GlobeMed at University of Michigan partners with Tiyatien Health (TH) in Zwedru, Liberia to advance healthcare in the country's rural, post-war communities.
GlobeMed at the University of Michigan + Tiyatien Health
GlobeMed at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor | Ann Arbor, Michigan
Tiyatien Health | Zwedru, Liberia
Liberia has an unemployment rate of 85% due in part to lack of infrastructure and opportunities. In 2003, the end of the civil war, Liberia was left with 50 government medical doctors.
“GlobeMed opened my eyes to the health disparities that exist both locally and abroad while our chapter addressed specific contextualized issues of social injustice. By challenging the fundamental understanding of health, GlobeMed transformed my unmolded passion for the health sciences, further shaping a lifelong passion in the field of medicine.“
– Jeremy Kratz, University of Michigan ’11
About the Partnership
Tiyatien Health (TH) was founded by survivors of Liberia’s civil war in 2007, when the urgent need for community-based health care was realized. TH believes that the sustainable rebuilding of Liberia relies greatly on the promotion of healthcare and the fundamental rights of the rural poor. The GlobeMed chapter at the University of Michigan felt immediately connected with Tiyatien Health’s grassroots, community-based model when their partnership began in the fall of 2009.
Since beginning its partnership, the GlobeMed chapter has raised over $26,000 to support TH’s initiatives involving micro financing and its core community health worker program. In addition to these project areas, TH also focuses on the areas of mental health, psychosocial support, economic development, and women’s empowerment.
GlobeMed at the University of Michigan is aiming to support operational funds for Tiyatien Health, which will allow them to maintain their unique Accompanier Program.
In post-war Liberia, there is minimal access to healthcare, with only 51 doctors serving the country as of 2005. Tiyatien Health is countering these odds with their accompanier program, where local community health workers provide home-based care, accompany patients to and from the public clinic, and link patients to social and economic support.
As a partner to Tiyatien Health, GlobeMed at the University of Michigan is raising funds to provide the often-overlooked operational support for this innovative model of community health. These costs can range from supporting infrastructural costs of TH’s community health worker program to purchasing fuel for the generator or motorbikes that are instrumental to TH’s functioning in rural Liberia. These are the types of costs that limit the work of many grassroots organizations, since donors rarely fund them. The GlobeMed at the University of Michigan chapter hopes to prove that supporting an organization in these areas is one of the most effective ways to implement real change around the world.
GlobeMed at the University of Michigan hopes to facilitate the ability of community health organizations to improve health in their respective communities.
Local Partner – Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation in Detroit, MI
In addition to fundraising for Tiyatien Health’s programs, GlobeMed at University of Michigan volunteers their time to support The Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation (JSCDC), which was founded in the basement of Second Grace United Methodist Church in 2001 with a mission of neighborhood revitalization through family life-skill support and community economic development. Its health and education center has grown to provide free healthcare and prevention resources to the un- and under-insured living in the Cody-Rouge community of Detroit, Michigan. The JSCDC utilizes an environmental model of health that is based on the idea that the reduction of environmental risk factors to health is essential for community health and that access to health should not be determined by where one lives. The partnership between the JSCDC and the GlobeMed chapter at the University of Michigan began in 2006, and since then, the GlobeMed chapter has been helping to coordinate and lead health workshops for Detroit families, along with aiding the establishment of a farmer’s market and two community gardens.