March 10, 2015

Why We Do What We Do: Nikole Allen

GHLI program manager Nikole Allen first became interested in global development as a freshman in high school. Nikole realized that, “access to education, health and economic opportunities provided to most Americans is not universal.” She became actively involved in Operation Days’ Work, a USAID-led youth development program.The program empowers students to promote international awareness and support educational initiatives in lower income countries. Nikole’s work with the program focused on funding a grant to refurbish a secondary school in rural Ethiopia. With piqued interest in the global health field, she selected a major in international studies at the Western Oregon University. 

While pursuing her Master’s of Public Health through the Peace Corps Master International program at the University of Washington she was reconnected to Ethiopia, where she worked as a community HIV/AIDS advisor. Later, she joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s Ethiopian Hospital Management Initiative and began working with the Ministry of Health to help hospitals interpret key performance methods -- including the measurement of patient and staff satisfaction, the uptake of patient satisfaction best practices and the implementation of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist.  

Since joining the GHLI team, Nikole has led research and training programs in the United Kingdom, Tanzania and Rwanda. GHLI has provided her with the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of groups in different health systems. She particularly enjoys learning about each group’s challenges and providing them with the guidance and support to generate strategies to address those problems. 

“The GHLI leadership programs are incredibly valuable because they offer country participants the ability to learn outside of their regular environment and reflect on their challenges.”

“I appreciate that GHLI recognizes that health system challenges exist everywhere, so we have domestic projects and partners in high income countries as well,” said Nikole. “I’m looking forward to continuing to explore the intersection of public health and development across the globe.”   

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