Scott Barnhart, MD, MPH, has an extensivebackground as Professor of Global Health and former Director of Global Health Programs for I-TECH at the University of Washington. He has had responsibility for leading nine country offices, projects in 14 countries, and more than 500 staff. This experience and training has included extensive clinical work, research and program management in pulmonary and environmental and occupational medicine, and more than eight years as Medical Director of a safety net/Level 1 Trauma Center hospital.
Ensuring health systems can quickly detect and respond to emerging health threats is a critical challenge in both domestic and global health. Dr. Barnhart’s major implementation projects include scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in Zimbabwe and Malawi, OpenMRS, and laboratory information systems. Dr. Barnhart deploys his expertise in multiple African countries and Haiti to strengthen health systems and health care.
An over-riding goal of Dr. Barnhart’s work is to promote country-led, country owned sustainable development. Consistent with the principles of the Paris Declaration, the goal is to transition the bulk of development work and the associated leadership, ownership, technical direction and control of funding into the countries where development occurs. This approach ensures that the entire continuum of skills necessary for development (technical expertise, administration (human resources, operations, and management and accountability for funds) is transitioned to local partners. A key indicator is to have 75% or more of a grant’s funding expended in-country on local programs and local citizens and to support the local economies in these highly resourced constrained countries. Dr. Barnhart has worked closely to advance this model through projects in Haiti with a goal to shift the majority of a project to a local organization and in Zimbabwe where the VMMC program is largely run through local partners.
I-TECH builds local ownership and sustainability through collaborations throughout Zimbabwe. Under the CDC and PEPFAR awards, I-TECH has formed and leads two consortia – ZAZIC and ZimPAAC ... Read More
Describing Adverse Events within VMMC Programs at Scale I-TECH works diligently to review and revise procedures to identify, manage, and report adverse events (AEs). I-TECH’s previous publications on AEs reveal efforts to maintain high quality programming and emphasize patient safety alongside achievement of targets. An evaluation published in the Journal ... Read More
Electronic medical record (EMR) systems have the capacity to improve clinical decision making and quality of care at site level but can also be leveraged to make data-driven, population-level public health decisions. At the request of the MSPP ... Read More
Electronic medical record (EMR) systems have the capacity to improve clinical decision making and quality of care at site level but can also be leveraged to make data-driven, population-level public health decisions. At the request of the MSPP Continue reading “Health Information Systems in Haiti”
At a December ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia, a group of health laboratory supervisors completed the Certificate Program in Laboratory Leadership and Management, a blended-learning course developed and conducted by faculty and staff the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) at the University of Washington. The program was implemented in partnership with the American International Health Alliance (AIHA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Zambian Ministry of Health (MOH).
Effective leadership and management in laboratory settings are critical to providing timely detection, surveillance, and response to infectious diseases. Strengthening these skills has a direct, positive effect on quality of care and the capacity of low-resource countries to reach epidemic control.
The 16 managers, recruited from MOH public health laboratories, participated in nine months of online learning, face-to-face meetings, and mentorship. Courses covered leadership and management skills, and also topics related to implementing diagnostic technology, managing and communicating laboratory information. Participants also designed and implemented a capstone project designed to improve their laboratories’ operations. Online modules were developed with support from the UW Department of Global Health’s E-Learning Program (eDGH).
This certificate program is intended for middle- to senior-level clinical and public health laboratory leaders such as managers and directors, medical technologists, health scientists, and physician scientists interested in improving medical laboratory operations and evidence-based health policymaking. The blended-learning format allows participants to remain employed during their studies.
This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under U91HA06801, the International AIDS Education and Training Center (IAETC). The content of this post is the author’s and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.
On June 17, Dr. Robert Martin, University of Washington professor and Director of Laboratory Systems Strengthening at UW’s International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), will receive the American Society for Microbiology’s 2016 Hologic Joseph Public Health Award at the ASM Microbe 2016 conference in Boston.
The award takes its name from J. Mehsen Joseph, who directed the Maryland State Laboratory for decades and was instrumental in working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand the role of public health laboratories.
