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Focus: Health systems research and implementation

Affiliation: University of Gondar, School of Public Health; Yale University, School of Public Health


Site and Background:

This training site will be based at the Institute of Public Health at the University of Gondar, under the direction of Dr. Abebaw Gebeyehu, and working in strong collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and Regional Health Bureaus. The University of Gondar is renowned in research undertaking for more than half a century specifically, but not limited to, in the fields of health sciences. Research activities at the University of Gondar have wide scale involvement of students, focus has been given on applied researches, promoting multidisciplinary collaboration and vigorous team based researches, and generous intra-institutional funding for young researchers.

The Institute of Public Health continues to be a leader in the field of public health within the country. It provides quality education, research, consultancy services and leadership to improve public health and eliminate health disparities. Teaching and research activities of the Institute focus on practical applications of both basic and advanced public health sciences in order to solve community health problems in the nation. The Institute provides opportunities for continued learning and growth through the creation of partnerships between local and international universities and organizations. Currently, it has academic links with a range of local and international universities including Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Ethiopia, University of Bergen, Norway, Touro University, USA, Institute of Public Health, and University of Heidelberg, Germany. The Institute of Public Health is also currently collaborating with key partners on a range of projects including Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA)/CDC for Dabat Research Center, NOMA: University of Oslo supporting the integrated Masters in Health Informatics and ENGINE: Funding Master’s thesis researches on Nutrition.

Globally, Dr. Curry has been engaged in teaching and mentoring at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels for 25 years, and brings deep experience in mentorship to the current program. She is the former Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (CSP) at the Yale School of Medicine, a two-year research fellowship that prepares a highly select group of physicians to become leaders in health care nationally, awarding a Master’s in Health Sciences degree. She is currently Co-Director of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training Program funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and based at Yale New Haven Hospital. This career development program trains physicians and PhDs in comparative effectiveness and patient-centered research methods. Dr. Curry developed a course in Implementation Science for the PCOR training program that attracted 12 junior faculty from the medical school. She has mentored over 30 post-doctoral trainees. She also teaches courses and mentors and advises students at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels in the Yale School of Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, and Yale College, and regularly consults with faculty and students in these schools and across the university.

Dr. Curry has 20 years of experience in implementation science as demonstrated by continuous extramural funding and peer-reviewed publications addressing implementation of clinical practice guidelines, health care policies and demonstration projects at the national and state levels in the United States and internationally. She is especially interested in the development and scale up of innovative, evidence-based health practices, programs and policies to improve health care quality and outcomes and regularly collaborate with government agencies and health care providers in these efforts, using qualitative and mixed methods to provide new insights. She was Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Elizabeth Bradley on a study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop the AIDED model of diffusion of innovations (BMJ Open, AJPH and other journals). Together with colleagues Bradley and Krumholz, she collaborated in the development and application of a ‘positive deviance’ approach to study of hospital quality of care (highly accessed in Implementation Science, Annals of Internal Medicine and other journals). Dr. Curry is an internationally recognized expert in qualitative and mixed methods, which are central in implementation science and has served as co-PI on a series of grants designed to enhance the rigor and credibility of qualitative and mixed methods in public health research. She served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Mixed Methods International Research Association, was a member of an appointed working group commissioned by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences to develop Best Practices for Mixed Methods Research in the Health Sciences in 2011.

Examples of success in creating new US researchers/professionals doing global health work from this training site include the following: (1) Shoba Ramanadhan, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale who studied health management capacity-building programs in low- and middle-income countries, where she used network analysis to understand the flow of information and resources across networks of Ethiopian hospital executives in Ethiopia. She is now a research scientist in the Viswanath Lab at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health; (2) Steven Neri was an MPH student at Yale and then a post-graduate fellow with the EHMI program, where he received training, mentorship, and field experience in hospital management in developing settings. He is now the Country Director for Project HOPE in Namibia.