Liberia Health Workforce Program
NYU Meyers has been awarded a five year sub-contract from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), through a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), to participate in the project entitled “Resilient and Responsive Health Systems (RRHS) Initiative – Liberia.” Currently in its second year of implementation, the project includes a consortium of US academic institutions and NGOs working in Liberia to strengthen the country’s health workforce. NYU Meyers is the lead nursing and midwifery academic partner, with other partners including Yale University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Partners in Health.
Liberia aims to build a high-quality and sustainable health system, but faces a severe deficit of physicians, nurses, midwives, and other health care workers. In 2015, the Ministry of Health (MoH) developed the Health Workforce Program (HWP) to achieve targeted improvements in the quantity, quality and skill diversity of the national health workforce and to improve access to safe and quality health services in Liberia. Working with national partners, including the Liberian Board of Nursing and Midwifery, various teaching institutions and the Ministry of Health, NYU Meyers initiatives seek to support the nursing and midwifery sector in Liberia and to strengthen the development of quality education programs to train the next generation of Liberian faculty, nurses and midwives.
Some recent major activities include:
Curricula Review & Development: NYU Meyers in Liberia partners with local stakeholders including the Liberian Board of Nursing and Midwifery that is comprised of member constituents from each of the accredited teaching institutions across Liberia. Since the grant inception, NYU Meyers has worked very closely with the Board to identify priority work areas for the project, with the initial priority agreed as a comprehensive review of the various nursing and midwifery curricula in Liberia. This includes three curricula for registered nurses, bridging for midwives, and a bachelor’s degree in midwifery.
NYU Meyers completed a preliminary review of the nursing curriculum in the fall 2017 semester with a presentation to the Board secretariat in December 2017. Additional review and recommendations for revised curricula were completed during the spring 2018 semester, and these recommendations were delivered to the full Board and other national stakeholders (over 70 persons in attendance) during a 2.5-day workshop held in Monrovia in mid-June 2018.
During the workshop, NYU Meyers faculty presented initial curricula review findings and recommendations, and stakeholders then broke out into small working groups to analyze and critique the curricular review recommendations, discuss gaps, other findings and next steps. Following the report-out of the working groups, task forces in both nursing and midwifery were formed, and these groups are currently working together with NYU Meyers to finalize the various curricula.
Visiting Faculty: NYU Meyers has hired and deployed one Visiting Faculty (VF) with expertise in midwifery curricula development to be based at Mother Patern College of Health Sciences (MPCHS) in Monrovia. MPCHS currently offers Liberia’s only masters level nursing education program. As part of the Health Workforce Program, the MoH has encouraged MPCHS to incorporate a masters in midwifery education to the program. NYU Meyers’ VF is currently working with MPCHS to expand the curricula to be a Masters of Nursing and Midwifery Education program.