On May 15, 2017, practitioners from 17 different countries, including the Bolivia, Colombia, Pakistan, the United States and a dozen countries in Africa, gathered at Georgia Tech’s Global Learning Center for a week to participate in the certificate program in Health & Humanitarian Supply Chain Management (HHSCM) offered by Georgia Tech’s Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS). The participants’ admirable passion for their work motivated them to seek systematic approaches toward improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations, positively impacting the beneficiaries they serve.
The 2017 cohort represented corporate, government, and nongovernmental organizations such as the Carter Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Gambian Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Task Force for Global Health, UNICEF, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Food for Peace, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and local ministries of health in African countries.
The certificate program consists of three courses (2 days each): Pre-planning Strategy for Health and Humanitarian Organizations, Tactical Decision Making in Public Health and Humanitarian Response, and Systems Operations in Health and Humanitarian Response. Topics include distribution network design, strategies for managing inventory and uncertainty, resource allocation, and systems dynamics related to a broad range of activities including preparing, responding to, and recovery from disasters and health emergencies, as well as ongoing efforts in strengthening and managing health systems.
2017 participants had high praise for the HHSCM program, highlighting the importance and relevance of the practical applications studied in the course and how they plan to incorporate the new skills and knowledge in their current and future work. Bonaventure Mulama, Advisor, Humanitarian Programme Design & Management in Kenya remarked: “The training provided me with frameworks and tools to aid decision making at a more strategic level. One more benefit is that I met new people thus improving my professional network in quantity and quality.” Likewise, Mohammed Visram, Pharmacist for the Kagera Regional Health Management Team (RHMT) in Tanzania commented: “The participants have had very comprehensive and diverse knowledge and experience in their field and hence we could share the best practices.”
Others shared objectives for future applications of their learnings in the course. Yves Lucien Hakorimana, Tropical Health specialist at the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Senegal commented: “As Reproductive Health commodities expert who works in most humanitarian crisis countries, I understood more how I need to use mathematical modeling in supply chain analysis and design and address easily right recommendations for decision making.” Andrew Auruku, Logistics Officer for the Serere District Local Government in Uganda noted: “After attending the training, I will be able to tailor correct forecasting and allocations very scarce resources to target beneficiaries in my context.”
10 scholarships were awarded to HHSCM program applicants representing 7 countries. Scholarship support comes from benefactors including the UPS Foundation, Pete Quinones, and Richard “Rick” Zalesky Jr. (CE 1978) and Charlene Zalesky (HS 1977). The courses are led by CHHS co-directors Pinar Keskinocak, ISyE William W. George Chair, and Julie Swann, ISyE Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Professor. Guest instructors include former CHHS co-director Özlem Ergun, associate professor at Northeastern University, Sheereen Brown from the Task Force for Global Health, John Bartholdi, The Manhattan Associates/Dabbiere Chair in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech and Co-Executive Director of the Georgia Tech Logistics Innovation & Research Center in Panama, and Paulo Gonçalves, professor at University of Lugano.
For further information on the Certificate in Health & Humanitarian Supply Chain Management, please visit: https://chhs.gatech.edu/professional-education.
Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering