Partners In Health

Location: Rwanda


Title: Psychiatrist for the Dr. Mario Pagenel Global Mental Health Delivery Fellowship
Reports to: Director of Mental Health
Location: Rwanda

Organizational Profile: 

Partners In Health (PIH) is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Boston, MA, whose mission is to provide quality health care for the poor and marginalized in Haiti, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Peru, Mexico, Russia, Dominican Republic, and Navajo Nation. In addition, PIH has a growing network of affiliated organizations and initiatives in several other countries, including Nepal, Burundi, Mali, Liberia, and Togo. Through service delivery, training, advocacy and research, PIH works around the globe to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of it, to serve as an antidote to despair, and inspire others to do the same.

This fellowship is offered in collaboration with the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Position Overview: 

The Dr. Mario Pagenel Global Mental Health Delivery Fellowship with Partners In Health (PIH), is a placement in Rwanda with Partners In Health’s sister organization, Inshuti Mu Buzima (IMB), in collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MoH). The Republic of Rwanda has made a significant commitment to addressing mental health concerns, and innovating community-based approaches to decentralized mental health care. PIH/IMB works to support the Rwandan MoH in its efforts to combat the burden of mental disorders through both preventive and clinical approaches. PIH/IMB provide technical support to district hospital and health center staff—including physicians, hospital and clinic nurses, psychologists, psychiatric nurses and social workers—at three sites in rural Rwanda.

The Fellowship honors Dr. Mario Pagenel, a beloved physician working for Partners In Health’s sister organization in Haiti, Zanmi Lasante (ZL). Director for Training and Medical Education for ZL, Dr. Pagenel perished in Haiti's 2010 earthquake. He had a special interest in psychiatry, mental health, social medicine and health equity. The Fellowship also honors the people of Rwanda and the staff of IMB, who stood in solidarity with the Haitian people following the earthquake, and who serve as living inspiration for how the human spirit can overcome great adversity.  

In partnership with the Government of Rwanda and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), PIH/IMB has supported the MoH to comprehensively strengthen the public health system in rural, underserved areas of the country since 2005.

The Government of Rwanda seeks to strengthen service delivery, infrastructure and research in mental health throughout the country. With only two psychiatrists and two neurologists for more than nine million people, hospitals and clinics in rural Rwanda are faced with a high burden of neuropsychiatric problems. At the three district sites where PIH/IMB work in collaboration with the MoH, large numbers of community health workers (CHW) are mobilized to attend to both infectious and noncommunicable diseases, augmenting the clinical staff shortage. Elaboration of a CHW mental health component is imminent. This initiative builds upon efforts by Rwanda’s MoH to expand on its successful HIV initiatives through scalable approaches to health care delivery for chronic conditions common in rural areas, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, hemato-oncologic and neuropsychiatric conditions. 
With the recent opening of a world-class teaching hospital at Butaro in northern Rwanda, there exists a timely opportunity to further develop model hospital- and health center- based public-sector mental health services. The Fellowship supports training of hospital and health center staff in Rwanda in management of severe mental health problems. Enhancing the capacity of IMB to hone the skills of practitioners in the hospital setting, particularly at the new teaching hospital at Butaro is a central aim of the Fellowship. The Fellow will liaise closely with the Rwandan MoH, teaching health care professionals at all levels and supporting the mental health desk in the MoH in its task of decentralization and integration of mental health services nationally.

The Fellowship provides an opportunity for career development in global mental health delivery for post-graduate psychiatrists, with a combined focus on training, research and advocacy. The fellowship will consist mostly of service delivery, and includes an academic research component.

Over the course of the year the Fellow will develop an area of academic focus in global health related to mental health service delivery, selecting an academic mentor with expertise in their area of interest. Fellows will therefore have the opportunity to collaborate in and develop mentored research and educational projects, and will have the option of participating in ongoing research efforts. To facilitate career development in global mental health, Fellows will be eligible to attend a 3-week intensive summer program in Global Health Effectiveness at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.

Global mental health delivery fellows will be based in Rwanda for one to two years. 

This is a salaried position with benefits. Partners In Health will provide airfare between Boston and Rwanda as well as living accommodations and meals in Rwanda. To facilitate career development in global mental health, fellows will be eligible to attend a three-week summer program in Global Health Effectiveness at Harvard School of Public Health. Fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate in and develop mentored research and educational projects, and will have the option of participating in ongoing research efforts through the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Fellows will have another three weeks of time in Boston to develop and refine global mental health delivery-related skills and knowledge in collaboration with chosen program mentors.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Developing strong productive relationships with our Rwandan colleagues to identify core challenges to quality mental health care and devising collaborative plans for improvement
  • Accompanying Rwandan health care workers (physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers and community health workers) in developing their capacity to implement new program initiatives and quality care interventions in mental health
  • Sharing clinical expertise at the bedside and through didactic teaching
  • Providing support to efforts related to the development of a model mental health service at the new hospital at Butaro
  • Liaising with the Rwandan MoH. 
  • The Fellow will also serve as a supervisor for US-based psychiatric resident and medical student experiences in Rwanda with IMB.


We are recruiting a board-eligible or board-certified psychiatrist to join us beginning in January, 2015.  We welcome candidates with interests in: 

  • Collaborative learning.
  • Teaching and mentorship.
  • Specialty interests, for example in consultation-liaison psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and emergency psychiatry.
  • Improvement of healthcare within the public sector.
  • Community outreach, primary care, and hospital based tertiary care.
  • Research in global mental health delivery.
  • Applicants must be prepared to commit to at least 75% time in Rwanda over the duration of the fellowship.
  • Some proficiency in conversational French is strongly preferred. 
  • A strong interest in social justice and health care issues.

Application Process:

Interested applicants should submit a one or two page letter describing their experience and interest in global health/global mental health, and a CV with the names of two references.

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