“When someone receives an honor like this, it reflects not only on the individual but on the institution and its leadership, which have provided an environment for accomplishments,” said Dr. Martin. “That has certainly been true of UW and I-TECH.
“This award means a lot to me,” Dr. Martin continued, “because as director of the Michigan Public Health Laboratories, I knew and worked closely with Dr. Joseph on a number of national projects through the Association of Public Health Laboratories. He was a great individual and a great leader for public health laboratory science.”
Prior to his post at UW, Dr. Martin served as director of the Division of Laboratory Systems at the CDC, launching the National Laboratory System to link private and public sector laboratories. His engagement of participating private sector laboratories established working relationships between public and private sector laboratories that extend to the present. He also contributed to integrating the laboratory role into CDC’s Field Epidemiology and Training Program and the inclusion of laboratory systems as part of CDC’s international activities, notably in China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Thailand.
Previously Dr. Martin served with the Michigan Department of Community Health, becoming state laboratory director in 1991. There he participated in the development of the first national guidelines for laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease and established a state-of-the-art molecular testing service.
Dr. Martin will deliver a lecture at ASM Microbe on June 17 titled “Strengthening Laboratory Systems Globally – Thinking Beyond the Bench,” in which he’ll talk about I-TECH’s efforts in laboratory systems strengthening in resource-limited countries.
ASM Microbe 2016 gathers the world’s leading scientists, physicians, and researchers to exchange ideas and keep abreast of the latest developments and cutting-edge research. The Opening Keynote Session, titled “A Conversation with Bill Gates: Bringing the Frontiers of Science to the Front Lines of Development,” will feature Bill Gates in an interview with Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor at ABC News.
For a decade, the iSanté electronic medical record system and OpenELIS lab software, developed by the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), have allowed health care providers to document HIV patient care and patient care histories.
The evaluation also identifies strengths and challenges in POC use of the iSanté and OpenELIS systems in clinics and hospitals in Haiti, in order to guide improvements in the quality of I-TECH’s technical assistance.
The move to point of care
Until 2012, most sites used iSanté primarily to capture data that providers had recorded on paper forms. In 2012-13, with impetus from the Haitian Ministry of Health and funders, I-TECH supported some iSanté sites to move toward POC implementation.
This involves providers using iSanté during patient visits to enroll patients, review health history, capture clinical assessments and treatment plans, and record drug and laboratory orders.
Evaluation shows positive impact
Through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with hospital personnel, I-TECH was able to grasp the positive impact of iSanté POC system use has on care and treatment.
Facility personnel at all levels were satisfied with the transition to POC system use. All five sites evaluated reported increases in provider confidence and improved human resource management, citing reduced provider workload and more effective use of provider time.
Personnel also perceived a number of positive effects of system use on productivity and quality of care including benefits to patient experience (reduced wait times) and service quality.
This year’s theme is “Universities 2.0: Advancing Global Health in the Post-MDG Era,” and I-TECH teams will present on forward-looking topics ranging from the implementation of electronic medical records to partnership with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Confirmed speakers include President of the World Bank Jim Kim; former Head of UNAIDS and current Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Peter Piot; and Head of the Earth Institute at Columbia University Jeff Sachs. Dr. King Holmes, I-TECH Principal Investigator and 2013 Gairdner Global Health Awardee, will also speak at CUGH’s Gairdner Lecture on May 12.
For those planning to attend the conference, don’t forget to check out the University of Washington Department of Global Health table — and to stop by the I-TECH presentations, listed below.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Implementation at Scale in the Public Health Sector: Lessons Learned in Kenya
Using an electronic medical record system to identify factors associated with attrition from the HIV antiretroviral therapy program at two hospitals in Haiti
Before and After the Earthquake: A Case Study of Attrition from the HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Program in Haiti
Successes and challenges in liaising with PEPFAR partners and stakeholders in the TB/HIV Management Program
Evaluation of a comprehensive HIV prevention program in North West Province, South Africa: results from the pilot
Integrating research into program design: Conducting a situational analysis to inform comprehensive HIV prevention and care in North West Province, South Africa
Mystery patients: Training actors to serve as unannounced standardized patients to evaluate training outcomes for sexually transmitted infections in South Africa
Lab Leadership and Management
Certificate Program in Clinical and Public Health Laboratory Leadership and Management
Contact Anne Fox in Communications to see any of these completed posters.
