Quality Improvement of Sickle Cell Disease Newborn Screening in Haiti – Practicum Opportunity

in Practicums/Internships
January 12th, 2017

 Quality Improvement of Sickle Cell Disease Newborn Screening in Haiti

Organization: Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Address: 450 Brookline Avenue (Longwood Medical Area), Boston, MA 02215-5450

Website: http://www.danafarberbostonchildrens.org/globalhealth


The Global Health Initiative (GHI) at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (DF/BC) is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on countries with limited resources, and brings together faculty, fellows, nurses, social workers, psychologists, health educators, and managers to improve outcomes for children.  We are working to establish centers of excellence in pediatric hematology and oncology in the developing world, and we are training the next generation of leaders.  Our mission is to improve the lives and enhance the care of children with cancer and blood disorders worldwide.  All GHI activities include ongoing efforts to establish twinning partnerships with sites in low and middle income countries and are centered around three objectives: Program building (twinning), Education and Research. At present, GHI operates a variety of projects in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East and the Caucasus Region.


The intern will participate in assessment and analysis of the current state of the Sickle Cell Disease Newborn Screening program in Mirebalais, Haiti. With an overall goal of fully understanding where short comings exist and what interventions might prove most beneficial to the program. The goal of the internship is to provide one student with the opportunity to gain practical skills in program evaluation and continuous improvement strategies that encompasses a variety of problem solving tactics and methods. The students will be exposed to various actors (public, private, not-for-profit, academic, etc.) that play different roles in the partnership between Hospitals in the U.S. and abroad, and interact with leaders in the global pediatric hematology/oncology world.

Upon completion of the internship, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the major goals of program evaluation.
  2. Identify basic evaluation design techniques.
  3. Analyze program success measures and understanding of how to conduct thorough program evaluation
  4. Understand key ethical considerations when implementing interventions for defined public health problems, populations and settings.
  5. Develop a logic model and explain the role of the logic model pre and post implementation.

Areas covered:

  • Program Evaluation
  • Continuous improvement strategies
  • Global Health
  • Program Management
  • Health Systems
  • Lean/Six Sigma


  • Systematic literature review on Sickle Cell Disease treatments in developing countries.
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Patient needs assessment questionnaire
  • Logic model evaluation pre and post
  • Final report
  • Final oral presentation to the GHI group

The student is expected to:

  • Participate in weekly check-in meetings with the Supervisor.
  • Participate in meetings with other GHI members at DF/BC; if Haitian Creole speaking participate in online (Skype) calls with the foreign site collaborators
  • Create and maintain a shared folder with documents related to the project in Google Drive


Education: Bachelors Degree

1st or 2nd year MPH graduate student

Languages: English.  Haitian Creole speaker preferred
Computers: Proficiency in MS software applications including MS Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as Internet and database applications
Other: EndNote or Zotero or RefWorks, PubMed, Countway Library resources, and online research


Additional Information

Professional Experience: ·      Experience in healthcare, nonprofits or hospital is beneficial

Skills and Attributes:


·      Knowledge of medical terminology and clinical procedures is beneficial

·      Graphic design interest or skills desirable

·      Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding job assignments and sensitive issues

·      Ability to work with internal and external individuals from different disciplines and different levels of training

·      Strong written and verbal communications skills

·      Self-motivated requiring little to no supervision with the ability to work effectively in a team environment



Duration: Spring 2017 semester with potential of extension to Summer 2017
Hours: 10-15 hours per week
Location: Work space, access to files and administrative support is provided at the GHI office.
Clearance: Students are required to be on-boarded and cleared through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Human Resources and Occupational Health, and attend a day-long orientation on their first day
Supervisor Natasha M. Archer, MD, MPH



To apply: Please email your letter of interest outlining your qualifications and resume to Natasha M. Archer, MD, MPH at Natasha_Archer@dfci.harvard.edu