ZFFI Learning Session: Empowering Academic Partners in Health Leadership

News | by Almi Atienza

The Zuellig Family Foundation Institute for Health Leadership (ZFFI) recently hosted a two-day Learning Session for Academic Partners (APs) at the Bayview Park Hotel Manila on July 26 and 27, 2023. The event aimed to equip APs with practical insights from real-world experiences, enhancing their strategies for implementing essential local health programs, including those related to health systems, nutrition, and adolescent sexual and reproductive health. The training focused on Bridging Leadership (BL) and the Health Change Model, both recognized by the Foundation as powerful tools for driving transformative health care outcomes.

The first day emphasized key topics such as BL and the pivotal roles of APs in executing Universal Health Care (UHC) goals. The occasion also marked the Foundation’s 15th anniversary, highlighted by a Memorandum of Understanding signing with new APs. A recognition ceremony honored the significant contributions and unwavering support of APs in the Foundation’s mission of advancing better health outcomes for all.

Austere A. Panadero, President of ZFF, highlighted the intricate nature of implementing UHC, involving expansion and restructuring. Many local government units lack readiness for this, as seen in the gradual UHC rollout. Panadero sought support for UHC changes, questioning how to expedite these with available resources and which institutions can guide effectively. He said that ZFF sees the APs as a solution. In the UHC rollout, academic institutions become transformative educators, evidence-based influencers, and advocates for quality care, empowering local health leaders to achieve UHC efficiently.

On the second day, APs openly exchanged insights and recommendations across three themes: health leadership and governance program implementation, the role of academic institutions in mentoring health leaders, and research study findings. The recommendation suggests continuing deep investigations by APs with involvement of peers for meaningful learning, while also expanding faculty ownership for teaching and coaching. It urges APs to apply program strategies with local governments, enhance coaching skills for Department of Health partnerships to empower LGU leaders, and stresses trust-based relationships as pivotal for positive changes in local health systems.

The two-day session involved 17 participants from 10 esteemed institutional partners, including Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Cebu Normal University, Davao Medical School Foundation, Inc., Silliman University, St. Paul University Philippines-Tuguegarao, University of the Philippines Manila-College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila – School of Health Sciences, and University of the Philippines Visayas. Newly engaged institutions, Cordillera Career Development College and Mindanao State University-Sulu, also joined the event.

(Published August 22, 2023)

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