ACHL’s educative study visit to University of Pittsburg Medical Centre (UPMC) Erie, Pennsylvania (from 20th-26th October, 2019)



ACHL’s educative study visit to University of Pittsburg Medical Centre (UPMC) Erie, Pennsylvania (from 20th-26th October, 2019)

Category : ACHL Activities, ACHL Events, ACHL News Update / by

Purpose of Visit

Aware of the tremendous progress made by UPMC in developing leaders for health care and its global reputation for utilizing the state of the art technology and best practices in providing quality health care services, ACHL visited UPMC in Erie Pennsylvania to learn from this experience.  The overriding goal is build the capacity and improve the understanding of our team members on key requirements and elements for operating a functional and most efficient health care system. This has help to develop a critical mass of technical experts in health systems strengthening who can provide technical support to our government of Nigeria, NGOs and civil society on universal health coverage.

Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the visit were to

  1. Learn more from the Nursing Team at UPMC about the Leadership development projects and activities for Nurses and other health workers, how they were designed and implemented, achievements, results, best practices and lesson learned and how we can adapt the models to the Nigeria context and situation
  2. Meet with Key Nurse and public health leaders and learn from their experiences on strategies to strengthen health care leadership in a multicultural context
  3. Visit some departments and units to learn from nurses, doctors and other health worker on how they have been able to maintain harmonious working relationship in their facilities
  4. Connect with any NGO, research institutes and professional associations with similar interests in and around UPMC and explore possibility of collaboration.
  5. Learn about modern technologies and innovations in improving quality of care for clients
  6. Explore the possibility of collaboration with UPMC and its partner institutions on our Health Care Leadership Project activities in Nigeria
  7. Attend and contribute to the success of the Leadership in Health Care conference taking place during the week of the visit.

Activities during the Visit

  1. Visit to the School of Public Health, School of Nursing and relevant institutes or centers as suggested by the Host
  2. Meetings with Key Nurse and Public Health Leaders
  3. Meetings with Not-for-Profit Organizations, and Professional Associations of Nurses or Health Care Executives
  4. Visit to an HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment Project and Adherence Program
  5. Meeting with an Development partner, donor agencies and health Care Company that might be interested in the work we do
  6. Visit to a historical sites

ACHL Visits WISER Institute, Pittsburgh PA- Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The ACHL team arrived at the WISER institute by 1.55 pm and was received by James Lightner, a Simulation Specialist.

We were showed a video clip on simulation using mannequins (very human like with blood, organs, tissues etc.).  The institute started in 1994 and trains various health professionals on what to expect in real life situations using simulators. How they can handle crises, do basic procedures, deliver bad news to families etc.

They later gave us a tour of the facilities including their control rooms, computer rooms, blood gas lab, blood banks, operating room etc. They have different drugs and can even mimic liver transplants.

They also did some demonstrations using the mannequins.

Thereafter it was discussion time and we had an interesting interaction where we were told about the activities of the society for simulation and healthcare and what it takes to be a simulator.

We ended the visit on a positive note and got back to Erie by about 6pm


ACHL Visits Jameson’s School of Nursing, Newcastle PA- Tuesday October 22, 2019

We went with Marci Bradley, Lindsay Hall and Jessica Vancleve to the UPMC Jameson School of nursing, Newcastle PA where we were received at about 10.55am by Santa Lake (the nursing instructor in charge of the school) and introduced to other staff.

We were taken to the conference room for lunch and discussions. The discussion here centred on the fact that the school is a diploma awarding institution but has a collaboration with the Westminster College which is a degree awarding institution. About one third of their students are from Westminster College. We were able to compare and contrast the Nigerian nursing curriculum and theirs and the merits and demerits of our systems.

Dr Asuquo talked about the possibility of exchange visits between staff and students from both countries and the idea was warmly accepted.

The school also houses a school of radiography which we briefly visited.

ACHL and Edinboro University, Pennsylvania Dialogues on Advances in Nursing Education- Thursday October 24, 2019

The day started with a visit to Edinboro University where we met a very passionate associate professor of nursing/ dept. of nursing assistant chairperson- Victoria Hedderick. She talked about the successes recorded through their innovative learning style of accelerated nursing program of 15 months. She showed us their curriculum and their learning environment. The program has received wide acclaim as people who did not even have science backgrounds quickly adapted and succeeded.

