| Blair Gifford
- Associate Professor
- Business School
- University of Colorado—Denver
- United States
Dr. Gifford is an Associate Professor of International Health Management in the Business School and School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver, USA. Blair teaches in the MBA/Health program and he administers the MBA/Sustainability track and the MBA/International Health track. Blair founded the Center for Global Health at the Univeresity of Colorado and Global Health Connections, Inc., a not-for-profit that provides global health opportunities for middle school students in Colorado and developing nations.
Dr. Gifford is currently involved in research on the effects of health care privatization in India and health market changes in China. He is also involved in the development of the Yale University health management program in Ethiopia and is writing a book on sustainable business practices for small and medium size businesses. Blair is currently a visiting professor at the Yale University School of Public Health and has had past teaching and research appointments at the U. of Chicago and Northwestern University. Blair has a PhD and MS in Sociology from the University of Chicago and a BA in Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Project – Development of the FAMILY Institute in central Haiti
My project is to assist with the community health and organizational development of the FAMILY Institute in the Artibonite Valley of central Haiti. Haiti ranks 146th of 177 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index and is the least developed country in the Americas. Eighty percent of the population is estimated to be living in poverty, primarily due to flat or negative economic growth and dependence on foreign aid, and 9% of the population are classified as having acute malnutrition. Following the Tuskegee Institute model, the FAMILY Institute is launching education and research efforts in the areas of sustainable agriculture, forestry, economic development, healthcare, and family and community building in central Haiti. My role is to facilitate relationship-building among the various entities and develop a community health network to improve current health access disparities. Academic partners that are or are working on the development include Tuskegee University in Alabama, Cornell University, Harvard University, and the University of Colorado. We are also working with a variety of government agencies in Haiti, as well local community groups and NGOs that serve the Artibonite Valley. The FAMILY Institute follows the work of Dr. Hal May, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 1940s. As a surgeon faculty member in the Medical School at Harvard University, Dr. May started his humanitarian medical work in the Aribonite Valley of central Haiti at the Hopital Albert Schweitzer in 1958. His work in central Haiti led to the building of the Ecole de Provenance primary school in 1970, which continues to operate in nearby Verrettes.
How the Research Will be Done
I will be housed at the Hopital Albert Schweitzer during my time in Haiti. My tentative plans include a preparatory week or two in Haiti in February/March 2009, followed by work months in June 2009 and January/February 2010. Much of my time in Haiti will be devoted to learning about and working with the community health outreach efforts of the Hopital Albert Schweitzer in des Chappelles. Also, I will be working with Pierre Noel to develop a strategic plan for the FAMILY Institute at the Ecole de Provenance in Verrette, about a 30 minute walk from the Hopital Albert Schweitzer.