Category Archives: Leadership & Management

I-TECH Attends IAS AIDS 2018 Conference

The International AIDS Society (IAS) held their 22nd international AIDS conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam 23-27 July 2018. This year, the conference objectives focused on advancing knowledge of HIV through research findings, promoting evidence-based HIV responses tailored to key populations, activating and galvanizing political commitment and accountability, addressing gaps in and highlighting the critical role of HIV prevention, as well as spotlighting the epidemic and HIV response in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Representatives from I-TECH were at the conference to present and discuss their posters:

Ann Downer gives a presentation at the AIDS 2018 Conference.

Ann Downer presents her abstract, “Lessons Learned from Sustained Global Health Investments” at AIDS 2018.

In addition to the two presentations above, I-TECH staff and faculty had a number of other abstracts accepted to the conference:

Phiona Marongwe presents her poster at the AIDS 2018 Conference.

Phiona Marangwe discusses her poster, “Trust but Verify: Is There a Role for Active Surveillance in Monitoring AEs in Large-Scale VMMC programs?” at AIDS 2018.

Leadership and Management in Health Online Course Reaches Thousands Worldwide

Treats served at an end-of-course celebration in Kenya, 2016

Training on leadership and management is a critical component of the University of Washington (UW) International Training and Education Center for Health’s (I-TECH’s) health systems strengthening efforts. To that end, I-TECH has worked closely with the UW Department of Global Health E-Learning Program (eDGH) since 2012 to offer a heavily subscribed online course on leadership and management to health care workers in low- and middle-income countries.

Designed and taught by I-TECH Executive Director and UW Professor of Global Health Ann Downer, Leadership and Management in Health (LMIH) is a 12-week course focusing on the practical leadership and management skills required for working in complex global health environments. Weekly modules include content on team building, accountability, supervision and delegation, conflict management, financial management, use of data for decision-making, and effective communication.

“I want to express my gratitude for giving me the opportunity to do the UW course on Leadership Management in Health. …I find myself going back to these documents again and again to understand and imbibe what is given. I feel that the simple narrative of the course material has made all the difference.”

–2016 course participant from India

Participants from Tunisia, 2015

The course consists of recorded lectures, required readings, a weekly online discussion forum, quizzes, self-reflection assignments, and a final verbal presentation. It is targeted to practicing health care professionals and public health specialists who already have some experience managing people. In most cases, LMIH participants gather in weekly site-specific, in-person discussion groups led by a volunteer facilitator to discuss the material and apply it to their particular linguistic, cultural, social, and political environment.

“We just finished our site discussion this afternoon and the level of contribution and application to our various office settings was wonderful. …I have told my Chief Executive … about the course and he is thinking of asking all Management Staff to do it compulsorily in the next episode.”

–2017 course site facilitator

Due to high enrollment, the course is now offered twice a year, with a completion averaging 84%. Approximately 4,500 individuals are enrolled in the latest offering of the course, representing a nine-fold increase in five years. More than 10,000 health workers in 65 countries have graduated from LMIH since 2012.

Participants from Myanmar, 2017

According to a survey conducted by eDGH, more than half of graduates from the spring 2016 cohort now mentor colleagues on leadership and management-related job tasks. In addition, 67% said they were given new responsibilities or projects as a result of course completion, and 74% reported that they had maintained contact with other students from their sites.

“We consistently hear that how empowering the course is,” said Anya Nartker, E-Learning Project Manager with eDGH. “The course uses a blended model, where participants are required to meet with their local site each week to apply what they are learning in the course, and share problems that they support each other in solving.”

 

I like the idea of all students teaming together and working together despite their backgrounds and level of education. There were many who were highly educated and some who were moderately [educated], and we all understood and accommodated each other.

–2016 course participant from Kenya

Course graduates have requested a deeper exploration of certain topics introduced in LMIH. As a result, a certificate series of three online courses is being developed that will include LMIH; a new course titled Global Project Management; and a third online course, Fundamentals of Implementation Science.

The Global Project Management online course will be offered as a stand-alone course from July-September 2018, co-taught by Dr. Downer; I-TECH Deputy Director, Chichi Butler; and I-TECH Senior Program Manager, Harnik Gulati. The certificate will be offered in 2018.

HIS Leadership and Governance in Kenya

As a key member of the Kenya electronic medical record (EMR) system technical working group, I-TECH works to implement and standardize the EMR systems used in the management of national HIV and AIDS care and treatment data. Similar efforts have focused on ensuring that different electronic systems can communicate with one another (interoperability) and that health care workers, administrators, and staff are well trained to use and maintain them.

