Back in India!

It’s been a year and a half since I left India doing a CASI internship in Rajasthan, and it feels wonderful to be back again! After just graduating, I’m back in my time off to intern with LifeSpring Maternity Hospitals, a portfolio company within the Acumen Fund (http://acumen.org) located in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. LifeSpring Hospitals (http://www.lifespring.in) is a joint venture between Hindustan Lifecare Limited and the Acumen Fund, and its mission is to become the leading health care provider delivering high-quality, affordable core maternal health care to low-income mothers across India. Since its inception in 2008, it has since expanded to 12 hospitals across Hyderabad with the aim of building 100 more across India in the next 5 years.

For the next couple of months, my project is to redeploy nurses, which represent the largest cost for LifeSpring’s operations, across 3 of their busiest hospitals located in Bowenpally, Moula Ali, and Chilkalguda. For this, I spent one week getting oriented to hospital practices, the next two weeks observing the morning and evening shifts across the Bowenpally hospital, and last week creating recommendations to increase nurse efficiency. For the next month, I will additionally spend two weeks each at the Moula Ali and Chilkalguda branches to observe and iterate changes to nurse staffing to determine whether or not they are optimally deployed and what/how changes can be administered to ensure that the company is operating efficiently.

I first found out about the internship through the CASI network (endless thanks to Aparna!!!) By speaking with a range of people including a past Acumen fellow who ended up spending 3 years at LifeSpring as well as a couple of CASI alum, I was able to figure out that spending a few months at this organization would be a wonderful way to work with another Indian social enterprise – and also spend time with my family, who is from the area.

As a wonderful surprise, when I got here, I also had the pleasure of working alongside a current Acumen fellow, Baheirah Khusheim, as well as a student intern, Emma Sheldon, pursuing her Master’s in Public Health at Harvard. Because the three of us had varied projects, it was great to get insight not only into the daily operations of a variety of hospitals and experience working with key leaders of the organization, but also to briefly touch on projects related to grant writing to support subsidized births as well as assessing and standardizing customers’ willingness and ability to pay.

In my time off, I’ve also been spending a lot of time back with my family both within and outside of the city and getting to explore various parts of the city with Baheirah and Emma – overall, it’s been a wonderful month back in India!

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