Awardee: Samuel Johnston
Program: MPH in Health Management
Project Title: Designing financially sustainable and impactful ambulatory surgical services for a social enterprise in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Organization: Hospitals Beyond Boundaries (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
The project’s purpose was to undertake a strategic review of how to provide impactful and sustainable healthcare within the Cham community in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Cham community are a Muslim minority group within Cambodian society who tend to have worse healthcare outcomes as compared to the broader Cambodian society. This includes accessing medical care and receiving culturally specific maternal services. The review was undertaken for an organization called Hospitals Beyond Boundaries (HBB), who are committed to improving the health of vulnerable communities through sustainable healthcare initiatives. They aim to provide medical services to those that cannot afford healthcare by using the revenue generated from those that can afford healthcare, thereby creating a self-sustaining model. This project involved engaging with local community groups, international organizations, and key experts, that together would help inform the creation of a strategic plan for HBB for the next five years.
Most rewarding part of the field experience
Being able to learn from the various community stakeholders into what mattered most to them when it came to their healthcare needs, and being able to have this experience onsite within the communities themselves.
Advice for students doing work in the field
Passion is a great resource to draw upon when trying to improve healthcare outcomes, but it is important to understand your limitations when doing this. The solutions for many public health challenges can be found in the communities themselves and it is important to prioritise this in order to create sustainable solutions.
My thanks to Dr. Mohd Lutfi Fadil Lokman, Dr. Kop Roly, and the entire Hospitals Beyond Boundaries (HBB) team for giving me the opportunity to work with them, and to Bill Bean for his ongoing mentorship and support.