Celebrating Youth PIHers

Updated: Aug 13, 2021



On International Youth Day, we are celebrating the imaginative, compassionate, and vital members of our community: bright-eyed Youth PIHers.


In their respective positions, our youth fight for health equity each day. They hold leadership roles and transfer their wealth of knowledge to their colleagues. They go the extra mile to advocate for national and global health policies that prioritize, rather than marginalize, the most vulnerable among us. And they also run other projects to ensure the organization meets its main goal: Provide a preferential option for the poor in health care.

PIH has and continues to bring together the youth from different backgrounds to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair.


We asked them to share, in their own words, what it means to work in global health and share a thing or two with young people who want to follow in their footsteps. Of course, we also asked them about their hobbies and talents.

Without further ado, meet Bertrand, Sandra, Pacifique, Mariella, Joanna, and Regis — some of our youth driving our impact.

 

Bertrand Mugabe


Bertrand Mugabe, Graphic Designer at Partners in Health/ Inshuti Mu buzima

Bertrand Mugabe is our Graphic Designer. He has been working with PIH/IMB since 2020.



When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to work in IT, engineering, or architecture.

Why did you choose to work in health care?

I saw a gap in the health industry, a lot of amazing work is done but often not properly presented to the broader public. This gap isolates medical professionals and discourages people from trying to understand and help them. So, I saw it as an opportunity to use my skills for the benefit of our society in a more fulfilling way.

How would you describe your daily job?

My daily job could be summarized in few activities: Creation of a "bridge" between medical and non-medical professionals through design creation of visuals of data and prototypes of concepts;

Beautification of existing work, stuff, and spaces.

What moment are you proud of in your career?

Helping to disseminate strategic plans, data, and research to the world and realizing how my little contributions make a difference.

What effect do you want to have on people with your work?

I would like to make people more interested in the medical achievements done in our country and help them understand medical professionals and realize how they can support them with their skills and knowledge. "It Takes a Village" and I would like to make the rest of the "Village" see how they can help.

What's your advice to young people who want to start a career in health care?

Look for the gap you can fill and dare to try.


What's your other talent or hobby?

Fine art (drawing, watercolor painting, and teaching children) and Christianity.

How would do you describe PIH in one word?

Exemplary

 

Sandra Urusaro


Sandra Urusaro, Clinical Programs Manager at Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima

Sandra Urusaro is our Clinical Programs Manager. She joined PIH/IMB in 2020.



When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

This changed every couple of days depending on the latest in radio/news/or cartoons but for the longest time, I wanted to become a cardiologist. Thanks to “Gifted Hands”


Why did you choose to work in health care?

I have always been fascinated by science as a child and this morphed into health-related topics and courses. It was later solidified by the setting within which I grew up in and my hope to be a part of change and impact on wellness and health of Rwandans


How would you describe your daily job?

I support clinical programs to achieve their goals!


What's special about working in the health care sector?

It brings you closer to humanity and vulnerability! You come face to face to what is important in life- making a difference in everyone’s biggest treasure, their health.


What moment are you proud of in your career?

I think I am proud of each day that passes when I consider myself a PIHer, specifically in the clinical department which works directly with patients in the community, health facility, etc, it had always been one of my big dreams. Every project, plan, campaign aim to make care accessible, improved and affordable for individuals who would otherwise not receive it or would with greater difficulty— this to me makes it worth it for me & I’m proud to be part of the team that makes it happen. Not so long ago, one of my most vivid moments of gratitude was the operationalization of a satellite clinic at a partner cancer center which was initiated to facilitate chemotherapy care for patients whose care had been interrupted travel restrictions due to COVID-19. I supported the team in the day-to-day functions of the clinic, and I had never seen so much dedication to help patients.


What effect do you want to have on people with your work?

My hope is that a patient with extremely limited resources is able to access quality care throughout its continuum, in the most efficient manner possible.


What's your advice to young people who want to start a career in health care?

Do not underestimate the power of networking and putting yourself out there. You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to give you an opportunity to start and/or grow.


What's your other talent or hobby?

Tennis; yoga; eating


How would do you describe PIH in one word?

Learning hub

 

Pacifique Nshuti Mugemana


Pacifique Nshuti Mugemana is our Multimedia Specialist. He joined PIH/IMB in 2020.



When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a professional cinematographer.

Why did you choose to work in health care?

I decided to work in health care because I feel like when I capture stories about someone or something relating to health care delivery, it is going to impact people's life in general.

How would you describe your daily job?

I would describe my job in two ways; amplifying the voices of beneficiaries and grassroots leaders in a way that disseminate their work, and can also be used for advocacy purpose.

What's special about working in the health care sector?

Working hard on digital content that can bring a lot of opportunities and improve the community.

What moment are you proud of in your career?

When the digital content stories I produce about the community, bring changes in their life and improve their hope of living. I have produced the Pediatric Development Clinic scale-up documentaries and recently, we worked on the Butare District hospital expansion documentary for fundraising. Those are the main big project, which I hope are going to bring a lot of impact on both healthcare delivery and beneficiaries.

What effect do you want to have on people with your work?

I want my work to change the life of people in better ways.

What's your advice to young people who want to start a career in health care?

I can advise young boys and girls who want to join this career, to focus on their goal because when you focus you grow.

