Interview for World Health Day: Dr. Mary Ann Lansang, Chief of Party, CLAimHealth

Below is an interview with Dr. Mary Ann Lansang of Panagora Group in honor of World Health Day.

Dr. Mary Ann Lansang is the chief of party of the Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting for Improved Health (CLAimHealth) Activity, a contract awarded to Panagora Group by USAID/Philippines. She has more than 30 years of experience in global health, with technical expertise in epidemiology, prevention, control, and management of infectious and tropical diseases; monitoring and evaluation of public health programs; health policy research and policy development; and health systems strengthening.

As a prime contractor for the CLAimHealth Activity, Panagora provides technical support for monitoring, evaluation, and learning to USAID/Philippines’ Health Project to improve health for underserved Filipinos.

Why were you inspired to work for Panagora, and what have you enjoyed most about working here?

Panagora places prime value on learning and adaptability. Its lessons come both from communities of practice across the globe and from quality data on the ground.

Our CEO Betsy Bassan is a very persuasive and passionate leader–you can’t say no! It has been a pleasure to work with the Panagora HQ staff–very supportive and ever ready to support us in CLAimHealth/Philippines at any time of the day, despite the time difference between Manila and Silver Spring. The team is responsive to our needs and innovative.

Why are you passionate about public health?

The “common good” is the only way to make the world a better place. Public health approaches problem-solving from a strategic perspective so that all, not just some, achieve good health. Whatever we can contribute as individuals is multiplied exponentially towards the “common good,” whether we work on social and behavior change, direct service delivery, or health systems strengthening.

How does your team support the USAID/Philippines mission?

CLAimHealth/Philippines works closely with the USAID/Philippines Mission, particularly the Office of Health, in terms of:

  • Monitoring and evaluation – reviewing, consolidating, and analyzing the performance of the USAID/Philippines Health Project in terms of the Health Project indicators, and revising the results framework as necessary
  • Generation of evidence through documentation of good practices and promising interventions from Health Project activities as well as through implementation research
  • Capacity strengthening of all those involved in the Health Project in terms of competencies and skills needed in collaborating, learning, and adaptive management.

How does your work support the local government’s public health objectives?

CLAimHealth/Philippines supports the USAID/Philippines Office of Health to organize joint program reviews with Philippine government agencies such as the Department of Health, the Commission on Population and Development, and the Philippines Health Insurance Corporation. We also support the Office of Health with regularly tracking its own performance as a health development partner through an International Health Partners scorecard. Finally, we support the Health Project activities design and organize dissemination and learning sessions and forums with government partners.

What’s an important public health fact that you’d like to share for World Health Day?

Only 1 in 3 Filipinos with tuberculosis seek and have access to quality care. It’s time to reach out to the missing two-thirds and provide affordable and reliable services.