Another 22 hour flight as a Global MBA: University Health in Kampala, Uganda


And so again it begins…

Another 22 hour flight across the world, to a new continent as a Global MBA student at Case Western’s Weatherhead School of Management.

Except this time, it’s a bit more of my own accord, working with University Health’s Director of Strategic Innovation, David Sylvan…

 …and world renowned Drs. of infectious diseases  Marco Costa, Chris Longenecker, Robert Salata and Dan Simon in “The Pearl of Africa: Kampala, Uganda.”


David Sylvan, Director of Innovation at University Health


David has mentored and coached some of our brightest Global MBAs, and encourages real-world, hands-on experience as the best way to learn. I already know that time in Kampala will be more learning than I can even imagine…

uganda_map_thumb 041212060005--Uganda Map

In July of 2015, David Sylvan, then associate professor of Innovation at the Weatherhead School of Management, approached me to take on a project that would pair my developing background in writing about business strategy and my now demonstrated ability to navigate cultures that are, at first glance, different from my own. The project he could not clarify at the time, but he assured me it would combine all of my passion for community-driven organizing, the learning that Global MBA had prepared me for, and my desire to deconstruct enormous projects to the micro level via one-on-one interviews and relationships, all with an enormous challenge to discover and publish an article to answer the following question:

 “Why have University Health and Case Western’s Medical Program been so successful in developing a sustainable model of medical education and care in Uganda?”


Kampala, Uganda – known as “The Pearl of Africa”

On Friday morning, I set sail for a twenty-two hour flight to Entebbe, Uganda, where I will then move toward the capital city of Kampala, as well as Lima and wherever the hospitality of the “the Pearl of Africa” may take me.

I will be conducting research interviews with the Ugandan Ministry of Health, healthcare workers in Kampala, as well as Ugandan medical workers who have engaged with Case Western and University Health over the past twenty years to develop what is being termed as one of the prominent, successful, sustainable medical relationships of its kind.

Our goal is to detail and explain the cross-cultural qualitative and relationship-based interactions that have happened over the course of the project over the last several decades. What is it that is so different about this engagement than other projects?

My hypothesis at this point is that long-term relationships are built by Case and University Health by understanding the problems of sustainability from the perspectives of Ugandan medical workers. Secondly, their interaction with local communities to develop “Community Action Boards (CABs)” that drive the trust component beyond the primary relationship between Case/UH and Ugandan medical practitioners.


Detroit will always be my pearl, but Kampala, Uganda is known as the official Pearl of Africa.


For my birthday, my sister designed for me a cap. It says Detroit, on the front, in an Asian-themed font. On the side it says, “Quad:” the name we call my family. I’m taking this cap with me.


This is the quad – motivation and love.

This first picture of this article was taken in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood by Rebecca Holloway. Pilsen is known for generations of tremendous fights for the rights and equality of all, with a strong foundation of immigrant families, many of whom are Spanish speakers.




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