Training tomorrow's leaders in global health: impact of the afya bora consortium fellowship on the careers of its alumni.
Monroe, Wise A
Afya Bora Consortium Working Group.
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BACKGROUND: Effective leadership is a cornerstone of successful healthcare delivery in resource limited settings throughout the world. However, few programs in Africa prepare healthcare professionals with the leadership skills vital to the success of the healthcare systems in which they work. One such program, the Afya Bora Consortium Fellowship in Global Health Leadership, has been training health professionals since 2011. The purpose of this study was to assess what career changes, if any, the Afya Bora Fellowship's alumni have experienced since completing the fellowship, and to describe those changes. METHODS: The Afya Bora Fellowship is a multidisciplinary, one-year training program that teaches health professionals leadership skills through didactic and experiential learning in four African countries. Between January 2011 and June 2013 the consortium trained 42 nurses and doctors. In November 2013, an electronic survey was sent to all alumni to assess their performance in the workplace post-fellowship. RESULTS: Thirty-one (74 %) of 42 alumni completed surveys. Twenty-one (68 %) reported changes to their position at work; of those, sixteen (76 %) believed the change was due to participation in the fellowship. All alumni reported improved performance at work, and cited the application of a wide range of fellowship skills, including leadership, research, communication, and mentoring. Twenty-six (84 %) alumni spearheaded improvements in their workplaces and almost all (97 %) remained in contact with colleagues from the fellowship. Among the respondents there were five publications, nine manuscripts in preparation, and three international conference presentations. CONCLUSIONS: Afya Bora alumni overwhelmingly reported that the one year fellowship positively influenced both their work and career trajectory. Training health professionals in leadership skills through didactic modules with the opportunity to apply learned skills at attachment sites in the Afya Bora Fellowship has an impact on performance in the workplace and the potential to improve long-term institutional capacity.
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