing them for year-long placements with health organizations around the globe. The GHC was co-founded by Barbara Bush (Yale ’04) and provides fellowships for young professionals who tackle health issues across the globe. This year’s class of 106 fellows hails from 16 countries, and will serve with 44 health organizations in in Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and select cities in the U.S. During the two week training, GHC fellows had the opportunity to hear presentations from global health leaders, participate in group discussions and attend professional development workshops.
During the training, the fellows listened to Yale lecturer Mark Schoofs, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and senior editor at ProPublica. In his talk, “Journalism and Global Health: How to Make Your Voice Heard,” Schoofs discussed the relationship between journalists and activists and explained how journalism can help spread important global health messages. He relayed his own experience reporting on AIDS in Africa and noted the power investigative journalism can have in the field of global health. Schoofs encouraged GHC fellows to, “find ways in which you can advocate for resources to supplement health systems and global health programs.”
In Barbara Bush’s introduction of GHLI executive director, Michael Skonieczny, she thanked him and the GHLI for providing a home for the GHC training and the GHLI’s ongoing partnership and support of their efforts. The fellows were welcomed by Mike and heard a presentation on leadership from GHLI faculty director Elizabeth Bradley, Ph D. Bradley explained how leadership is “the process of engaging others to achieve group objectives,” and encouraged GHC fellows to think about the relationship between the leadership role and the followership role, and how they complement each other. GHLI hopes to continue working closely with GHC as a partner in the fight for global health equity.