Left: An ad suggesting how to look “Look Strong & Fit” by gaining body weight
Right: A small paragraph describing our team and project along with 3 separate stories regarding fatal incidents
This week to begin interviewing the key stakeholders and employees of the hospital. We want to make sure we document and thoroughly understand each business process to ensure our information system recommendations will meet their needs.
All of the employees have been more than willing to take time to meet with us and walk us through their day to day responsibilities. They really went out of their way to provide us with a private room which included office supplies, drinks, cellular data cards and plenty of tea :).
On Monday we were finally able to meet our NGO clients in person. The program began with small presentations from with each of the 4 organizations we’re working with (All India Women’s Conference, Kalamandir, School of Hope and Family Planning Association of India).
This was a very powerful moment for our team as each organization explained the impact they’ve been able to make with their cause as well as the hardships they face. The passion these volunteers expressed for their work was truly inspiring.
[From Left to Right: Shekhar (Generix), Jakob (IBM Germany), Darren (IBM US), Mark (IBM China), Dr. Amit Mukherjee (FPAI), Shiv Kumar (FPAI) and Souvick (Generix)]
The organization I’ll be working with is known as FPAI (Family Planning Association of India). They support clinics all across India that specialize in family planning and reproductive health. Our team will be working specifically with the Singhbum branch which is located outside of Jamshedpur. This branch is unique however since it is the only medical facility in a 10km radius. Starting last year, the Singhbum branch was enhanced to now include a MSH (Multi-Specialty Hospital) including departments for general medicine, surgery, orthopedics, and obstetrics/gynecology. It is also equipped with two operation theaters for surgeries. The diagnostic needs of patients are met through a pathology and radiology department. There is a pharmacy on the premises providing generic drugs that are much more affordable than in other medical shops.
While these new functions of the expanded clinic have offered real healthcare options to the surrounding area, the hospital is having difficulty keeping track of patients, budgets, assets and procurement. Our team is tasked with creating a framework including specifications and recommendations for a centralized HIS (health information system).
On Tuesday we had an opportunity to visit the hospital…pictures to come!
After a 4 hour train ride yesterday evening, we arrived at our hotel in Jamshedpur. We have not yet had a chance to explore the city much but, I’ll give you a taste of the journey…
From our hotel in Kolkata we had a roughly 25 minute drive to the train station. This was a nice opportunity to see other parts of Kolkata other than our hotel. Michelle (Canada), Udaya (USA – Texas) and I shared a cab (picture above).
Once at the train station we were immediately greeted by porters who were quite eager to collect our bags and negotiate a fee to load them onto the train.
Above is a shot of our entire group including Sanjay (one of our logistics coordinators) and Mamtha (our IBM in-country advisor).
From left to right: Manju (Canada), Miguel Angel (Columbia), Sanjay, Szandra (Hungary), Mark (China), Udaya (USA – Texas), Yves (Switzerland/France), Jakob (Germany), Mamtha, Kim (USA – Florida), Carol (Brazil), me! and Michelle (Canada).
We arrived in Jamshedpur sometime after 10:30pm and were again quickly greeted by porters who were on the train collecting our bags before we could even get off. After leaving the station it was pretty dark so I didn’t have too much luck with pictures. A few shots of Tatanagar Railway Station are above.
Tomorrow we will get a chance to meet our clients face to face for the first time and discuss our projects in further detail. More to come!
After leaving Detroit at around 10pm on Wednesday, I finally arrived in Kolkata about 8:30am Friday morning (Jamshedpur does not have an international airport so Kolkata is about as close as you can get). My other teammates arrived throughout the day though many of us with longer commutes needed some immediate downtime once we arrived at the hotel. We haven’t yet ventured out into the city but the cab ride from the airport to the hotel was pretty eye-opening…
I imagine car-horn replacement must be a lucrative business here as this is just about the only thing you’ll hear. It seems to be used more to let other drivers and pedestrians know you’re nearby or coming through, instead of the more aggressive “hey don’t cut me off jerk” that I’m familiar with.
Once settled in, many of us decided to grab a dinner at the hotel’s more traditional Indian restaurant. This was really our first chance as a team to meet face to face and learn more about each other. From left to right we represent Columbia, USA, Brazil, Hungary, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, China, and Canada.
Above is the view from my hotel room overlooking the city. We will only be here one night as our train from Jamshedpur will leave later today (Saturday). Hopefully we will have more time to explore Kolkata on our last day when we return in October.
That’s all for now!…My next post will be from Jamshedpur :). #ibmcsc india
Next week our team will be heading to Jamshedpur, India to meet our clients face to face and officially kick-off our projects.
Getting to this point has been a long and difficult road that started roughly 18 months ago with my application for the IBM Corporate Service Corps. After a year of waiting for be assigned to a team, and 3 months of pre-work and team building, we are finally ready. While I’m grateful to be selected for this opportunity to give back, I’m also excited to share this cultural experience with a group of IBMers from across the planet (see the about page). As I begin my trip next week, I will do my best to keep this blog updated with photos, videos and stories from my journey!