College Launches Global Health Procurement and Supply Chain Postgraduate Diploma Online | Kent State University

College Launches Global Health Procurement and Supply Chain Postgraduate Diploma Online

The College of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM) has cultivated a partnership with Empower School of Health in New Delhi, India, resulting in the joint sponsorship of Empower’s post graduate diploma designed to prepare students for global careers in Health Procurement and Supply Chain Management  (PSM). This school promotes universal access to quality assured global health commodities by working with health professionals from more than 30 countries to strengthen institutional capacity of global health programs, conduct assessments, pursue research, and provide advice to donors, governments and United Nations agencies on sourcing, logistics, pricing, quality, drug regulations, catalyzing local production, and technology transfer.

While teaching one of the College of Public Health’s global courses at the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly in Geneva Switzerland, HPM chair Dr. Jonathan VanGeest and Assistant Dean Ken Slenkovich met Professor Paul S. Lalvani, Dean and Director of Empower. Following a discussion of the growing need for public health professionals trained in PSM, a partnership between the two institutions developed quickly.

“There is an incredible need for managing the transportation of medical supplies that require refrigeration - particularly perishable supplies with a short shelf life  – into areas with low penetration of health services.” Dr. VanGeest observed. “As a result, the EMPOWER program is designed to train students and professionals to handle this kind of supply chain management. Our College is now a part of giving students the skill set to truly flourish in a global health system. ”  

The program also enhances the College’s connections in India, opening the door for continued partnerships and programs. The host of partnering agencies include the likes of Kenya Red Cross, UNAIDS, Partners in Population and Development, GD Goenka University, and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. The WHO is also intimately tied with this program. Given that the Global Health Fund is pushing for this program to expand the US Global Health Initiative, additional research and program evaluation partnerships may follow.

“The diploma creates a beneficial edge for both students and health professionals in or interested in public health programs - from donors to government agencies to non-government organizations to Civil society and academia. “ VanGeest continued. “This is an exciting opportunity- to go where public health services are truly needed. Most of the students in the Global Health Immersion course I was teaching while cultivating this partnership stated they want to do just this. ”

And diploma recipients agree.

“The training course has helped me find ways to realize the power of the buyer by negotiating best purchase price and contract conditions,” said diploma recipient Artyom Kremen; Ukrainian Center for Disease Control, MoH (Ukraine), “The course was of a high level and I recommend this course to everyone who is involved in medical procurement. “

Top students will be considered for project and internship opportunities with leading public health organizations after passing the final exam. They will be awarded additional certificates in collaboration with respective organizations upon successful completion of assignments. The diploma also provides a PC tablet and addresses one topic area per month for 8 months from introduction to PSM to PSM support functions and systems.  The final two months of the course entail a ‘problem-solution’ dissertation linked to their own organization or country culminating with a final assessment of all materials. Requirements include operating confidentially in both written and spoken English language, a commitment of 40 hours per month for 11 months, and completion of a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. While prior work experience is preferred, it is not necessary.

“Handling a non-[health] system is difficult to learn while living in established systems such as the US, as we often fail to fully appreciate key local challenges associated with improving global health, especially in developing countries and regions.” Said VanGeest, “The long term goal of training students and professionals is to improve medical infrastructures by placing these students and professionals on the ground in countries where developing a sustainable infrastructure that does not require foreign intervention is needed.”

Currently the agreement is for jointly offering of the program this academic year. The College of Public Health does, however, anticipate securing a memorandum of understanding with the goal of growing the partnership for more College of Public Health faculty and research involvement.  To apply or for more information, please contact Dr. Vangeest at jvangees@kent.edu.

POSTED: Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 3:49pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 3:49pm