Health education advanced leadership for Zimbabwe (Healz): Developing the infrastructure to support curriculum reform

Eva M. Aagaard, Susan C. Connors, Amelia Challender, Jonathan Gandari, Kusum Nathoo, Margaret Borok, Midion Chidzonga, Michele Barry, Thomas Campbell, James Hakim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


An economic crisis in Zimbabwe from 1999–2009 resulted in a shortage of faculty at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) and declining enrollment and graduation rates. To improve proficiency and retention of graduates, the college sought to develop a competency-based curriculum using evidence-based educational methodologies. Achievement of this goal required a cadre of highly qualified educators to lead the curriculum review and innovation processes. The Health Education Advanced Leadership for Zimbabwe (HEALZ) program was established in 2012 to rapidly develop the needed faculty leadership. HEALZ is a one-year program of rigorous coursework delivered face-to-face in three intensive one-week sessions. Between sessions, scholars engage with mentors to conduct a needs assessment and to develop, implement, and evaluate a competency-based curriculum. Forty scholars completed training from 2012–15. All participants reported they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the training after each week. Pre-post surveys identified significant knowledge gains in all key content domains. The program garnered significant organizational support. Scholars showed significant variation in progress toward implementing and evaluating their curricula as well as the quality of the work demonstrated by program end. Interviews of scholars and UZCHS leaders revealed important impacts of the program on the quality and culture of medical education at the college.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Global Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


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