Attacking Pervasive Health System Failings
Growing up in Accra, Ghana, Ama Essuman puzzled over why her parents—accomplished physician-researchers with prestigious degrees—chose to run a small clinic in an underserved community instead of holding more lucrative positions.
The answer became clear as she matured: True fulfillment meant living for something greater than personal gain.
“I’m a big believer in doing what we can with what we have. How can we mobilize our resources to solve our problems in a sustainable way?”
In her favorite class in medical school, Community Health, she learned about the leadership, organization, and financing of Ghana’s health system. Her work as a physician in that same system, however, exposed her to its challenges, including financing health care sustainably, implementing policies and guidelines, and retaining motivated personnel.
Galvanized to help solve these problems, Essuman became certified as a project management professional. She used her newly acquired skills to improve policies for patients and providers in the hospitals and medical centers where she worked. She also applied her new knowledge to public health research, working with the National Institute for Health and Care Research’s Global Health Research Centre for Non-communicable Disease Control in West Africa to explore disease control and management in three West-African countries.
Essuman plans to use the skills she gains from the dual MPH/MBA program at the Bloomberg School and Carey Business School to continue working to solve the pervasive problems in her own country’s health system and those in other lower- and middle-income countries. “I hope to acquire the relevant skills, knowledge, and network on my journey to becoming a global health leader,” she says.
BSc, Medical Sciences, University of Ghana, 2016; MBChB, Medicine and Surgery, University of Ghana, 2019