SPRING 2014 HHL NEWSLETTER

*Conference Poster Submission deadline: May 9th! Submit yours now!

*HHL Certificate Program: May 12-17. Last chance to register! 

May 2014 Professional Certificate Program in Health and Humanitarian Logistics

Health and Humanitarian Logistics Training

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER for the May course series! This May 12 to 17, HHL will host the 3-course professional training certificate series in health and humanitarian logistics. The program is designed for practitioners in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government, industry, and military, who are active or interested in public health and humanitarian operations (including disaster relief, long term development). The 3 courses include:

  • Pre-planning Strategy for Health and Humanitarian Organizations MAY 12-13
  • Tactical Decision Making in Public Health and Humanitarian Response MAY 14-15
  • Systems Operations in Health and Humanitarian Response MAY 16-17

Upon completion of the requirements for the three courses, participants receive an official certificate from Georgia Tech in Health & Humanitarian Logistics. Click here for a summary of last year's Systems Operations course with reviews from past participants.

2014 Health & Humanitarian Logistics Conference

Health & Humanitarian Logistics Conference

REGISTER NOW for the 2014 Health and Humanitarian Logistics Conference, which will take place June 4-5 in Mexico City. The conference will be hosted by Tecnol√≥gico de Monterrey and co-organized by the Georgia Tech Health & Humanitarian Logistics Center, the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab, and the INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group. This year's plenary panels include:

  • Market Mechanisms for Food Assistance
  • Vaccination Supply Chain in Global Public Health
  • Infrastructure Needs for Coordination and Collaboration
  • End-to-End Supply Chain Strategy for Health and Humanitarian Response

The conference features high level speakers from organizations such as Advancenet Labs/Aidmatrix, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, INSEAD, John Snow, Inc., The Mexican Ministry of Health, Monterrey Tech, the Norwegian Business School/Lund University, OXFAM (Great Britain and Latin America), the Pan American Health Organization, The Feinstein Research Center at Tufts University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, UNICEF, the UN World Food Program, and VillageReach among others. There will also be a number of interactive workshops on related topics as well as poster sessions on innovative projects throughout the conference. For information on the accommodations, program committee, speakers, venue,etc. please visit http://www.scl.gatech.edu/humlog2014.

This event is made possible by the generous support of the Georgia Institute of Technology, UPS Foundation and Walmart. If you are a company or organization interested in sponsoring the Conference or the HHL Center and its mission to improve logistics in the health and humanitarian sector, please contact Meghan Smithgall at msmithgall@isye.gatech.edu.

HHL thanks UPS for its continued collaboration and support of its mission

The UPS Foundation recently announced that it will donate more than $9 million toward community safety initiatives focused on enhancing disaster response, recovery, and emergency preparedness through enhanced technology infrastructure and road safety initiatives. The Foundation has worked closely with Georgia Tech and the HHL Center, sponsoring the annual Health & Humanitarian Logistics Conference each year, including the upcoming 6th annual conference in Mexico City, June 4-5.

The Foundation has also supported the HHL professional training program by providing 5 full scholarships each year for applicants from developing countries or employees of non-governmental organizations. Joe Ruiz, Director of Humanitarian Relief at the UPS Foundation recently acknowledged: "We are honored to support [the HHL] humanitarian mission," and Eduardo Martinez, (president of The UPS Foundation) also commented: "Each year, millions of people are impacted by natural disasters all over the world. We believe we can help reduce the subsequent human suffering by collaborating with our partners and to help communities better prepare for the unexpected." For further information on UPS Foundation initiatives, click here.

HHL designs tool for workforce allocation in Mozambique

Georgia Tech ISyE graduate students Emily Gooding and Colleen Gootee and the HHL Center have recently worked with the Public Health Informatics Institute (a division of the Task Force for Global Health), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ministry of Health in Mozambique to develop a decision-support tool (DST) for the allocation of healthcare professionals to provinces considering employee preferences and healthcare needs as key factors. The project was envisioned as a step beyond existing methodology for allocation such as the World Health Organization's Workload Indicators of Staffing Needs (2010), which highlights imbalances in given locations but falls short of optimizing allocation or planning.

HHL joins Executive Steering Committee for the GA Campaign for Grade Level Reading

On Wednesday, March 5th, 2014, Governor Nathan Deal and first lady, Sandra Deal, launched "Read Across Georgia Month" at the State Capitol in support of the governor's Grade Level Reading Initiative, a push to have all Georgia third graders reading at grade level or better by the completion of third grade. "By prioritizing early childhood education, we ensure that our youngest students are positioned for future academic excellence," said Deal. The Campaign for Grade Level Reading in Georgia aims to increase the percentage of Georgia children reading at or above grade level by NAEP standards by the end of third grade from 35 to 60 percent by 2015. The Georgia Tech Health & Humanitarian Logistics Center was chosen to join the campaign as a member of the Data Committee to improve access to quality healthcare, nutrition and education for children. For more information on the criteria HHL uses for measuring the level of access to critical supports and services for improved childhood education, e-mail msmithgall@isye.gatech.edu

HHL student collaborates with Habitat for Humanity International

The role of systems engineering in improving humanitarian operations was featured in the "Going Global" section of the Winter 2014 edition of the new GT College of Engineering Magazine Engineers. Former ISyE Master's student and HHL collaborator Shelly Ballard discussed a product mix decision tool she designed with HHL co-director Julie Swann for Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) as part of her Master's thesis.

The tool addressed the classic problem: "How can an organization allocate limited resources to impact the most people for the least time and money?" By determining the optimal mix of products (such as house construction, disaster training, latrines, hygiene training, etc.) to offer in response to a disaster, the tool estimates the maximum impact on the affected area and population. Habitat's senior director of global disaster response, Kip Scheidler, emphasized the important role of industrial engineering in optimizing "value for money," a critical need for organizations like HFHI because it shows donors that their money is being used in the most efficient and effective way possible. 

HHL hosted networking event at the GT Women's Basketball game

HHL and ISyE hosted a catered reception and poster session at the Georgia Tech Lady Jacket's basketball game against Maryland on February 23rd, where graduate students working with HHL co-directors shared posters on various projects. Ph.D. student Mallory Soldner, for example, shared a poster on the "Supply Chain Management Dashboard" she designed, now in use by the UN World Food Programme in Rome. Other featured projects included a post-disaster debris management tool, a catch-up scheduler tool for vaccinations, and a study in measuring and improving access to health services. HHL co-director Dr. Julie Swann also motivated the Lady Jackets with a locker room speech as a guest coach and was later called out onto center court for a greeting at halftime.

HHL educational materials used at Georgia Tech and abroad

As part of its educational mission, the HHL Center develops teaching materials such as case studies, supply chain management tools, classroom games and simulation models. Interactive supply chain management tools and simulations are also practical and valuable resources for private industry as they enact real-life scenarios for improved decision making. Educational materials and decision support tools developed by HHL focus on decisions such as a debris management, catch-up scheduling for vaccinations, pre-disaster inventory planning, and resource allocation tool for malaria prevention (click here for examples). HHL case studies, games, and simulation exercises are used in the professional certificate course series (held this May 12-17 at Georgia Tech) as well as in partner training programs abroad such as in the Master in Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics Management (MASHLM) in Lugano, Switzerland.