In April 2016, TPG – International Health Academy (TPG-IHA), led by David Schmidt, set out on a study mission to South Africa to engage in one-on-one dialogue with key overseas counterparts in the field of health care. David Schmidt held the position of President of TPG-IHA during his appointment as delegation leader in South Africa. He has over 25 years of career experience in senior management, operations, business development, sales, and marketing in the healthcare and manufacturing industries. Additionally, Mr. Schmidt’s experience includes working for two major health plans as Senior Vice President of Sales and Customer Service and Regional Vice President for FHP Healthcare.
Upon arrival in Cape Town, South Africa, each health care professional was able to get a sense of the South African healthcare system. The main focuses of the study mission were as follows:
- To provide an in-depth study of the South African healthcare system
- To investigate the Public/Private interface of healthcare coverage and delivery
- To appreciate the unique aspects of the South African healthcare system
- To network with other healthcare executives from the United States
- To learn about life in South Africa
To accomplish the goals listed above, US delegates participated in exchanges with a variety of South African health care institutions. Delegates began with a visit to the Student’s Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO), a University of Cape Town student-run, non-profit organization community outreach organization which has developed a reputation of delivering quality health care in under-resourced communities. Among other opportunities included a visit to Kheth’Impilo for a discussion about a community-based early childhood development program for HIV infected and affected children, a visit to the Khayelitsha District Hospital to understand the public hospital infrastructure, and a visit to the Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Aging in Africa (IAA) to study the training of health and allied professionals in evidence-based clinical and social care for older persons. Delegates also had the unique opportunity to visit the Pebbles Owethy Clinic, a first-class dental care facility for the surrounding farm community, and the Khayelitsha Hospital, a 300-bed district hospital serving the low income inhabitants of the Villiera area.
Along with meetings, site visits, and professional exchanges, our group of professionals had the opportunity to experience the culture and beauty of Cape Town, South Africa. Walking tours of downtown Cape Town, a visit to Table Mountain and other majestic landscapes, authentic South African wine tastings, and top quality South African cuisine were dispersed between professional meetings.
TPG-IHA is currently working with Professionals Abroad on a study mission to take place in Costa Rica, May 2017. Additional details for future delegations will be added to www.professionalsabroad.org or call 1-877-298-9677 for more information.