Strengthening International Health Care Systems

July 06, 2016

Gary Gaumer

SOM Professor Gary Gaumer Works With International Health Care Organizations

School of Management Professor Gary Gaumer is best-known to students as an instructor for MBA courses, but he also does international work to strengthen health care systems in poor countries. These consulting projects are funded by organizations like the USAID, World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, or the World Health Organization. This work recently brought him to Liberia and Egypt.

Gaumer traveled to Liberia in May for USAID to help design new policy to improve access to pharmaceuticals. Currently, drugs are free to Liberian citizens at clinics, but the system doesn’t function because drugs are not always available when they are needed. Problems include hoarding of drugs in households, unprofessional prescribing practices, corruption, and a faulty supply chain. Gaumer and colleagues hosted a two-day workshop designed to facilitate communication on these problems between key stakeholders in Liberian health policy, including leaders in the Ministry of Health. This “Stakeholder Workshop” aimed to help get everyone on the same page regarding the ingredients of new policy. He will then take the results of the workshop and design policy options and a small pilot program. The goal is to continue the policy development through the summer and help the Ministry of Health launch the pilot program in the fall.

In early June, Gaumer visited Cairo to evaluate a new program to help prevent HIV infection in high-risk populations. Funded by the Ford and Drosos Foundations, a new network organization was established to do training and support for community based HIV prevention programs (which are funded by international organizations and nonprofit groups). HIV prevention programs are currently struggling with funding, because the health problems posed by hepatitis, malaria and tuberculosis are larger and because the affected populations are less stigmatized than for the high risk HIV risk groups (injecting drug users, gay men, female prostitutes). In most countries, support for HIV prevention is led by government efforts, but in Egypt, this is not the case. Thus, the network organization that provides training, support and cooperation services is left to Civil Society to operate.

Those interested in learning more about the economic analysis used on these consulting ventures can stop by Gary Gaumer’s office (M342) or email him. This fall, he will be teaching GSM 411: Economic Analysis for Managers.