Ethiopia Ministry of Health Honors Dr. Senait Fisseha With its Highest Award

On October 9, 2013, in front of an audience of more than 800 stakeholders, the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) awarded its highest Health Sector’s Award to Dr. Senait Fisseha, MD, JD, at its 15th Annual Review Meeting in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Each year at its annual meeting, the FMOH recognizes individuals and institutions for their extra-ordinary contributions to health through research and development and health service delivery, and through charity work in the field of public health. Nominated by the several key officials including Ethiopia’s health minister, His Excellency Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Dr. Fisseha was recognized for her overall contribution to Ethiopia’s health sector. 

Dr. Fisseha, who is Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at the University of Michigan, has very quickly and efficiently guided the University’s early global initiatives efforts in Ethiopia, which encompass a partnership with the FMOH and support the New Medical Education Initiative and a twinning partnership with St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC) in Addis Ababa. 

A native of Addis Ababa, Dr. Fisseha completed her medical residency at the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) in 2006 and had been patiently waiting for the right time to implement a postgraduate OBGYN training program and a faculty retention program in Ethiopia, similar to the model UMMS established in Ghana over the past twenty-five years. In early 2012, the waiting ended as she was awarded a $1.5 million grant from an anonymous foundation in addition to a 5-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American International Health Alliance to formalize her work.

Through a whirlwind of activities pushed forward even before the funding awards, Dr. Fisseha and her U-M and Ethiopian colleagues are creating their own national model for Ethiopia. Similar to other UMMS platforms for engagement and building on early successes – including the graduation of its first class of OBYGN residents - other departments such as internal medicine, surgery, nephrology, radiology, and anesthesia are now establishing their own relationships within Ethiopian health sectors.

Read more about Dr. Fisseha’s work and the Ethiopia Platform through the links below.