Kumi Project

Dr. William Chavey of the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine and Dr. Paul Clyde of the University’s Ross School of Business have taken a creative look at improving healthcare in developing regions. Through extensive work funded by the Davidson Entrepreneurial Institute, they explored ways African healthcare systems can support themselves. The answer: Rehabilitation.

The team found a ready partnership with Kumi Hospital, a leprosy hospital in rural Uganda which has taken on the general healthcare needs of its community. With a decline in external funding, Director Dr. John Opune and leading orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Ekure were seeking a new model of self-sustainability. They realized that their hospital was ideally situated to serve the rehabilitation needs of their country. IRF president Andrew Haig MD traveled to Kumi hospital where he consulted with the staff on program development. Burt Engel, MD, a resident physician in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation then followed with a 1 month stay, where he modeled many of the rehabilitation principles. The Kumi hospital team now has a dedicated rehabilitation team and a protocol for intake of rehabilitation patients. The business model is far from complete, however. They need to develop marketing strategies and clinical protocols, and they need to find ways to improve their facility and their equipment.


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