Since returning to the United States from a three-month stint working in rural Guatemala, I’ve been thinking about how messy and random global health delivery—even when it’s really effective—can be. Specifically, I’ve been struck by the central role that luck or serendipity plays in achieving positive health outcomes. I’m talking about that moment when a patient walks out of the clinic and you sit back and think about all of the stars that had to align in order for that patient to get the care she needs.
Vanderbilt Center for Latin American Studies Director Ted Fischer developed a project called Mani+ in 2008 to combat chronic malnutrition in Guatemalan children. Several teams of Project Pyramid students from Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management, led by Bart Victor, recently helped develop a business plan for the project. Sarah Roper, Hudson Baird, Thomas Davis, Jillian Currie and Robert Tauscher were among an interdisciplinary group of Vanderbilt students who contributed to the business and implementation plans.