April 18, 2011

Building on Success in South Africa

Erika Linnander’s face lights up as she talks about her recent GHLI trip to Ethiopia.  “It was fantastic,” she says.  “There’s such diverse leadership within the programs.”

During her two weeks immersed in Ethiopian health clinics and hospitals, she worked on developing GHLI’s Ethiopian Hospital Management Initiative (EHMI) and Ethiopian Millennium Rural Initiative (EMRI) programs.

Erika spent her first week working with the first cohort of students in the Master’s of Hospital Administration program at Addis Ababa University (AAU), where she was teaching financial management. This program is similar to the successful three year program established by Yale at Jimma University, which now fully functions on its own.

 “It was a mark of success to see Jimma University’s program sustained without GHLI,” shared Erika, after visiting this program during her second week. Erika expressed her hope for the same success at Addis Ababa University.

During the second week of her visit, Erika visited two EMRI health centers.  Yale, working together with the Clinton Health Access Initiative seeks to strengthen health outcomes in rural areas by using quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate and improve program design. Erika said she feels personally invested in the quality of this data and said she was also excited for the potential to use the data in  future collaboration in Ethiopia, such as an emerging initiative that will focus on maternal and child health.

As for her future ideas for these programs, Erika says she hopes the first cohort at AAU will join with other hospital CEOs in Ethiopia in a quality alliance, a network that will foster the sharing and blending of local solutions and global best practices to improving hospital quality.  She also emphasized how the creation of clinical blueprints, which is in the works between GHLI and CHAI, has the potential to serve as a bridge between ministry standards and guidelines and actual improvements in provider practices. 

Amanda Sorrentino, GHLI Intern

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