Exuberance, pride, and relief are three words that describe my emotions as I come to the end of my fellowship. This has indeed been an enriching and busy month. The third and final month of my fellowship; this is the time where I shift gears to ensure that the capability built results in sustainability; sustainable, what an apt word to use for this Blog.
After the national holiday week (Sept. 30 - Oct. 7), the Project HOPE (PH) Shanghai staff kicked things back into high gear running a number of programs. On Friday October 12, 2012 Lily Hsu and I traveled to Shenyang in Liaoning province. We attended the Cervical Cancer Cytology training. I was able to sit through most of the program, minus the hands-on screening. The hospital in Shenyang has a rich history. It is one of the oldest medical institutions and medical schools in China, predating the communist party. Lily informed me that it was built by the Japanese during the Japanese occupation. The buildings architecture was beautiful with high ceilings and wide staircases. As we made our way to the training room Friday afternoon (October 12, 2012), I was taken by the jars of preserved organs and ancient medical instruments that were on display and lined the corridor to the classroom.
On Saturday, October 13, 2012, the Cervical Cancer Screening Training began with the sessions taught by experts from Liaoning province. BD representatives were in attendance, and Lily shared with the students Project HOPE’s history and the purpose of the training program. I attended the full day session and made some observations about the training. After sharing my observations with Lily as we flew back to Shanghai, Lily asked me to share with the Project HOPE Shanghai team.
On the morning of Monday, October 22nd, Tracy Huang ran into my office excited, incidentally my office is also the conference room and the kitchen. Tracy asked if I wanted to see the first module of the web course as it was better than she had expected. Lily and I rushed over to Tracy’s desk to see the demo course that will be shown during the Rural Training Program’s tenth anniversary gala celebration on November 1st. I was also mildly surprised. When I first saw the demo of the LMS with the course embedded within the LMS, I was concerned. I explained to Tracy that the course needed to launch in a separate window. One of the benefits of doing that is that it makes the LMS able to launch training that is not created by the vendor, such as off the shelf courses and donated training.
Needless to say, the suggestions I made about the page layout and graphics were taken into consideration and rendered wonderfully. I am surprised daily by the talent in the office and the capabilities of Tracy Huang to translate what I communicated to her during our meeting to the vendor. This was the first demo, only the first 9 pages of it. I am excitedly waiting for the rest of module one to be finished.
On the afternoon of October 22nd I delivered my second and final Train-the-Trainer session to the PH staff with suggestions for improvements and adding interactivity to training after attending the all day session in Shenyang. The session focused on a refresher of some slides on adult learning that I shared during our September training along with key elements to remember as considerations to make training more Active. I focused on the meme Think Beyond the Classroom. I chose this as Lily asked me a question during our flight on October 13th, “how do you build interactivity and make training active when you have a limited amount of training time”. I explained to Lily and the team, when you move beyond looking at training as a one-time event and more of as a continuum: how you support the learner before, during, and after the training, you can then begin to compartmentalize the training and focus on critically what must be taught during the face to face time with the instructors and what can be moved into pre-work, before the training, and post-work, support materials and actions after the training.
We had a lively discussion and dialogue about how PH can put into practice what I was sharing. Admittedly some of the suggestions I made regarding how to make training more interactive and engaging pushes past the comfort zone of many Chinese nationals as it is not normally how training occurs. Lisa also mentioned with all that they have to do they don’t have time to review the course material experts develop and create engaging exercises or moderate the live training sessions and facilitate exercises. Feeling her pain, I shared that at Pfizer I too face similar situations and shared some creative ways to address the time crunch, such as leveraging the subject matter experts to facilitate and moderate the exercises.
On Wednesday, October 24th Lisa and Niki attended the third anniversary of the Fudan University, Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, which is in the Yangpu hospital district in Shanghai. As part of the celebration the hospital along with the World Health Foundation and Project HOPE, sponsored a free clinic to screen women for cervical cancer. 100 physicians were on hand to screen the women, of which 109 hospital workers were screened. These women, primarily hospital cleaners and care workers are predominately migrant workers from rural provinces. During the screening, Niki, Lisa and their team of volunteers handed out information to the women, including the fan, which contains FAQs about HPV and cervical cancer treatment and prevention.
Although I was not in attendance for this particular screening, I am glad to learn that the fan I helped edit and provide suggestions for layout was well received by the women in the clinic. To learn more about this screening and the project, please go to Project HOPE China’s website: http://www.projecthope.org.cn/English/shanghai/ and select the Women’s Health Cervical Cancer Prevention Program button.