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Transitioning OpenELIS Training and Implementation to Local Professionals in Côte d’Ivoire

For nearly a decade I-TECH has worked in Côte d’Ivoire in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and implement an electronic laboratory information system in key laboratories. In order to respond to evolving data needs and ensure timely access to quality laboratory data, an electronic LIS requires ongoing development and continuous user training and technical support.
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Strengthening Laboratory Policy in Côte d’Ivoire

In 2017, Côte d’Ivoire’s National Public Health Reference Laboratory (LNSP) and I-TECH convened a series of strategic planning meetings with the objective of reviewing and updating the vision, mission, and objectives of the previous National Laboratory Strategic Plan. These meetings and collaboration with various partners resulted in a revised plan, the 2017-2022 National Laboratory Strategic Plan.

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Lab Managers in Zambia Earn Certificate in Leadership and Management

Mentor Dailes Nsofwa from CDC Zambia presents a certificate of completion to Kenneth Ngoma from Kasama General Hospital Laboratory.

Mentor Dailes Nsofwa from CDC Zambia presents a certificate of completion to Kenneth Ngoma from Kasama General Hospital Laboratory.

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.

Faculty Partnerships with University of Namibia Lead to Strengthened School of Public Health

UNAM School of Nursing Science and Public Health

UNAM School of Nursing Science and Public Health

Despite a decrease in the estimated annual HIV/AIDS incidence since 2001, HIV/AIDS remains a significant source of morbidity and mortality in Namibia.[1]

In 2008, the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) at the University of Washington (UW) was invited to conduct a rapid assessment of the University of Namibia (UNAM) master’s degree program in public health, with the goal of identifying ways to strengthen UNAM’s School of Nursing Science and Public Health. Dr. Virginia Gonzales, Senior Lecturer in the UW’s Department of Global Health and Senior Technical Specialist with I-TECH, led that study along with Lee Pyne-Mercier, UW Affiliate Instructor and former I-TECH Country Program Manager.

New award based on study findings

Recommendations included the suggestion that UNAM attract lecturers from outside the university to strengthen teaching in subjects such as research methods, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Based on these and other findings from the assessment, UNAM and UW/I-TECH submitted a joint application to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and were awarded a five-year cooperative agreement in 2010, with Dr. Ann Downer, Executive Director of I-TECH, serving as principal investigator.

The goal of the agreement was to improve and enhance the UNAM School of Nursing Science and Public Health. Objectives for this project included:

  • Plan for sustainability and transfer of resources to UNAM.
  • Strengthen professional development and faculty support at UNAM.
  • Strengthen content and delivery of the MPH program at UNAM.
  • Improve research capacity and output of lecturers and students at UNAM.
  • Strengthen institutional capacity and infrastructure for teaching public health at UNAM.

With this new award, I-TECH/UW and UNAM embarked upon a series of faculty partnerships. The group also began to explore how to separate the UNAM School of Nursing Science and Public Health into two programs, creating both a School of Nursing and a School of Public Health. The UNAM Senate issued a proclamation in 2014 that this would occur.

“The focus of curriculum [in the new School of Public Health] will be needs-driven,” says Dr. Käthe Hofnie Hoëbes, Associate Dean of the UNAM School of Nursing Science and Public Health, “and it will support new job growth in Namibia, as it promotes the creation of new cadres of public health specialization.”

From partnership comes growth

Retreat with UW and UNAM faculty, 2009

Retreat with UW and UNAM faculty, 2009

The CDC award has now come to an end; however, through this project, UW and UNAM created 16 strong faculty partnerships, all determined by the priorities of the UNAM faculty through a Public Health Working Group (PHWG).

“The benefit of working with the PHWG was one of the key takeaways from this project,” says Dr. Gonzales. “It ensured that UNAM was in the position to offer continual input, guide project activities, and truly lead the project.”

The faculty partnerships occurred in health policy, bioethics, nutrition, research, environmental health, and epidemiology, linking interested faculty at UW and UNAM. Through these relationships, UW faculty visited the main UNAM campus in Windhoek to facilitate workshops and review curriculum, and the UNAM faculty visited UW to observe classes and work on curriculum revision.

As a result of the trust among faculty at both universities, partnerships evolved in unexpected areas as well, including social work, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, teaching technologies, and with the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services’ (MOHSS) Primary Health Care Program.

“Working in partnership was a cross fertilizing, fulfilling and enriching exercise for all of us who were involved,” says Magdaleena Nghatanga, former Director of the Directorate of Primary Health Care, MOHSS. “Across the ocean we shared experiences and professional expertise. Utilizing technology such as Skype, Dropbox, and e-learning helped the team in developing and revising the curriculum, as well as in building and improving teaching at the university level. As a result, the Primary Health Care Program and curriculum were revised and updated, and the students were thrilled with the new lectures.”

