The People Who Inspired Me to Improve Healthcare in Kenya

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There are many people who have impacted how I strategically view healthcare in Kenya and United States in both delivery and systems. These are the areas where I continue to develop professionally. These people set the tone, expectations, and exceptionally high bar of my role as a healthcare practitioner. It has also impacted on my overall individual and professional contribution. I am blessed for the instrumental roles they have played in my life.

 

A Novice striving towards Expert

Gail Bettuchy always stood firm and tall. As I trained to be a nursing assistant, she was a teacher and a mentor in translating the provision of care with utmost compassion and facilitating dignity at all costs. Elizabeth Cifuni and Lynn Menconi supported my professional development. They provided me the opportunities to further my education while balancing a full time role in the health workforce. Linda Huffman, Meyer 8, Johns Hopkins Hospital coached me on the power of communication within a professional work environment. Dr Krauss and Dr Kaplan provided a growth pathway in the world of research. Dr. Michael Williams served as a role model, in balancing leadership and health service delivery by being at the top of his game, up to speed with current and evidenced based practice. But most of all, he managed to lead the teams in the delivery of uncompromising high quality care and making an impact both locally and internationally — he taught me how to translate theory into practice. Terrie Hunt drilled down-quality improvement, process improvement, and the continuity of looking at systems and processes to address the dynamically changing needs in our environments. As easy as it is to address the person, more often, we need to look at addressing the process.

 

Starting out - graduating in Massachusetts as a nurse

Starting out – graduating in Massachusetts as a nurse

 

One person I hold dear to my heart, as a woman, a mentor, and a professional, then holding the position Director of LifeBridge Brain and Spine Institute, is the amazing Mrs. Jessica Cooper. One would speak to her and often think she had a strong medical background but armed with a strong business background – she understood her business. Jessica was transformational in catapulting a greater understanding of my role and my contribution within the business of health. She was the key to my evolution in understanding how all facets gel to make a system work – clinical, research, administration, education, programs with an overarching link to systems and policy. She was a game changer in my world!

As an Administrative Director in the healthcare space, she was always eloquent in her articulation and execution. I cannot fail to mention in the world of fashion as well! Her leadership and wisdom accelerated my shift towards administration and management. I also have greater insight into my role as a nurse and administrator, and how it powerfully sits in this complex and ever dynamic world of healthcare in Kenya.

 

The Campaign that Is Positively Shaping Healthcare in Kenya

On my return to Kenya,  further inspiration has come from the work of Her Excellency, Margaret Kenyatta. She is the one who is leading and prioritizing the improvement healthcare in Kenya starting with maternal and child health through the Beyond Zero campaign.

Her Excellency, Margaret Kenyatta has set the national tone and agenda by stating that No woman will die while giving birth.”  

This challenges our health systems, practitioners, and individuals in thinking of the value of women in communities and society. To empower and to protect women translates to protecting the upcoming generation who are our future citizens and leaders.

 

Jacaranda participating in the Beyond Zero campaign

Jacaranda Health participating in the Beyond Zero campaign

 

The Beyond Zero campaign involves setting up mobile clinics in hard to reach areas, catering to vulnerable populations where access to quality healthcare in Kenya is few and far between. The First Lady is raising funds through marathons to improve healthcare in Kenya.  She is game changing the landscape, and I admire and applaud her commitment, leadership, and vision to strengthening our nation.

 

The people who made things happen at Jacaranda-Health

The people who made things happen at Jacaranda Health

Faith Muigai and her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta supporting healthcare in Kenya

Faith Muigai and her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta supporting healthcare in Kenya

 

A Call to Action!

The first lady uses her influence to shed light on a pre-existing problem that people rarely talk about: maternal and infant mortality. A majority of these cases would have been preventable through access to skilled health professionals in healthcare environments that are equipped, resourced, and staffed to provide quality care.

My personal call to action is to be a part of the journey and weave the threads together to create a sustainable improved healthcare system. Healthcare in Kenya must deliver quality care and demand for quality outcomes.

Ultimately, we have to make that dream come true – No woman should die while giving birth.

 

 

(Photo credits – Faith Muigai & Jacaranda Health)