Pulsing for Change

Welcome to my blog.

In the days and months ahead, I will be posting updates on my PULSE assignment, successes, and frustrations here as well as at my personal blog at kirbymanager.com. For now, I just want to briefly introduce myself and my PULSE assignment to all of you who will be following this trip in the next six months.

I am a chemist and currently reside within the Particle Generation, Control and Engineering (PGCE) in Product Development (PD). As a result of the new PD re-organization, I am moving to Analytical Sciences. At present, I am based at RTP but I will be moving to UM/UP following my PULSE assignment. My specific areas of expertise are Spectroscopy and Process Analytical Technology (PAT), Multivariate Statistics and Chemometric modeling.

Beginning July of 2013 through early January 2014, I have an incredible opportunity to leave my role at GSK, colleagues and family to go to Ghana and work with the Jhpiego Corporation (The John Hopkin’s Program for International Education in gynaecology and Obstetrics) on a major healthcare program. The Community-based Health and Planning Services (CHPS) being implemented by the Ghana Health Services (GHS) has the goals to control malaria, provide ante-natal care, family planning, and immunization services and basic outpatient care.

Jhpiego is helping the GHS to accomplish these goals by providing tools and services that will improve the quality of care available at the GHS. The program is scaling up radically in 2013 and 2014 which calls for the need to efficiently manage the scaled up operation.

In my role as the Data and Monitoring Specialist, I will be responsible for collecting, analyzing and reporting data to help understand trends in performance as well as conducting baseline studies in communities where the CHPS program is yet to be implemented. As I leave to work with Jhpiego and the GHS, I feel nervous, scared and excited about how my background and skills can be utilized to handle data that is different from what I am used to and eventually help to drive live-changing decisions.

Every GSK employee is involved in work that touches millions of people every day. It is even more noteworthy for the company to allow a select few employees to go outside the company and apply their skills in such a way that the impact is manifested so overtly. I am so very grateful to GSK for offering me the opportunity to exploit the same skills I have gained within the company to give back to society so I can return to be even a better scientist.

Leaving family, friends and neighbors for 6 months, needless to say, comes with lot of considerations. There are risks and sacrifices involved. On the other hand, when I imagine the marks I will leave behind, as others have done before, and what I can bring back, I consider this as a risk that comes at a pretty good price.

Thank you and I will be back soon.

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