BACKGROUND: In recent years there has been a surge in the number of global health programs operated by academic institutions. However, most of the existing programs describe partnerships that are primarily faculty-driven and supported by extramural funding.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Research and Advocacy for Health in India (RAHI, or "pathfinder" in Hindi) and Support and Action Towards Health-Equity in India (SATHI, or "partnership" in Hindi) are 2 interconnected, collaborative efforts between the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and Charutar Arogya Mandal (CAM), a medical college and a tertiary care center in rural western India. The RAHI-SATHI program is the culmination of a series of student/trainee-led research and capacity strengthening initiatives that received institutional support in the form of faculty mentorship and seed funding. RAHI-SATHI's trainee-led twinning approach overcomes traditional barriers faced by global health programs. Trainees help mitigate geographical barriers by acting as a bridge between members from different institutions, garner cultural insight through their ability to immerse themselves in a community, and overcome expertise limitations through pre-planned structured mentorship from faculty of both institutions. Trainees play a central role in cultivating trust among the team members and, in the process, they acquire personal leadership skills that may benefit them in their future careers.
CONCLUSION: This paradigm of trainee-led twinning partnership promotes sustainability in an uncertain funding climate and provides a roadmap for conducting foundational work that is essential for the development of a broad, university-wide global health program.
- UMCCTS funding
Glob Health Sci Pract. 2017 Mar 28;5(1):152-163. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-16-00190. Print 2017 Mar 24. Link to article on publisher's site
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/melissa_fischer/25/