Educating Leaders Around the World

BY ELISABETH GEORGE AND SHIRIN AHMED, Yale GHLI.
Photography by GHLI.

Although often overlooked, effective leadership and management are critical to strengthening health systems and achieving large-scale goals. The Yale Global Health Leadership Institute (GHLI), led by Elizabeth H. Bradley, PhD and Michael Skonieczny, MPA, develops leadership through education and research programs that strengthen health systems and promote health equity and quality of care.

In collaboration with international partners, GHLI’s leadership development programs center on evidence-based solutions that can be scaled up, data-based decision-making, leadership that enhances individual and group capacity, and an applied learning experience.

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To develop and support sustained quality collaborations designed to promote effective leadership capacity and efficient health management systems, GHLI partners with universities, foundations, and other non-profit agencies.  One example of such collaboration is the Human Resource for Health Program in Rwanda whereby GHLI joins universities across the U.S to support the Rwandan Ministry of Health in their efforts to develop skilled workers to meet the country’s health care delivery needs. This program brings together experts from various specialties in an interdisciplinary effort to strengthen the pipeline of health care professionals – with a focus on developing more effective residency programs at the National University of Rwanda and associated teaching hospitals. The health management program trains health care workers from across the country to take on leadership roles in hospital administration.

Another example is our work with USAID’s Leadership, Management, and Governance Project, with which GHLI delivers a Senior Leadership Program. The program focuses on strengthening skills in performance monitoring, evidence-based decision making and key practices in leadership, management, and governance.

GHLI has also developed a framework for scale up and replication which defines the criteria needed to sustain successful health interventions. The AIDED approach proposes five components essential to the process of scale up: assessing the landscape, refining the innovation, developing support and engaging the community, and spreading the innovation. Breakthroughs in medicine and public health often require decades and significant resources to successfully spread in other settings

GHLI also conducts research on health care quality inside the U.S., including research to improve health outcomes for patients with heart attacks and to identify organizational factors associated with high quality hospital and hospice care. GHLI’s research approach has revealed hospital practices associated with faster treatment for heart attack patients, better rates of survival and reduced hospital readmissions.

GHLI on Campus

Within the Yale University campus, GHLI coordinates the Strategic Thinking in Global Health Course and the Leadership Speaker Series. The course identifies core principles for the development and implementation of grand strategy in addressing common global health problems. Students apply these principles of strategic problem solving at both conceptual and practical levels. Topics include political and policy analysis, organizational theory, and leadership skills central to addressing global health issues in low- and middle-income countries. The Speaker Series provides exposure to leaders in the field who engage with students in active debate and deliberation on pressing issues related to global health with

Convening Colleagues from Around the World

Soon after its establishment,  GHLI recognized the need for a forum where policymakers, practitioners and researchers from different countries could gather to collaboratively problem solve, exchange ideas and share successful approaches to address critical issues in global health. To answer this need, GHLI hosts an annual multi-country, team-based leadership conference at Yale that aims to strengthen country delegations’ leadership capacity while supporting the development of actionable work plans to address targeted health issues.  Delegations are supported by Yale faculty, facilitators and student fellows before, during, and after the week-long conference. To date, the GHLI conference has convened delegations from Brazil, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mexico, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago that have focused on early childhood development, non-communicable diseases, mental health, maternal and child health, human resource development and building management capacity.

The Future of Global Health at Yale

Under the leadership of Yale President Peter Salovey, a commitment to global health continues to expand in strength and depth across the University.  GHLI will be a large part of these efforts, supporting new programs with new partners in more countries around the world. In a more recent collaboration, GHLI joined Project Last Mile in Tanzania where our team examined how private and public sectors can work together for the benefit of the local population. GHLI teamed with supply chain experts in the Coca-Cola system and the country’s Medical Stores Department to improve access to critical medicines in more than 5000 locations. It looks into factors that help or hinder effective partnerships — focused on the question: “If a bottle of Coca-Cola can be found in rural communities across Africa, why can’t we find medicines and supplies in the same places?” Additionally, the Senior Leadership Program is expanding to other countries, including Tanzania, in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross. GHLI hopes to continue providing innovative Senior Leadership Programs to help health workers around the globe find solutions to complex challenges. GHLI is committed to finding new, efficient ways to provide quality health care for all.

For more information on GHLI, click here.

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