ACHL collaborates with UPMC on Healthcare Leadership Conference- Friday October 25, 2019

The leadership in healthcare conference was the crowning glory of a very exciting week. Lindsay Hall and Jessica Vancleve did the welcome and introduction and then Dr Asuquo gave the first lecture of the conference titled – “Creating a Culture for Nursing Leadership in Nigeria”. He gave a brief background about Nigeria and our health sector. He talked about the evolution of nursing and current status of the profession and the current realities of nursing leadership. He highlighted the issues of inter professional rivalry in the health sector, inadequate understanding of leadership and how it works- hierarchical lenses and top down, poor communication and interpersonal relationship between health workers and clients, limited participation in decision making and quality process etc. and finally he said the way forward.

There were other presentations like: International nurses leading the way, Birth stories from around the world, Mission Trips and Medical Mission Experiences in Valladoid, Mexico before we went on break.

Dr Jonathan Miller who delivered the lecture on mission trips and medical mission experiences said that they usually go as a team including pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals. A number of things can go wrong on a medical trip such as imposition of needs on a community, cultural differences and ‘’a white knights syndrome”.

He said there was a need to plan how needs like food, shelter, translation services, licensure, transportation etc. will be met. He talked about sub-potential medical outcomes- medication side effects, poor follow up of chronic conditions and post-operative complications.

He then said what things are to be done on a medical trip and how to do them well.

He said that there are personal benefits in embarking on such trips- reduce burnout, new clinical experiences, cultural competency and communication skills.

After lunch we had two presentations- Fostering a Culture of Leadership in Healthcare by Maci Bradley, Megan Heslink and Heather Hetrick; Diversity and Inclusion Learning Forum -The impact of Unconscious Bias by Cassandra Cooper.

Marci Bradley and her team talked about innovative succession planning and 3 books that have motivated them.

Cassandra Cooper while talking about the impact of unconscious bias said that we should be open, be mindful and authentic, be engaged and understanding and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

She said unconscious biases can come from thoughts, feelings or beliefs that we are not aware of that influence our judgement. She also said our backgrounds and life experiences also have impacts. To further buttress her points she showed us a short video clip of unconscious bias based on skin colour.

She talked about bias in the medical work place:

  • Little to no diversity in the work group or work place
  • Discrimination and harassment from peers and leaders while on the job
  • Lack of culturally competent leadership support while on the job

She also talked about performance management and the impact of unconscious biases on patient treatment,

  • 56% of those in the LGB community and 70% of those in the transgender community experienced discriminatory treatment when seeking care
  • 43% of black patients versus 26% of white patients with similar injuries received no pain medication

She talked about how to manage unconscious bias- self (self-awareness, self-management), social (social awareness, relationship management); the presentations were very impactful

ACHL attends UPMC Corporators Meeting- Thursday October 24, 2019

We later travelled to the Ambassador Conference Centre, Erie for the corporator meeting, cocktail hour, dinner and program.

At Dinner, the president David Gibbons RN welcomed everyone and specially recognized the presence of ACHL and talked about project 2020-the 7 storey patient tower that will open in 2021 and then dwelt on cancer issues and their intention to partner with the cancer centre in Pittsburgh. $6 million dollars was raised by the corporators for the hospital.


ACHL holds Roundtable with UPMC Nurse Leaders- Wednesday October 23, 2019

The ACHL team had an interesting meeting with the nurse leaders which was highly interactive. Dr Asuquo spoke about ACHL and its mission.

He asked the leaders what they learnt in the 3 months residency program that was responsible for their kind of transformation to leadership. One of the nurse leaders responded that the program afforded them the opportunity to interact with leaders from different levels and made them to know leaders that could help with particular problems.

Another leader explained that her transformation came through sitting and interacting with senior executives.

They were asked how they gained confidence.

They gained confidence because they felt they have a support base in the senior executives.

They also did part of Marci’s schedule and spent an hour with every leader asking them questions and checking out their leadership styles.

Every week they had to talk about what they had learnt and their AHA moments both good and bad.

One of them said she is now very confident as a public speaker which she couldn’t do before.

There was also a question on the effect of the leadership training on the nursing hierarchy.




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