Spring 2011: My Experiences as a Global Health Leadership Intern
By Chung-Sang Tse
University of Toronto Alumna
Spring 2011 (March 28-May 6) Global Health Leadership Intern
Just as global health issues are multifaceted, complex, and diverse, so are the solutions that address them. Medicine, physicians, and pharmaceuticals are not the only factors in personal health care; sanitation, nutrition, and educational factors, among a host of other vital factors, further contribute to an individual’s well-being. Likewise, there are many ways to address global health issues beyond the premise of donations and short-term missions.
Led by the founder and CEO Jennifer Staple-Clark, Unite For Sight has expanded its strategies to include: providing eye care and surgeries overseas (Global Health Delivery), spreading local awareness of issues abroad (Community-Based Chapters), creating readily accessible and accurate information (Global Health University), and formalizing networking opportunities between individual loci of ideas, experiences, and resources (Global Health and Innovation Conference). As a Global Health Leadership Intern at Unite For Sight’s headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut, I had the privilege to partake in and to learn from a subset of Unite For Sight’s multi-directional approaches:
- Certificate for Effective Program Development (Global Health University)
Programs come in all shapes and sizes for a plethora of purposes. Their lifecycle often includes three stages: development, implementation, and evaluation. To indicate the progress and success of a program, robust measurements should be in place to track not only the outputs (what was done by the “givers”) but also the outcomes (what impact it had on the recipients). For the Global Health University’s Certificate for Effective Program Development, I developed modules about Effective Malaria Program Development and Effective Involvement of Volunteers.
- Unite For Sight Global Health and Innovation Conference 2011
Opening the Shubert Theater doors at 7:15am on Saturday, April 16th is not unlike opening the floodgates. Thus began the largest global health conference in the world – the Global Health and Innovation Conference 2011 – with 2200 delegates, 170 featured speakers, and 132 social enterprise pitch presenters drawn from 50 states and over 55 countries. At the check-in desk alone, I had the chance to meet, albeit briefly, over half of the speakers, professionals and students that came. In addition, I had the privilege to moderate for 21 pitches in four Social Enterprise Pitch Sessions –each a rapid-fire succession of 10-minute presentations in a 90-minute timeslot – including: the Global & Local Collaboration Social Enterprise Pitch Session, the Water & Clinic Social Enterprise Pitch Session, the Food & Economic Empowerment Session, and the Collaboration & Empowerment Session. Lastly, I had a chance to moderate for the inspirational and practical Fundraising Strategy Workshop presented by Karen King.
- Conference Blogs
Sharing the ideas, lessons, and knowledge exchanged during the conference helps to consolidate the experience and to widen the impact-circle. I contributed to this by writing conference blogs during the last segment of my internship:
- "Kuska Peru," Kimberly Faldetta, Medical Student, Penn State College of Medicine
- "Rural Sales Program," Asif Ahmed, Program Director Economic Empowerment, CARE Bangladesh
- "Agriculture For Asylum Seekers," Melodie Kinet, MPH/MBA Candidate, Johns Hopkins University
- "Second Cut: Using Private Certifiers To Assess Quality and Safety of Male Circumcision Providers in Developing Countries," Michael Richards, MD, MPH, Doctoral Student, Yale University
- "Ethnography of Health Issue and HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs in China's Urban Sex Industry," Tiantian Zheng, Professor of Anthropology, State University of New York, Cortland
- "Social & Economic Integration of Orphaned Youth Aging Out of Care," Shelby French, Executive Director, The International Organization for Adolescents
- "Soksabay try – Iron Fish for the Amelioration of Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Rural Cambodia," Chris Charles, PhD Candidate, University of Guelph
“Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” How, then, do you find work that interweaves the diverse aspects of medicine, education, global health, research, volunteering and writing? I thought that it was unlikely, perhaps even impossible. In retrospect, then, it is no small wonder that Unite For Sight offered me a seemingly tailor-made position; the Global Health Leadership Internship was an invaluable experience.