Kellogg Fellows Partner to Open Doors, Get Results
In the Piaui province — one of Northeastern Brazil’s most economically disadvantaged provinces — a public/university hospital is significantly strengthening its health best practices, thanks to a recent Mink’a Talent Exchange sponsored by Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (KFLA).
Mink’a is a new KFLA initiative started in 2016, which is based in the Quechuan tradition and represents the collective work done for and by the community. It’s a way to offer talent and share knowledge among Kellogg Fellows.
In this case, Maria Cristina de Araujo (LASPAU) wanted to learn specific environmental, sustainability and medical waste best practices that she could apply to the hospital where she worked, (Federal University of Piaui University Hospital).
To support this ambitious goal, KFLA introduced Maria Cristina to another Kellogg Fellow Oswaldo Yoshimi Tanaka (KILP-01), from School of Public Health of the Sao Paulo University.
Oswaldo is a former Vice-Health Secretariat of Sao Paulo state, who opened doors that led to a series of invaluable meetings for Maria Cristina with relevant faculty at a number of top hospitals and institutions in Sao Paulo. Her travel costs were paid by the Mink’a Travel Fund.
“Through Mink’a it was possible to connect with people who would have been difficult to access only through my personal efforts,” says Maria Cristina. “Although Dr. Tanaka did not himself build the exchange plan, he collaborated greatly by identifying and inviting the right person to do so (Professor Dr. Wanda Günter). As a result, she mobilized several other facilitators, who each provided me with unique learning experiences.”
Best of all, these important medical connections made it possible for Maria Cristina to not only initially gain this valuable knowledge, but also to establish a network that continues to collaborate on her work.
“Taking a course or visiting an educational institution is a valuable experience, of course, but it wouldn’t produce the same results,” explains Maria Cristina.
“I had specific questions about the sustainable management of solid waste,” she says. “After this trip, I shared this information further in a lecture to representatives of the University Hospital and Federal University of Piaui. These best practices are now being shared with others, and being implemented as much as possible based on each one’s local reality.”
Oswaldo found the Mink’a experience beneficial for everyone involved.
“Sharing best practices is always an amazing strategy for optimizing innovative processes in any project,” he says. “Once I understood what Maria Cristina needed, it was quite easy to determine who could best help her. Professor Dr. Wanda Günter has strong expertise in this subject. This scholar from my faculty has conducted field work with many hospitals regarding health security. I knew her knowledge would be invaluable to Maria Cristina.”
After the experience, Oswaldo thinks the Mink’a Talent Exchange represents the best principles of a Kellogg Fellowship.
“Helping others is an important value for the Kellogg Fellows and our network,” he says. “This Mink’a exchange process may become a powerful resource to strengthen our network and help other Fellows push ahead their dreams and social goals.”
Maria Cristina agrees about the benefits of Mink’a.
Learn more about Mink’a and see how you can benefit as a Mink’a volunteer or Mink’a recipient with cultural offerings, intellectual contributions, social networking, spiritual support or vocational gifts.