Dateline: February 2012
Location: MIT Sloan
by Mary Anito
In class last week we had the pleasure of talking to some of the leaders in the global health delivery space. Along with Ophelia Dahl (from Partners in Health; see another ghdLAB post on her) and and Marty Collier (from the Access Project in Rwanda), we were joined by Rebecca Weintraub, M.D., from the Global Health Delivery Project. It was great to get a chance to meet some of the true thought leaders helping to bring global health to the forefront of people’s attention and drive change and progress in this developing field.
Rebecca’s experiences come in the form of working as a physician as well as a teacher and director throughout the medical field, so saying she has seen it all seems not to do her justice. She came to speak to our class on the need to integrate some of the management sciences into the global health projects our class will be tackling this semester. Some thoughts she shared are paraphrased below.
- There is a need for system thinking and management practice as a whole, similar to those used in the for-profit sector.
- Bureaucracy is ever present so we cannot be easily discouraged.
- The industry is interested in learning from private industry’s best practices.
- What may seem to be a standard administrative process to follow may not be understood or translated as such when put into practice.
While there are definitely going to be some challenges for those of us who are new to the space, Rebecca also shared a sense of hope. She is encouraged by our excitement to get involved and inspired us to learn and to share the tools and skills we have to help the organizations we work with grow.