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Ama Essuman

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.

T​he 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 t​o 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.