Examples of the Impact

Over the past 15 years, WDI has worked with a number of healthcare delivery organizations in low- and middle-income countries, leading to a large network and strong partnerships with such organizations. Some of our partners include the Aravind Eye Care System, LiveWell Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and Unicorpus Health Foundation in India, Grace Care Center in Sri Lanka, the Ethio-American Doctors Group (EADG) in Ethiopia and the Ruli District Hospital in Rwanda. We work with our partners directly and through the student opportunities that we offer at the University of Michigan.

Our work has added value to our partner organizations as detailed below.

Aravind1.jpgAravind Eye Care System (AECS) – One of India’s premier eye care hospitals, the AECS is headquartered in the city of Madurai in South India. The AECS network is comprised of 54 primary eye care centers, five tertiary care centers, six secondary care centers, and six community clinics across the state of Tamil Nadu, India. WDI’s partnership with AECS is one of the oldest, starting around 1999 when Dr. Aravind Srinivasan (now a member of the Senior Leadership Team of AECS), became an MBA student at Michigan Ross.

WDI’s engagements with AECS span a wide range of issues including:

  • determining the appropriate governance structures given AECS’s growth
  • expanding geographically and within eye care specialty
  • implementing operational improvements and/or developing processes
  • developing human resource capabilities and leadership training for physicians
  • improving the culture and patient experiences at AECS etc.

Dr. Aravind has used a combination of student teams and other interactions with WDI to continuously explore new ideas to improve his organization, which successfully offers world-class service at affordable prices.  WDI continues to engage with AECS as a trusted partners. To view an interview with Dr. Aravind Srinivasan, please click here.

The Ethio-American Doctors Group (EADG) is a coalition of more than 250 U.S. doctors of Ethiopian descent who seek to establish a state-of-the-art tertiary care hospital in the city of Addis Ababa. WDI has worked with EADG on a number of projects including:

  • determining an optimum governance structure that aligned with the regulatory practices and cultural considerations of the country and incorporated the best practices most amenable for EADG to operating within Addis Ababa
  • identifying suppliers of capital equipment and, more importantly, the maintenance and service professionals in Ethiopia who would ensure large pieces of equipment are well-maintained and serviced when malfunctioning
  • preparing a business plan to determine the financial viability of establishing a comprehensive cancer treatment center with both medical and radiation therapy

The underlying theme of WDI’s engagement with EADG has been to identify the potential challenges (regulatory, cultural, human capital, etc.) the organization may face while operating in Ethiopia and recommend ways to overcome them. Per Mel Melaku Negussie, CEO and General Counsel of EADG, “I view WDI’s team of students led by Professor Clyde akin to McKinsey or Bain & Company, an accessible management consulting team with very smart and determined members who are committed to make an impact in emerging markets with challenging issues. What makes their work-product valuable is the fact that they personally gather the data and study the ground conditions on which to base their recommendations and analysis. Basically, this is a cost-effective way of getting the same result as one would expect from the McKinseys and Bains of this world.”

Grace Care Center (GCC) – The GCC is an orphanage and elder care center located in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Dr. Naresh Gunaratnam and a group of physicians based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, use telemedicine to monitor vital health statistics for the elderly who reside at the facility. The physician group has engaged with WDI on multiple assignments starting with the development of a sustainable model for care for monitoring metrics associated with chronic conditions of the elderly. With a vision to establish a diabetes monitoring service by productively engaging the girls from the Grace Home as medical assistants, our team helped draft a plan for a diabetes care clinic and develop a financially viable and self-sustaining service model.

Efforts are currently underway to refine this model with the intent to replicate it in other parts of Sri Lanka where diabetes is an epidemic. The most recent engagement involved providing recommendations on expanding the training for the diabetes monitoring service that allows the Grace Home girls to offer services to more patients within Trincomalee and surrounding areas. According to Dr. Naresh Gunaratnam, “The student teams have been instrumental in shaping the development of our diabetic care center model.  Teams have interviewed physicians, patients and caregivers to assess the most efficient care delivery models that will enhance care and will be viable long term.”

LiveWell Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (India) – Located in Madurai and Hyderabad, the LiveWell Institute was established to address the growing need for rehabilitative care medicine in India. LiveWell provides care for patients who have undergone major illness or injury and need to relearn daily living skills to regain their mobility and independence. Student teams have worked with Livewell since 2010 when a market entry strategy for the geriatric rehab market was first developed by them. Today, Livewell is an established provider of rehabilitation services in Madurai and is working with WDI to replicate their model as it expands to Hyderabad.


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