This month 42 American doctors and nurses will begin year long assignments on faculties of African medical and nursing schools as a part of the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP).
The program is a collaboration between the US Peace Corps, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and Seed Global Health. Vanessa Kerry and I discuss the past and the future of the program in an article in Academic Medicine entitled “The Global Health Service Partnership: Teaching for the World.”
The program represents an ambitious commitment by the Peace Corps which hosts the GHSP, PEPFAR which funds it, and Seed Global Health which provides technical assistance to the Peace Corps and raises funds for loan repayment for program participants. The arrival of these 42 clinician-teachers at their medical and nursing schools in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda marks the start of the second year of the program. The inaugural group of 31 had extraordinary experiences as teachers, mentors, faculty colleagues and contributors to institution building. Representative experiences are recorded in this video of photos from volunteers working in each of the three countries. This year’s teacher clinicians will work at 13 sites in the 3 countries. Among the 42 are 23 nurses, 19 physicians, 7 couples, 8 Returned Peace Corps volunteers, the program’s first osteopathic physicians and 3 GHSP volunteers from 2013-2014 who are extending for another year. These volunteers range from 27 to 68 years old and represent 15 specialty areas of nursing and medicine. Twelve come from the Midwest, 10 from the Northeast, 9 from the West, 8 from the South and 3 from the Mid-Atlantic.
The link between social mission in medicine and nursing, medical/nursing education, and global health is palpable in this program. Many US physicians and nurses who have worked in community based settings and public health are drawn to global health and teaching. Teaching, in fact, distinguishes the Global Health Service Partnership from many other service programs in low resource countries. The program is founded on the premise that teaching is the most powerful form of health development work because it contributes to building a stronger platform for health delivery in the country. It is the intent of the program to grow overtime, expanding the numbers of countries and the types of other health professionals involved. The recruitment process has now begun for the 3rd year of the program, which started on July 1, 2014 (click here to apply). Applications close on December 5, 2014. On August 5, 2014 there will be an informational GHSP Google+ Hangout at 12 pm EST online with GHSP volunteers speaking about their experiences from the field. Click here to sign up today. For any questions, please visit seedglobalhealth.org or email@example.com.