This Blog post was written by Liv+, a team of MBA students (Mariana Negrao, Marite Perez, and Daniel Walker-Murray) in the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program at Colorado State University, who are working on their summer practicum in Brazil.
“The problem is to understand the real problems of the public healthcare sector”, said Rey Buckman, Masters of Science at Fundação Getulio Vargas, who has been researching the healthcare environment in Brazil for over a year. This quote reinforces one of our team’s main goals in Brazil: to understand the real problem and the current solutions in the public healthcare sector.
Upon our arrival in the field, we have been identifying approaches to solving access to public healthcare issues. Liv+ is relying on the use of Human Centered Design tools, introduced during our Sustainable Marketing class at Colorado State University. We have been volunteering for a local community association in a favela through their daycare center; working with the women and children to understand the decision-making processes surrounding their health care needs.
In addition to further understanding challenges locals have accessing healthcare, our team has been meeting with local entrepreneurs striving towards providing quicker and more affordable care. A networking event organized by MakeSense provided us with various contacts of organizations working in this area of Brazil. With a better understanding of what solutions exist and their impact, the Liv+ team is working to identify gaps in their solutions and to collaborate towards identifying other methods in meeting the current issues in this area.
This has been a journey of self-discovery and team development challenges. Our team dynamics coursework has prepared us to manage our summer practicum. Working and living together has created new situations within the team that we did not experience while living in Colorado. We have learned a lot about ourselves and each other while applying conflict management, motivation, and communication strategies presented in class to help resolve these issues.
So what comes next? We are working towards validating our secondary research, regarding the critical decisions between health and finances. As we further our research this summer, we are creating stronger ties with the community, local doctors, and social entrepreneurs. We plan to cultivate relationships to expand our understanding of the problems in the Brazilian healthcare environment, and ultimately hone in on an appropriate, sustainable, human-centered, long term solution.