6-day Professional Certificate Program in Health & Humanitarian Logistics to be offered again in 2015!

Posted July 1, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

In May 2014, the 3-course HHL certificate program was offered in a new 6-day format (with 2 days dedicated to each course) enabling individuals traveling from out-of-town to earn the certificate in less than a week. The blended delivery format included pre-course reading assignments, in-class lectures, discussion, interactive games and group work.

The program drew participants from across the world, focusing on logistics and supply-chain topics related to a broad range of activities including preparing, responding to, and recovery from natural and man-made disasters, as well as ongoing humanitarian crises due to war, famine, infectious diseases, and chronic health problems.

Six participants from last year returned to complete the certificate program, and thirteen participants completed the program in the new format. Twelve of these participants received full scholarships, thanks to generous support from UPS Foundation and Georgia Tech alumni. Course participants have lived or worked in countries all over the world (this year’s scholarship recipients traveled from as far as Kenya, Nigeria, India, and Haiti to attend the course) and their experiences both in the United States and other countries have motivated them to seek a systematic approach for more efficient and effective decision-making in challenging situations.

Course graduate Carla Johnson, Supply Chain Systems Analyst for the International Trachoma Initiative (a program of the Task Force for Global Health), emphasized the value of the diverse group of backgrounds and experience and the opportunity to share best practices: “I greatly appreciated hearing other’s challenges during class discussions which helped me to begin brainstorming solutions to challenges currently faced by my organization.” Brigitte Gaillis of the American Red Cross added that the “different professional backgrounds but with same technical language,” provided for an understanding of the role of logistics in each aspect of humanitarian operations and public health.

Participants also highlighted the importance and relevance of the course material to their careers. When asked about how the course lessons may be incorporated into his or her professional work, Dayo Fatoke, Director of Supply Chain Systems at Nigeria-based SHI Logistics remarked: “Tactical decision making is an everyday task in my work as Supply Chain Practitioner. Decisions that border on where to source inventory, mode of transportation, payment terms, location of new warehouse, etc. is mostly worrisome at times. With this new knowledge I believe I will be able to make informed decisions on our entire supply chain systems.” Likewise, Govindaraj Prabhu, Corporate Transaction Services Specialist at CARE USA in India, commented on the application of optimization models in his field: “Models are very useful and will help me to train other Logistics personnel for them to use the models… to come up with solutions, which will save time and saved time will be used for better activities to serve millions of people.”

The HHL certificate program consists of three courses: Pre-planning Strategy for Health and Humanitarian Organizations; Tactical Decision Making in Public Health and Humanitarian Response; Systems Operations in Health and Humanitarian Response. Topics include preparation for long-term development and emergency response involving forecasting, distribution network design (methods and models), and strategies for managing uncertainty. Methodologies for tactical decision making are also outlined, including procurement and inventory policies, strategies for distribution and allocation of limited resources, and transportation decisions. The final module focused on topics related to systems operations in these sectors such as demand management and forecasting, procurement, inventory management, distribution, network design, strategies for allocating limited resources, collaboration and coordination, and measuring and evaluating system performance.

Courses were led by Georgia Tech faculty and HHL Center Co-Directors, Drs. Özlem Ergun, Pinar Keskinocak and Julie Swann. Guest speakers included Georgia Tech faculty member and supply chain expert Dr. John Bartholdi, Senior Public Health Informatics Analyst for the Public Health Informatics Institute (a program of the Task Force for Global Health), Vivian Singletary, and Academic Director of the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management (MASHLM) at the University of Lugano, Switzerland, Paulo Gonçalves.

Scholarship support for these courses was made available through the generosity of The UPS Foundation, Andrea L. Laliberte, and Richard E. and Charlene O. Zalesky. For more information about the scholarships or to sponsor students for scholarships in 2015, please visit: http://hhls.scl.gatech.edu.

For more information about the courses, visit: http://www.scl.gatech.edu/professional-education/HHL/ or e-mail: hhlcourses@isye.gatech.edu.