The vision that ultimately led to Nyaya’s founding began in 2006, when 3 students at Yale decided to work with the government to establish better healthcare in Achham, Nepal. Our team has largely been comprised of younger volunteers including students and young professionals. Initially we had little formal mentorship, were certainly not experts in health delivery, and had little opportunity to engage those with more experience than ourselves. Since then we have been privileged to work with mentors in both Nepal and the United States. In particular, our programs and patients have benefited greatly from outside expertise through our relationships with Harvard University and Partners In Health.
Recently, Harvard University established The Global Health Delivery Partnership (GHDP), formalizing the longstanding collaboration between the Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and the non-profit organization Partners In Health. The mission of the GHDP is to work together to enhance the implementation of effective strategies in the global health field, with each institution contributing its own experience and excellence. The GHDP will focus on:
- training of medical professionals and strengthening of health systems,
- identifying new and innovative models for medical education and training in resource-poor settings,
- fostering a research base focusing on best practices in global health delivery, and
- creating communities of practice for those working in the global health field.
Nyaya Health is humbled to be a supported partner through the GHDP. Having recently had the privilege to host Paul Farmer in Achham, and also having the opportunity to work with multiple faculty members at Harvard through the GHDP (including Chair, Joe Rhatigan who also directs the Global Health Equity Residency program I am a fellow in), we wanted to take time to reflect on our excitement about the guidance and support the GHDP offers, primarily in three key domains:
1) Technical advising: Throughout Nyaya’s ongoing challenges during the development of a health system in rural Nepal, further technical advice from the GHDP will help steer us away from “re-inventing the wheel,” and will instead help us to employ best practices identified through their experience.
2) Research support: The “Research Core” provides guidance and support to the GHDP for research activities ranging from study design, development, and implementation, to analysis and ultimately reporting and dissemination. Such guidance is particularly crucial to early-career professionals and/or young organizations with minimal support. Through collaboration with the GHDP, all partners may continually identify and share best practices in global health delivery.
3) Accompaniment: As our team continues to expand programs in Nepal, we are also challenged to identify career pathways that tie social justice and global health work to our developing careers. The GHDP offers an important opportunity for each of us, accompanying our team and others like us by working to create a community of like-minded, social-justice oriented professionals. Such community is critical to maintaining perspective, inspiration, and dedication to this work.
The GHDP promises to bring great benefit to patients around the world, and Nyaya is grateful for the support it continues to offer our team and patients.
Ryan Schwarz, MD, MBA, is a former director of Nyaya Health and is currently on the Board of Directors. He is a resident physician in Harvard University’s Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Program and fellow in the Global Health Equity Residency Programat Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Boston.