Outcomes echo throughout the country

Leaders in Health--Namibia! working group, 2010

Leaders in Health–Namibia! working group, 2010

The collaboration also focused attention on teaching skills, and evaluations of faculty by students at UNAM improved considerably. In addition, UNAM graduates reported improved skills and knowledge in HIV/AIDS, nutrition, health policy, epidimiology, and research and increased knowledge of and interest in public health. Thesis supervisors at UNAM reported greater skills in supervision and student mentoring, and UNAM lecturers reported increased knowledge, skills, and confidence in teaching course materials.[2]

The workshops offered on learning theory and teaching skills were later scaled to all of UNAM, including remote campuses. Several faculty also participated in the Leaders in Health – Namibia! (LIH) program that was designed by I-TECH/UW in collaboration with the MOHSS in order to strengthen the health care delivery system in Namibia through effective mentoring of health leaders and managers. The UNAM faculty who participated in LIH later improved course content on leadership and management at UNAM by using material and content from LIH.

“This partnership has yielded benefits on many fronts,” says Dean Hofnie Hoëbes. “Lines of collaboration have been initiated with other world-class universities, and technical support was provided for the roadmap for establishing a standalone School of Public Health. This will benefit the nation as a whole by supporting public health care in the country and preparing a larger, professional workforce with specialized skills to address shortages in public health practitioners in Namibia.”

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[1] Namibia Global Health Initiative, 2011-2015/16.

[2] University of Namibia and I-TECH Namibia. Evaluation of the Impact of the UNAM/I-TECH Collaboration upon the Master of Public Health Program, 2009-2012. 2013.

I-TECH Presents at CUGH 2014

Optimized-CUGH 2014 (1)

I-TECH staff will head to Washington, D.C., this week to the Fifth Annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Conference, which will take place at the Washington Hilton from May 10-12. More than 1,300 participants from 50 countries are expected to attend the conference, co-hosted by the George Washington University and Stanford University.

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.

Kenya

  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Implementation at Scale in the Public Health Sector: Lessons Learned in Kenya

Haiti

  • 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

South Africa

  • 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.

About CUGH:

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.

I-TECH Selecting Participants for New Certificate Program in Laboratory Leadership

lab courseI-TECH is currently selecting participants for a new, innovative program designed to strengthen the leadership and management skills of clinical and public health laboratory supervisors.

I-TECH and the University of Washington are committed to training clinical and public health laboratory managers and directors to take on important roles such as advocacy, policy development, and inter-agency coordination to be more effective leaders in public health.

This nine-month long professional certificate program was developed at I-TECH under the direction of Dr. Robert Martin, a professor in the Department of Global Health, and consists of a series of distance-learning courses to accommodate course participants who are mid-career working professionals. Participants will meet one another and program faculty during two face-to-face meetings at the beginning and the end of the program.

Each participant will be also assigned a mentor from their country who is a senior-level laboratory director and will work with the mentor to design and execute a project related to improving their laboratories’ operations. This Capstone project is an individualized part of the curriculum that can be customized to meet the goals for each laboratory. At the end of the program, participants will present their projects to fellow program participants, mentors, and faculty.

The program begins in January 2014 and features four new courses on laboratory systems,  law and regulation (online), implementing diagnostic technology (online), and laboratory data analysis and communication (online).  A leadership and management course taught by Dr. Ann Downer,  an associate professor in the Department of Global Health, has been customized for this audience.

This multi-course certificate is initially being piloted in the Middle East and North Africa and is open only to senior laboratory leaders from that region by invitation. Eligible countries include Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Pakistan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Morocco.  Participants come nominated by their Ministry’s of Health and will remain employed while participating in this program.

I-TECH Releases Updated Manual on Essential Supervisory Skills

supervisor's toolboxThe International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) is pleased to announce the release of the second edition of I-TECH’s manual Essential Supervisory Skills, which you can download here (PDF, 2.7 MB).

A resource for managers, this “supervisor’s toolbox” is a 65-page manual developed from years of research and discussions with supervisors in a variety of industries from several countries. This easy-to-use guide gives managers a step-by-step plan to develop their supervisory skills while helping their employees reach their potential. Seven chapters include background and instructions on accountability, evaluation, effective hiring and how to address performance issues.

“The purpose of the Supervisor’s Toolbox is to provide a convenient resource supervisors can turn to when dealing with the myriad of issues that come their way,” said Richard Wilkinson, I-TECH Human Resources Director.

Decisions supervisors make often have a direct impact on employees’ lives—and global health. Wilkinson points out that investing in training for supervisors translates to more effective, efficient, and happier employees.

“There’s an old saying that employees join organizations and leave bosses,” he said. “Supervisors directly affect the difference employees can make in contributing to the success of their teams and I-TECH. My hope is these tools will help supervisors communicate clearly and manage confidently.”