February 21, 2011

Trip to China: Support from across the world creates success for 10,000 Women Program

Martha Dale, director for China Programs, and Lui Yu, program manager, shared their experiences after a recent trip to China. Martha and Lui’s work provides women in China with the opportunity to learn management and leadership skills that will improve their own health care systems. While Martha and Lui make several trips per year to China, much of their work is done providing support to the program from countries away. 

Both were able to reflect and share their most rewarding aspects of the overall program. Yu explains how he manages the program’s 60 students with regular phone calls and e-mails on a daily basis because he wants to make sure they’re not ignored and still feel a part of the program. Dale adds that watching the group dynamics, team roles and applicable skills develop is the most satisfying part of her trip.

Dale explains that the program began when Tsinghua University decided they wanted to do more work in health care and connected with Yale University because of their past work with China. After both universities connected, Elizabeth Bradley, faculty director at GHLI, took the lead to develop a proposal for funding the initiative.

The program focuses around a three week certificate class and a four month field assignment. Dale explained the main purpose of the program was to create a profession of health care managers and to increase the efficiency and quality of health provided. The program is funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and provides women in lower category hospitals, but with a wide range of health care experience, the opportunity to improve their health care management outcomes. Students have been recruited thus far from 18 of China’s provinces.

Success in the program is measured through a series of complex monitoring evaluation systems consisting of competency, leadership, projects, promotion and gender roles. These five constructs involve evaluating skill sets before and after, how the project’s impact the community and if men or women are perceived to have more dominant roles in the workplace or home. Yu explained one example of success is measured by comparing the initial skill sets of students in the cohort to their present abilities at the conclusion of the program. Another measure is through field assignment work: one student’s project increased the recognition rate of diabetes within their community. Two classes of students have graduated and the program is currently working on their third. The certificate program aims to graduate eight groups in total.

Amanda Sorrentino, GHLI Intern

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