Ateneo School of Government holds first ever Health Innovations and Learning Enrichment Summit with DOH
05 Apr 2023
Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), held its first-ever Health Innovations and Learning Enrichment Summit (HILES) on 6-11 March and 13-18 March 2023.
A total of 161 students of the ASoG Master in Public Management - Health Governance (MPM-HG) Track from Batch 38 of DOH’s Doctors to the Barrios (DTTBs) were split into two groups to participate in a week-long summit, that featured the following activities:
- Integration classes: The MPM-HG students visited and held Integration Classes at the Ateneo de Manila University on 7 and 14 March 2023. These classes included Leadership in Public Service and Management & Governance Paradigms in Health in the first week; and Public Policy Development & Analysis and Health Promotions & Social Determinants of Health in the following week.
- Introduction to Governance Innovation: ASoG graduates Dr Jamie Agbayani, Mr. Raymond Shappit, and Dr Ryan Capitulo also presented their Governance Innovation Reports (GIRs) to ASoG MPM-HG students during the summit. Meanwhile, former DOH USec Mario Villaverde also gave them an overview on how to prepare for their GIRs.
- A two-day hackathon that challenged the students to confront wicked problems in the area of health governance and present innovative solutions to relieve the pain points was also conducted. The MPM-HG students presented 31 commendable ideas and solutions in response to the complex problems in the Philippine health sector, especially in the rural and urban poor areas that they are assigned in.
- Also held was a Leadership Formation Session that focused on self-awareness, self-management, and introspection, facilitated by ASoG core faculty Dr. Ruth Gerochi on the respective last days of each week, 10 and 17 March 2023.
The week-long summits were designed to deepen the learning appreciation of the DTTB students, to test their current understanding of wicked health problems, to present effective health innovations for their communities, and to give each of them an opportunity to locate themselves in their leadership journey.
Health Innovation Hackathon: A New Challenge for DTTBs
In preparation for the hackathon, students were given an orientation in February 2023 on what is expected of them and were divided into groups of 5-6 students. These groups then worked together over the course of two weeks to ideate and innovate. On 8 and 15 March 2023, all groups were asked to present their ideas to a panel of judges.
The preliminary round of the Hackathon was evaluated by esteemed judges in the health, governance, and information technology sector. From 31 innovations, 11 (six from Batch 1 and five from Batch 2) were selected to move onto the Final Round.
ASoG Professors in the field of governance, information technology, and health administration served as judges in the final rounds.
The winner of Batch 1 was the One Blood Zambosur System which stood out for making use of existing platforms like Facebook, Messenger, and Google Sheets to address the lack of blood supply in their area.
For Batch 2, the winner was the Youth Oriented Learning Options (YOLO) Game, a single-player simulation mobile game tackling sexual education geared towards Filipino youth.
On the nights of the Final Round, on 9 and 16 March 2023, ASoG also held a dinner banquet attended by officials from the Department of Health and the Ateneo de Manila University, together with ASoG Faculty and Teaching Associates.
In her speech during the dinner banquet, DOH Officer-in-Charge Rosario Vergeire encouraged the DTTBs and acknowledged the fact that “there is still an unequal distribution of public health practitioners across the country but the awareness has been increasing over the years.”
USec Vergeire also emphasized that the way to go right now is for all of the DTTBs, “to be able to impart to our communities the value of the people’s health and for them to be able to have good health behavior. In health outcomes, between and among regions of our country, [inequalities] will soon be reduced. That is our goal and that is our aspiration.”
She concluded by highlighting her fervent hope that DTTbs also put such endeavors as part of their aspirations of being one with the DOH as part of the family and of the healthcare sector.
Ateneo Vice President for Higher Education, Dr Maria Luz C Vilches, congratulates the students and highlights the importance of DTTBs in the Philippine healthcare system.
“Ateneo de Manila University is with all of you in your endeavors here and that is the reason we have this program. Thank you to the Department of Health for giving us a chance to collaborate much better, especially in this aspect,” said Dr Vilches.
She added, “Many congratulations, especially to the winners. And I hope that all of your inspiration will trickle down in the localities where you are. The Ateneo de Manila University is so honored, through the School of Government, to be able to take forward what we have always been mouthing as nation-building. And the big part of nation-building is taking care of the health of our people, so thank you so much.”
Dr Kenneth Hartigan-Go, ASoG MPM-HG Program Director for Innovation and Leadership, and the main proponent of the Health Governance Hackathon was impressed and inspired by the innovations that the two batches came up with.
Dr Hartigan Go shared, “Working in the frontlines of healthcare and also faced with formidable challenges and frustration of systems problems that exist and are recurrent, complex, and wicked - What can the Doctors to the Barrios do? Your objective is to showcase the problem and present how to make things better. You created solutions and dream and imagine for better things that we normally take for granted. You showed your confidence and competence in your presentations by applying some of the elements of transdisciplinary approach, and that is a hallmark of a good leader. And we saw that in you. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about better health outcomes for Filipinos. And I hope this will become a source of inspiration to all of us that indeed, there are things bigger than ourselves.”
Watch the recap videos of Batch 1 and Batch 2 below:
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