Q: What are the objectives of the GHSC?
A: The GHSC mission is to help recruit and support health professionals to serve in resource-poor settings with the greater goal of investing in local health workforce capacity and sustainability. The organization will fulfill this mission in partnership with the Peace Corps through the Global Health Service Partnership. The GHSC will provide essential expert technical support to the Peace Corps and the volunteers during their period of service. The primary emphasis of the program will be on education and training in alignment with our partner countries' needs - whether that entails formal instruction in a classroom or on-the-job teaching of new skills. To help support these volunteers, the GHSC will offer loan repayment stipends to eligible volunteers carrying educational debt.
Q: What makes the Global Health Service Partnership different from existing United States governmental programs and from the many non-governmental organizations that are providing health care in developing countries?
A: Medical centers, corporations, NGOs, and other organizations have seen a tremendous increase in the energy and interest in improving health systems and outcomes in resource poor settings. While the United States Government has the National Health Service Corps, USAID, and the Peace Corps, none of these are focused on medical, nursing and other health professional education or training within local public sector institutions abroad. No health system can function well without an adequate number of doctors, nurses, and health professionals to participate in clinical and public health work, management, education, and policy making. The GHSP will engage in local health education and capacity building with an eye to strengthening health systems across the board. The GHSP will also go beyond previous efforts by including professionals who can bring the entire range of skills required to build effective health systems - from doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians - to collaborations with medical management, computer scientists and business professionals.
Q: Who will be in the Global Health Service Partnership?
A: In its launch year, the GHSP will be comprised of doctors and nurses from several core disciplines. These disciplines are expected to include Internal Medicine, Pediatrics (and Medicine/Pediatrics), Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, General Surgery, or Psychiatry. Nurses of all disciplines may apply but need a minimum of 3 years of clinical experience in their area of expertise and education. Midwives are also eligible to apply in the inaugural year.
Q: What are the requirements for application?
A: The GHSP requires physicians to have completed their residency training and be board eligible or board certified in their specialty. Nursing applicants must be Board Registered and have a BSN and combined MPH or a MSN; NP; DRN; PHD. As education and training is a focus of the program, we particularly encourage applicants who have experience with teaching or education, and those who have experience working in developing countries. See GHSP Peace Corps Volunteers.
Q: How do I access the loan and debt repayment stipend? How does it work?
A: We believe that educational loans and personal financial commitments should not barriers to service to our country and our partners. Volunteers are eligible to apply for the repayment stipend if they are selected to be a GHSP Peace Corps Volunteers (GHSP PCV) and they carry debt at the time of enrollment. Selected GHSP PCVs will need to apply to the GHSC separately for the repayment stipend. They will need to show proof of educational or personal indebtedness (ie mortgage statement) at the time of application. Applicants are eligible for up to $30,000 for each year served. The stipend will be paid directly to the GHSP PCV. The GHSP PCV will be responsible for paying their lender directly and for any taxes affiliated with the award. The PCV will be required to show to the GHSC that the stipend was used for repayment.
Q: Is an education background a requirement?
A: Formal experience in education and training is strongly encouraged; aptitude for effective teaching will be an important screening and selection criterion . The GHSP volunteers will be primarily providing medical and nursing education to help fill faculty shortages at schools within partner countries. Relevant teaching experience may include a chief resident position, didactic teaching in the classroom, and/or staff supervision on wards. Experience will strengthen candidacy.
Q: I am not eligible this year but will I be in the future?
A: In the next years, we hope to expand to health professionals of other backgrounds such as pharmacists, or health administrators for example. We also hope to expand to other medical disciplines.