Founded by leading North American university global health programs, CUGH aims to:
Define the field and discipline of global health;
Standardize required curricula and competencies for global health;
Define criteria and conditions for student and faculty field placements in host institutions;
Provide coordination of projects and initiatives among and between resource-rich universities and less-developed nations and their institutions.
CUGH is dedicated to creating balance in resources and in the exchange of students and faculty between institutions in rich and poor countries, recognizing the importance of equal partnership between the academic institutions in developing nations and their resource-rich counterparts in the planning, implementation, management and impact evaluation of joint projects.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided the leadership and funding to plan this consortium. The Rockefeller Foundation provided a grant to help develop the organizational structure of CUGH in its first year of existence.
A new regional referral health and research laboratory in Afar regional state, in Semera was inaugurated on February 9, 2013. The regional laboratory was renovated and established by I-TECH through partnership with the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) and collaboration with the Afar Regional Health Bureau and funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new regional health facility, which is well equipped with advanced laboratory diagnostic technologies, was handed over to the Regional State with eventful program that brought together high level officials from the Federal Ministry of Health, the Afar regional state, the EHNRI, Afar regional health bureau and I-TECH Ethiopia leadership team.
The Afar regional Health Bureau Head, and the EHNRI regional laboratory capacity building directorate, Director addressed the impacts of partnership/collaboration to the improvement of the health system in the country in general and in the Afar region in particular and also applauded the I-TECH-Ethiopia’s significant contribution in strengthening the laboratory system in the Afar region.
The health facilities in the Afar region were small in number and were not well developed to provide standard and quality laboratory diagnosis services for the highly prevalent and deadliest diseases, but this is now changing following the intensified national health system strengthening programs in the country.
Dr. Nega G/yesus, the acting country Director of I-TECH Ethiopia acknowledged the long years of collaboration and partnership efforts put up by partners and the regional health bureau for all the successes achieved and appreciated the unwavering support of the United States Government in the health sector development in Ethiopia.
This new regional referral health laboratory will be a center to systematically build capacities of laboratories in the region to improve, assure and maintain quality laboratory diagnostic services. Moreover, it strengthens the regional referral system that would significantly improve the diagnostic capacities of laboratories for such as, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, STIs and other opportunistic and tropical diseases, playing an integral role in Ethiopia’s public health emergency response system.
Dr. Wubshet Mamo, I-TECH Ethiopia’s Laboratory Program Director said, “The goal of the PEPFAR laboratory program is to support countries implement laboratory services in a sustainable manner to provide quality diagnostic tests, strengthen integrated laboratory systems and support and/or establish country or regional laboratory institutions. Establishing this modern laboratory, which is the 1st in the Afar regional state and the 9th regional referral health laboratory in the country will play a substantial role in changing the region’s laboratory diagnostic service quality, ensuring accurate and reliable laboratory test results that every patient deserves to get.”
He further explained that the role of this regional laboratory primarily will be assuring the quality of laboratory services through conducting external quality assessment, providing referral testing services and strengthening the referral system, supporting in skill building of laboratory professionals, conducting disease surveillance and taking appropriate measures in case of emerging infections in the region. This laboratory will also be a hub for evidence-based interventions (operational health research). More importantly, supporting laboratories in the region to improve their laboratory quality system towards the WHO-AFRO step-wise laboratory accreditation will be another key role of this regional laboratory facility, said Dr Mamo.
The establishment of this Regional Referral Health Laboratory will have significant impact in building the capacities of the hospitals and health centers in the Afar region to provide standardized and quality laboratory services to the people in the region.
If there is one reason that shines the glowing happiness of the local leaders over the scorching sun during the event; it is the anticipated reduction in referrals to distant cities for a better laboratory diagnosis.