Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) are experiencing growing non-communicable disease (NCD) burdens. Organization and coordination of NCD prevention and control are hindered at multiple levels (limited local capacity plus health systems, financing, and infrastructure deficiencies), resulting in knowledge- implementation chasms, even in high-income settings. Together with financial resources and political will, health system "reorientation" and "strengthening" require context-specific, actionable evidence, as well as highly-trained innovative health leaders who can apply scientific knowledge and organizational skills in the pursuit of NCD prevention and control at a population-level. However, few LMIC health systems have sufficient applied/implementation research capacity to achieve systems enhancement. This theme is particularly timely in the context of the UN High-Level Meeting on NCD's in September 2011 where world leaders will be challenged to equitably, effectively, and efficiently deliver NCD care and preventative services globally. To address the capacity shortages that are sure to be acknowledged, the Institution Nacional de Salud Publica (Mexico), Public Health Foundation of India (India), and Emory University (U.S.A.) have partnered together to: a. Establish a robust, interdisciplinary Health Systems, Implementation Sciences, and Leadership for NCDs training program for public health professionals in Mexico and India who are committed to advancing health systems through implementation sciences. The program involves: 1/ An annual, 3-week, intensive, multi- disciplinary course hosted in Atlanta, U.S.A., involving world-class core and guest faculty, and incorporating a dynamic mix of theoretical concepts, applied case-learning, active discussion, and workshops;and 2/ An 11-month mentored phase where trainees are each supervised by core faculty mentors and apply their skills in relevant projects or programs, designing, implementing, or evaluating policies, interventions, and systems for NCDs. Trainees also complete webinar distance learning modules. b. Leverage the program personnel and technology to develop an alumni network and compendium of web- based tools to promote sharing of evidence-based knowledge and training others at home institutions. This annual signature program emphasizes implementation and systems sciences, leadership, career development, cross-pollination of ideas, diversity, retention, 21st century connectivity and knowledge-sharing, and is strongly aligned with the Fogarty International Center's Strategic Goals 2008 - 2012 to invest in NCDs, leadership, and bridge the gap in implementation sciences. The program's vision is to energize the careers of 60 high-caliber professionals and 3 LMIC institutions and therefore contribute to self-sustaining, effective systems (with more data-driven decision-making, utilization of innovations, and greater accountability). Our program will augment systems and implementation research skills in Mexico and India and contribute to the organization, operationalization, and evaluation of integrated NCD prevention and control strategies.
Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) face huge non-communicable disease (NCD) burdens, but also difficulties of financing, infrastructure, applied research capacity, and competing priorities that perpetuate large gaps between currently available knowledge and implementation of proven interventions for NCD prevention and control. This program in Health Systems, Implementation Sciences, and Leadership for NCDs will train 60 young health professionals from Mexico and India, and serve as a stepping stone for these young professionals to build careers focused on designing policies and/or interventions for NCD risk reduction and care in the population, while at the same time building sustainable capacity at their home institutions. This signature program will also be timely as it coincides with a United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs in September 2011, and directly addresses areas of implementation, integration, and sustainability that are critical for the maturation of LMIC health systems.