PHOTO: Alisha Bhimani

Alisha Bhimani

Alisha Bhimani is the current 2020 recipient of the Eleanor C. Lambertsen Scholarship. She holds a BSN from Emory University and is currently obtaining a Population Health Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a focus in Family and Emergency Medicine at Emory University. Ms. Bhimani has led an innovative medical capacity development initiative in the Gorno-Badakhshan region of Tajikistan. Her doctoral work has been constructed using long-term partnerships and skill-based training at one of the nation’s premier medical facilities. Despite the regional and national relevance of her transformative work for Tajikistan’s health system, it emerges from deeply personal connections she cultivated while living and working in the very remote village of Khorog.

Ms. Bhimani has lived and worked in Khorog, Tajikistan for over two years to develop, test and refine a skills-based clinical curriculum for clinical communication. Her work in English as a Second Language (ESL) training began in 2013. In lieu of the standard 9-month GED training, she developed an innovative 2-month course that equipped 100% of its 157 GED learners to pass the exam. After experiencing the power of skills-based training, she leveraged her skills in ESL and skills-based training to develop a health terminology training program in Tajikistan. Her curriculum is really more of a social movement designed to improve patient care and communication at one of Tajikistan’s premier yet remote hospitals (Aga Khan Medical Center, AKMC) and foster a culture of evidence-based patient safety. Despite its profoundly local relevance, it is also globally innovative in reshaping the goals and methods of health professional language training.

Ms. Bhimani’s curriculum is a globally innovative approach to teaching health communication in order to promote patient safety. Her professional goals are to continue to partner with global healthcare institutions to further advance locally-specific medical training with three goals in mind – improving the immediate quality of patient care, linking interdisciplinary clinicians with global evidence to guide their care while fostering clear team communication and care transitions essential for safety. While many language programs focus on pure knowledge transfer or profession-specific education divorced from the practice setting, the skills-based capacity development initiative Ms. Bhimani has crafted far exceeds these reductionistic goals. Rather, Ms. Bhimani’s curriculum has crafted a team- and skills-based approach to improving clinical communication and safety.

Ms. Bhimani hopes to continue her work on efforts to mobilize global evidence on medical communication and clinical quality in order to address very specific practice needs in Tajikistan and other impoverished countries.

Update: January 2022

As a 2020-2021 NEF scholar, I have concentrated on the global impact within nursing as well as the clinical microsystem. Teaching is my passion. At Emory University, I have the freedom and flexibility to choose a teaching trajectory that can prepare me for a productive career, while working on a specific improvement in my pedagogical skills that immediately benefits the society in Emory’s nursing curriculum. Eventually, I envision myself focusing on improvements within the academic realm of nursing education as well as continuing to develop new academic global partnerships with countries such as my commitment to healthcare education in Tajikistan.

As a recent Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate, I have accepted a position as full-time clinical faculty at Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing where I have strengthened my desire to pursue a career developing and disseminating knowledge relative to my goals of advancing nursing education to develop globally innovative and socially responsible nurse leaders.

In my recent appointment as clinical faculty at Emory, I have developed collaborations across the Aga Khan Medical Center in Khorog Tajikistan to improve the medical clinical communication skills for quality care in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) for the future. My accomplishments in this endeavor include developing an ESL-based medical terminology curriculum as well as English training through a Train the Trainer (ToT) program where 1800 teachers were trained, and an estimated 26,000 individuals in the Gorno-Badakhshan regions of Tajikistan, gained knowledge from this program.

My major educational focus has been to become a globally engaged expert and leader who can contribute significantly to research, education and innovations in nursing and education.

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