Position Title: Chief Medical Officer
Reports To: Executive Director, PIH Sierra Leone
Location: Sierra Leone – Kono + Freetown
Length of Service and/or Assignment: 24 month commitment preferred
Partners In Health (PIH) began supporting the government of Sierra Leone in response to the Ebola epidemic in October 2014. Recognizing the large need for continued investments in the health system after Ebola, PIH is committed to long-term health system strengthening in support of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), guided by the same principles as our emergency response and our work around the world: public sector accompaniment, integrated and comprehensive services, social justice, nimbleness and flexibility, partnership, community ownership, and evidence-based interventions.
In Sierra Leone, PIH’s programs support health facilities in Kono District and Freetown. Aligned with national priorities determined by Sierra Leone’s MOHS, PIH is pursuing an ambitious strategy to address the high rates of infectious diseases (HIV/TB and malaria among others), NCDs, mental health disorders, maternal mortality and under-five morbidity and mortality. In Kono District, Wellbody Clinic and Koidu Government Hospital (KGH) together with an ambitious plan of expansion to Community health centres serve as the hubs for PIH’s comprehensive approach to these complex public health crises. In Freetown, PIH is working proactively in MDR TB at Lakka Teaching hospital and Mental health within Kissy teaching government hospital.
PIH currently provides comprehensive, community-based HIV and TB treatment; primary health care at public clinics that have BEmONC and CEmONC level care, prenatal, delivery, and postnatal services for pregnant women and new mothers; and pediatrics, neonatal and malnutrition services for under five care. We have also expanded both within Kono and nationals, internal medicine, infectious diseases, and non-communicable disease services in collaboration with the MOHS. Mental health programs have been developed at a central level but also in a district model that works at the facility and community through CHWs. Emergency medicine and Surgical services are strong programs that PIH is supporting to develop KGH as the model of secondary/tertiary care in the districts of Sierra Leone.
Health care provider training, referral systems strengthening, and monitoring and evaluation efforts are crucial components to ensure we meet our goal of long-term, systemic improvements for patients in Kono District, Freetown facilities and at a central level with MoHS.
PIH Sierra Leone also supports social support in Port Loko and Kono Districts, as well as at the national level. Clinical services in both Districts are complimented by our social protection programs, which aim to increase the socioeconomic mobility of patients with their relatives and other vulnerable populations.
As the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) you will lead the PIH-SL clinical team and provide accompaniment to the Sierra Leonean MOHS to strengthen health care systems in Sierra Leone. Your responsibilities will include ensuring that our team effectively augments and supports the staff in either Koidu Government Hospital – the largest hospital that PIH supports in Africa, Wellbody Clinic – which sees approximately 250 patients a day, and our new expansion to primary care clinics across Kono District. The CMO will also oversee the clinical strategy and programs at Lakka Government Hospital, where PIH is reinforcing the multidrug-resistant TB program, as well as our work at the Sierra Leone Psychiatric Teaching Hospital in Kissy. The CMO provides medical education and mentorship; and conducts operational research with close collaboration with the MEQ team that will enable us to improve our work and disseminate knowledge. This position will also work collaboratively with stakeholders from different levels of the healthcare system to strategically plan and provide leadership for all clinical initiatives and inform policy development.
As part of the PIH-SL leadership team, you will set strategy and manage its effective implementation and create an environment of high quality patient care, learning and continuous quality improvement within the framework of social justice.
You will work closely with the PIH-SL leadership team, including the Executive Director, Director of Operations, Director of the Maternal Center of Excellence Program, Director of Government Relations, Director of Clinical Programs, Director of Nursing, Director of Finance, and Director of Human resources.
- Lead clinical strategic planning and budgeting, and work closely with the Executive Director and Director of Operations to manage the implementation of healthcare delivery, in support of MOHS objectives.
- Work with the Finance Director to manage the clinical budgets.
- Work closely with the Policy and Partnerships team to develop grant proposals and reports to current and potential donors.
- Lead by example, embodying the values of PIH, including: doing whatever it takes to provide the highest level of service to our patients; treating every member of our organization and community with equal respect and dignity; fostering a sense of generosity and teamwork; and working patiently, yet persistently, to accompany our government partners to achieve our shared goals.
Clinical Program Management
- Oversee clinical operations at Koidu Government Hospital, Wellbody Clinic, Kono primary care clinics, Lakka Government hospital and the Sierra Leone Psychiatric Teaching Hospital in Freetown
- Liaise with the Community Based Program team, especially the Community Health Worker team to ensure there is a strong link between the clinical facility based work, and our CHW work.
- Ensure that clinical systems, protocols, and procedures are established, fully implemented and assessed for effectiveness.
- Collaborate with the Director of Clinical Programs the priorities and work of the MEQ team to align the data work and clinical services; as well as develop research activities and quality improvement projects.
- Perform clinical teaching, mentorship and capacity building of clinicians through participation in district hospitals, outpatient clinics, community health clinics, case review, and other activities.
- Provide supervision and mentorship to PIH-SL clinical officers (physicians, nurses, midwives and other providers), working with the team to provide direct patient care to support improved clinical outcomes.
- Collaborate with the Operations team on ensure infrastructure, equipment, medications and other supplies meet clinical needs, avoid stock-outs, and support strengthened care at our supported facilities.
- Ensure preparedness at all times within clinical operations to ensure safe and proper triage and isolation at health facilities and at community levels; be prepared to respond if any epidemic conditions recur (Ebola, Lassa and/or COVID 19 among others).
- Build and maintain relationships with our government partners, including the MOHS, district health management team (DHMT), hospital medical superintendents, other international organizations, and health center leaders.
- Collaborate with PIH clinical team in Boston, members from the district and national MOHS, and other international organizations to share best practices.
- Meet regularly with NGO partners to build relationships and collaborate on projects at the national and district level.
- MD or equivalent medical training and board certification in a medical specialty. Previous clinical and program experience preferred.
- At least three years of experience managing personnel, budgets, and/ or program activities.
- At least four years of clinical experience in a low-resource health care setting.
- A strong commitment to social justice and health as a human right is essential in all aspects of the leadership and management
- Prior experience in managing and leading strong and diverse teams.
- Prior experience in linking clinical departments with abroad academic partners.
- Proven success in supporting annual strategic planning and grant proposal development.
- Evidence of providing culturally sensitive and competent quality care in an extremely stressful environment.
- Ability to be flexible and effective in the face of unexpected challenges.
- Exemplary interpersonal communication skills, verbal and written, required to effectively engage with senior leadership, partners, and clinicians on sensitive political and confidential issues.
- Proven ability to exercise good judgment, demonstrate political astuteness, and tact.
- Sense of humor and flexible disposition very helpful. The candidate should have a demonstrated ability to be flexible and effective in the face of unexpected challenges as well as the willingness to accept a standard of living that is clean and comfortable but simple.
- Ability to live in Sierra Leone full-time.