University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher Tetine Sentell has been selected as a Fulbright specialist by the J. William Fulbright Council for International Exchange of Scholars. An associate professor in the Office of Public Health Studies at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, Sentell will collaborate with public health faculty at the University of Medicine in Tirana, Albania.
Albania is small country with a population of 2.8 million on the Balkan Peninsula. In the 40 years following World War II, Albania was isolated from the rest of Europe under repressive communist rule. Starting in the 1980s, it slowly emerged from isolation and transitioned from communism to a democracy and market economy. The country of Albania has recently initiated an innovative primary healthcare based program called Si Je? (How are you?). This important public health program allows all Albanians aged 35–70 years to receive a once a year free basic health examination at their local health center. This program is a major priority of the Albanian Ministry of Health.
Researching Albania’s healthcare management system
Sentell will provide expertise in two areas. First, she will help refine a new program in healthcare management at the university. Their mission is to transform existing structures and capacities into a National Center of Excellence in the field. Sentell, a Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Recipient, will help peer-review this program and help develop courses to meet these goals.
Second, the University of Tirana School of Public Health together with Institute of Public Health has been tasked with evaluating the Si Je? program. Sentell will help with this evaluation to optimize the evaluation of the healthcare system in Albania. Sentell has an extensive in background in health services research using large, population-based survey data, administrative clinical data and qualitative data from in-depth interviews as well as scholarship focused on the elimination of pervasive health inequities due to factors such as race/ethnicity. These issues are of high relevance to the Albanian population.