What's your other talent or hobby?

Storytelling and working out

How would do you describe PIH in one word?

Humanity

 

Mariella Munyuzangabo


Mariella Munyuzangaho is our Associate Director of Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health. She joined PIH/IMB 2 years ago.


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Journalist or doctor


Why did you choose to work in health care?

I've always wanted to do something that helps people. Growing up with my parents working in public health/development, inspired me to also go in that direction.

How would you describe your daily job?

I coordinate/oversee the implementation of interventions/programs that aim to improve the lives of mothers, babies, children, and adolescents in our districts. This can range from working with hospitals or the community to identify needs and plan for necessary training, attending different workshops, or testing out new innovations.

What's special about working in the health care sector?

You can see how your work directly or even indirectly impacts people's lives

What moment are you proud of in your career?

Being part of the COVID-19 Joint Task Force

What effect do you want to have on people with your work?

I would like them to feel like they have benefitted from our interaction in one way or another

What's your advice to young people who want to start a career in health care?

My advice would be to not be scared to try things that they think may be out of reach, whether it be a program in school or a job application. Also, try to find a mentor/someone in the health care field that they can go to for advice.

What's your other talent or hobby?

Trying out DIY skincare products

How would do you describe PIH in one word?

Pioneer

 

Joanna Galaris


Joanna Galaris, Strategy Implementation & Resource Mobilization Advisor at Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima

Joanna Galaris is our Strategy Implementation & Resource Mobilization Advisor. She has been working with PIH/IMB since 2016.



When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Author/Doctor


Why did you choose to work in health care?

I have seen too many people completely financially, physically, and emotionally devastated by the consequences of disease because they did not have the means to access proper healthcare. Working in the health sector is a way for me to honor those who would still be with us today had they been met with a health system that valued their life.


How would you describe your daily job to an outsider?

I give advice to people who ask for it.


What's special about working in the health care sector?


I believe that our global society will thrive when each and every person can take the risks required for them to live a full and happy life. Right now, the decision to leave a job or a marriage, immigrate or start a family can all impact a person's access to healthcare. A strong health system provides a safety net so that life-changing decisions can be made without the fear of falling ill and not being cared for. What's special about working in the health care sector is that you know you're making the world safer for people, helping them to feel comfortable in their own decisions, and eliminating the "possibility of losing healthcare" as a potential consequence of a decision.


What moment are you proud of in your career?

Developing the 5-year Strategic Plan for PIH/IMB with the Senior Leadership Team.


What effect do you want to have on people with your work?

I accompany clinical leaders to transform change ideas into compelling strategies with logical flow, written narratives, budgets, and M&E plans that can be fundraised for and implemented to improve the quality of care for our people and patients. The effect I want to have on people I work with is for them to feel they are working with someone that can help them move forward and bring about the change they seek. I want to help the organization stay nimble and responsive.


What's your advice to young people who want to start a career in health care?

So you’re asking me for advice, hm? 😊 Strengthen your ability to Convene, Listen and Write because: (a) you will always add value, even in meetings where you are not a technical expert and (b) there is no barrier to developing this skill (c) this skill is lacking in our sector.

Convene: Bring all the relevant stakeholders in the room to make a decision. Before sending the calendar invite, you may need to connect with these people one on one to explain why this meeting is necessary for decision-making and why their perspective is valuable. Set clear objectives so that everyone knows what success means in the context of the meeting.

Listen: Some people will offer their opinion freely, so it will be easy for you to hear them. Others will stay silent though they have a valuable perspective. In order to hear both, you must facilitate (which you can do as a participant by asking questions) so that each person shares their perspective and decisions are made with all the information required.

Write: Take detailed minutes and document potential next steps as the meeting proceeds. Project the next steps before the meeting closes, and get the consent of the proposed point people regarding the suggested action items and deadlines. Copy the next steps into the body of an email to all participants, attach the minutes, and press send within 24 hours.


What's your other talent or hobby?

Birdwatching


How would do you describe PIH in one word?

Adaptable


 

Francois Regis Uwizeye



Francois Regis is the District Clinical Programs Manager. He joined PIH/IMB in 2012.



When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An aircraft pilot; When I was a child we lived by the Airport, I always wanted to fly an Airplane.

Why did you choose to work in health care?

I did Bachelors of Science in information and Technology, and once I realized how delays in health systems introduced poor outcome to patient care; I decided to bring my knowledge to the settings where I were. I felt like it is the right path to make a change.


How would you describe your daily job?

Assess current health system gaps within the hospital I work with. Help leadership to build data driven decision making culture. Inform PIH-IMB leadership how we can build a better setup to address social justice to poor patients.

What's special about working in the health care sector?

You feel related to whoever you providing service to.


What moment are you proud of in your career?

I have been proud many times in my career, though, when COVID pandemic came we had to assist patients transportation for their care continuum and I coordinated the activity for over 3 months and patients' feedback were so touching.


What effect do you want to have on people with your work?

Mutual respect, Humility and Optimistic.


What's your advice to young people who want to start a career in health care?

Think out of box. Health care is broad. Be positive. Set goals. Appraise yourself through out Failing. Keep on trying.

What's your other talent or hobby?

Basketball


How would do you describe PIH in one word?

Family



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