Jane Wathome is the CEO and founder of Beacon of Hope (BoH), a community-based NGO in Kenya that has been helping families infected and affected by HIV since 2002.
"Before starting BoH, my experience was as a voluntary counselor and testing for HIV counselor as well as a member of the Kenyan HIV National Strategic Planning Committee. When BoH first opened, it was a small HIV care facility with two part-time nurses and a handful of volunteers that was open twice a week and only saw about 60 people." Because of the incredible needs, the facility became a fully operational comprehensive care center almost overnight with 15 full time staff that operated 5 days a week, treating about 230 people per day. "I was simply overwhelmed. I had lots of clinical care experience, but absolutely no management experience to speak of, let alone running an entire operation."
How do you ensure proper supply chain management of essential HIV drugs? How do you properly supervise and motivate staff? How do you ensure proper keeping of timesheets and patient records? How do you ensure that relevant information is linked to the Ministry of Health?
These are some of the basic questions Jane had – and which she learned through the AMREF – UCLA – Johnson & Johnson Management Development Institute (MDI). The MDI is a one-week intensive course which provides management training to help develop effective leadership of sub-Saharan organizations devoted to the care, treatment, and support of people living with HIV/AIDS. “MDI training equipped me with leadership and management skills and knowledge on how to lead the expanding team and better manage the exponential growth while maintaining the quality of HIV services we provide."
Jane is one of more than 500 graduates of the MDI program, which has been implemented in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. So many students are interested in the course that we’ve developed an e-learning module. Jane says, "I hope all of my senior management team can go through MDI training because when they all go through that training, we'll be talking from the same page and will be able to provide better quality care, less wasted resources, and more professionalism."