The Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) partnership between Moi University and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Kenya and a consortium of academic health centers around the world, led by Indiana University (IU), received the IU Bicentennial Medal in a presentation by President Michael McRobbie on Monday.
“The Bicentennial Medal is awarded to organizations and individuals who, through their personal, professional, artistic or philanthropic efforts, have broadened the reach of Indiana University around the state, nation and world. Clearly AMPATH has done that in a major, major way,” said President McRobbie. He fondly recalled his 2013 trip to visit the partnership and the many ways that faculty, staff and trainees worked together to support health and well-being of people in western Kenya. “Our partnership in Kenya is unique for its long-term, collaborative and multi-disciplinary programs, and it is most appropriate that AMPATH be the recipient of this award.”
The award was accepted by MTRH CEO Dr. Wilson Aruasa; Professor Robert Tenge, principal of the Moi College of Health Sciences; Professor Sylvester Kimaiyo, director of care programs for AMPATH; and Dr. Adrian Gardner, director of the IU Center for Global Health.
“Moi University’s philosophy is ‘putting knowledge to work,’ and therefore getting involved with the AMPATH partners and working together has enabled us to reach our horizons quickly in our core functions of clinical care, teaching and research,” said Professor Tenge. “For this, we are grateful as an institution. At the same time we have enabled the community members to discover their power to fully participate in their own development and their own care.”
Four Indiana University School of Medicine physicians began a relationship with the brand new Moi University School of Medicine in 1988. Moi welcomed its first class of 40 medical students in 1990 and Dr. Bob Einterz became the first in a continuous three-decade long line of IU faculty physicians to work with Kenyan colleagues, care for patients, conduct global health research and teach IU and Moi students.
Dr. Gardner, who served as the executive field director for the AMPATH Consortium in Kenya for seven years, emphasized the bi-directional nature of the partnership. “We believe that lessons learned in one place can be shared to improve the lives of people in another, and that diversity in experience and perspective can help us create innovative models of care delivered in various settings throughout the world,” said Dr. Gardner.
More than 1,800 medical trainees, including more than 1,000 from IU, have experienced a medical rotation in Kenya. More than 400 Kenyan trainees have also completed rotations at more than a dozen consortium partners in the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to multiple departments from IU School of Medicine, several other IU schools have participated in the AMPATH partnership including IU School of Dentistry, IU School of Social Work, Fairbanks School of Public Health, School of Public Health-Bloomington, IU School of Nursing, Media School, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and others. Additionally, research conducted through AMPATH has received more than $180 million in funding resulting in more than 1,000 publications.
The medals themselves are unique, made from materials salvaged from the old bells that hung in the Student Building on the IU Bloomington campus.
Dr. Gardner and Megan Miller, associate director of the IU Center for Global Health, also received individual Bicentennial Medals for applying lessons learned in Kenya to lead IU’s pandemic response as part of the university’s Medical Response Team.