Global Health Leadership Development Program: Successful Pre-Departure Training for Fellows

In photograph above, left to right: GHLDP Fellows XIAO Meng, LI Dan, DING Jinfeng, JIA Mengmeng, LONG Jiang, andSHAN Wenjie

CMB marked a milestone in its Global Health Leadership Development Program (GHLDP) as the first cohort of GHLDP Fellows participated in pre-departure training in Beijing, August 21-26. The week-long training program began with a ceremony that linked Chinese and international partner institutions, the six newly designated GHLDP Fellows, and CMB staff. The keynote speaker for the opening session was Minister Counsellor FENG Yong, who serves at the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland. His remarks, “Global Health Development and Diplomacy” resonated with the overarching goal of the program. As these young Fellows travel abroad to deepen their understanding of global health, they will expand networks of international collaboration.

The GHLDP was launched in 2021 with a dual focus on global health practice and leadership development, to support the career growth of Chinese health professionals through practical field experience in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). In collaboration with the Yale School of Medicine and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), GHLDP Fellows will undertake individually tailored mentored training, including up to three months of orientation and didactic training in the United States or United Kingdom. After that, they will dive into the complexity and joys of working in the field, as they spend up to nine months at a host LMIC site.

The pre-departure training was jointly designed and organized by program teams from Peking University Health Science Center (the China-based operating institution of the GHLDP) and Yale and LSHTM (the overseas program operating institutions) to help Fellows fully prepare for their one-year fellowship abroad. More than 30 invited speakers (about half Chinese and half international) covered a wide spectrum of global health topics, ranging from the theoretical concept of global health to important issues and latest developments in global health as well as discussing their own areas of focus and personal work experiences in LMICs.

The GHLDP is designed to promote leadership for global health, and the pre-departure training recognized the significance of role models and mentors in cultivating leadership. The Fellows were impressed by Dr. Patricia Garcia, the former Health Minister of Peru, who shared key points in her global health career path, as well as Dr. Shailey Prasad of the University of Minnesota, who delivered a session on “Maximizing Your Mentorship Experience.” The LMIC site mentors met virtually with Fellows during the pre-departure training to help them better understand the health systems and working environments of the countries/regions where they will conduct their fieldwork.    

CMB President Barbara Stoll joined the opening ceremony virtually, and in her remarks, she referenced her own experience working in Bangladesh at the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research for four years. She described those years as a life-changing experience that expanded her world view and provided a young pediatrician, who had never lived or worked outside of the US, with early-career exposure to issues of maternal and child health and survival in a developing country setting. Those experiences set the foundation for a career devoted to maternal and child health throughout the world. 

At the end of the week, Fellows reflected on the importance of the pre-departure training. One Fellow said, “This program deepened my understanding of global health from different perspectives and gave me a clearer plan of my future career development.” They were especially impressed with the expertise and insights of the speakers. “I felt the teachers' dedication, rigor, and enthusiasm, and I also gained a deeper understanding of the content and methods of global health work,” said one Fellow, while another Fellow expressed appreciation for the way speakers “shared with us their unique perspectives, and in addition, gave us guidance on how to deal with the potential challenges we may face in the future when we arrive at our sites.”  hey also found support from each other, with one Fellow writing, “Here, I also met a group of young people with common interests and experiences, and we developed a deep friendship through mutual help and support and will strive and grow together in future global health research and practice.”

CMB extends its best wishes to the outstanding 2022 Fellows (listed below). We hope their experiences through the GHLDP will enrich their lives and careers for many years to come.

Clinical Microbiologist, Peking Union Medical College Hospital
(Fellowship placement: Yale School of Medicine, US; Instituto Gonçalo Moniz, Brazil)

DING Jinfeng
Lecturer, Xiangya School of Nursing, Central South University
(Fellowship placement: Yale School of Medicine, US; Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya)

LI Dan
Assistant Researcher, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(Fellowship placement: Yale School of Medicine, US; Instituto Gonçalo Moniz, Brazil)

LONG Jiang
Psychiatrist Researcher, Shanghai Mental Health Center
(Fellowship placement: Yale School of Medicine, US; University Malaya, Malaysia)

 JIA Mengmeng
Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Population Medicine and Public Health, Peking Union Medical College
(Fellowship placement: LSHTM, UK; The Institute of Medical Research, Nigeria)

SHAN Wenjie
General Pediatrician, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine
(Fellowship placement: LSHTM, UK; University of the Philippines, the Philippines)