An interdisciplinary collaboration between Harvard Business School, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, GHD investigates the management decisions behind disease treatment and prevention globally. These lessons are disseminated through multiple channels, including case studies, educational programs, and scholarly publications.
GHD’s overall mission is to support professionals dedicated to improving the delivery of value-based health care globally.
The Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University (GHD) was launched in 2007 under the guidance of Dr. Jim Y. Kim, Dr. Paul Farmer, and Professor Michael Porter. (View GHD’s debut presentation given by Dr. Kim and Professor Porter in September 2007.) At the time, global health care programs and practitioners had few opportunities to share experiences. They were often isolated and unable to access the latest clinical knowledge, drugs, and technologies, creating a gap between what was known and available in modern medicine and what was being delivered on the ground to patients and communities most in need. Meanwhile, resources for global health were increasing through large-scale funding agencies such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and PEPFAR.
The new resources and investments in discovery and development were not translating into improved health outcomes due, in part, to a lack of rigorous, scientific focus on delivery. With millions of preventable deaths occurring each year, the urgent need for a strategic, well-organized response to match the magnitude of health problems was clear.
To catalyze a new field in global health delivery, an open-access, interdisciplinary body of knowledge needed to be produced, taught, and disseminated widely, and it had to be grounded in practice in developing settings and integrated within academia. Professor Porter's 2006 book, Redefining Health Care, imagines a health system focused on the value of health care–or, maximum social benefit per dollar spent. It was clear the new field in global health delivery should emphasize the value of health services, as opposed to the traditional focus on volume, access, and equity of services.
Since its founding, Dr. Rebecca Weintraub has led and grown GHD as it has instructed thousands of students, ranging from law students to national HIV directors, in global health delivery using a unique curriculum and has published a growing collection of 45 open-access teaching case studies, each with an accompanying teaching note, online. For a decade, the team ran GHDonline where nearly 25,000 global health professionals exchanged millions of ideas about what works in health care delivery in online communities of practice.
What began as a trans-disciplinary experiment has emerged as a leading academic initiative building the field of health care delivery.