Posted by: Academy of Achievement | 07/05/2011

Julian Jane Atim 

Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellow 2008

Harvard University, MPH

The Reynolds Foundation Fellowship gave me an opportunity not only to further my education, but also build my personal leadership and entrepreneurial skills.  I learned so much from the Fellowship curriculum-guest lecturers gave me an opportunity to learn from great leaders who had made it in the field of social entrepreneurship, while workshops taught me essential skills in leadership such as teamwork and conflict resolution.

I see myself as a growing leader in social entrepreneurship in my career.  Innovation, quality and empowerment are the principles that guide me in my work towards meeting the health needs of the people I serve.  These principles have enabled me to apply all my best in whatever work I do.

Since being a Reynolds Fellow, I have partnered with Dr. Michael Westerhaus and Amy Finnegan to design and instruct an elective course on social medicine in Gulu, Uganda.  For the past two years, this course has brought together a diverse group of medical students from different parts of the world to learn about current clinical care and global health problems and discuss innovative strategies for solving these problems.

Through my work at Uganda Health Marketing Group, a USAID-funded indigenous non-governmental organization (NGO), I have implemented innovative public health interventions to meet the needs of specific target populations. For instance, through funding from the Presidential Malaria Initiative, I was able to apply the clinical audit strategy of training health care workers in the private health sector.  This training strategy involves on-the-job training during off-peak times of service delivery.  Trainees who also have a business mindset have their technical capacity built, which helps to improve the quality of health services delivered without interfering with health service delivery.

A number of young professionals, especially women, have been inspired by my having gone to graduate school at Harvard and have also explored the same opportunities.  This is not surprising, especially in a society where young women think such opportunities are for older men.  Through this, I see a ripple effect where more young people are motivated to attend graduate school and further their skill-set.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds, for making it possible for me, a young female medical doctor from a low-income country, to have an opportunity to graduate with a Master of Public Health from Harvard and learn key principles in leadership and social entrepreneurship through the Reynolds Foundation Fellowship.  The impact of this experience has exponentially translated in my daily work to benefit the most vulnerable people in a magnitude beyond my imagination.  I not only touch the lives of individuals as I did before graduate school but now have a positive impact on large populations at a given time.

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