Of the many goals we set out to achieve alongside our portfolio companies and their driven entrepreneurs, such as social impact and financial returns, RENEW and the Impact Angel Network (IAN) also seek to add value to the companies in the form of strategic relationship building.
Members of the IAN closed an investment in EAES in May 2015. EAES serves providers of emergency medical services and training in East Africa, Ethiopia in particular, in order to ensure that international and domestic clients have access to reliable, high-quality emergency care. EAES works in partnership with local firms, such as Tebita, by offering business development, procurement, and administrative support. This support drives medical service companies to operate more efficiently and thus, frees them up to focus on their core functions; providing quality medical care for patients in crisis.
EAES and Tebita, together, aim to improve the quality of and access to emergency healthcare services across Ethiopia and beyond. And now, we’re excited to announce that through RENEW and EAES’ business development efforts, Tebita will have a U.S. partner to assist them in the coming years on their journey to becoming a leader in emergency healthcare and response - Weber State University.
In July 2016, Bill Robertson, department chair and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Weber State University (WSU), spent a week in Ethiopia accompanied by Lisa Trujillo, director of clinical education in WSU’s Respiratory Therapy Program. Robertson and Trujillo met with the Kibret Abebe (founder of Tebita) and his team, visited the company’s training center and spoke with the deputy director to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to discuss the future of EMS in Ethiopia.
Robertson and Abebe collaborated on how WSU’s emergency care and rescue department could assist Tebita with developing programs that will further the efforts to establish educational and credentialing standards, and to provide a sustainable workforce of qualified emergency medicine providers for Tebita, as well as other agencies in Ethiopia.
“With the development of newer educational technologies, and the ever-increasing availability of broad-band internet capabilities in the developing world, we are able to collaborate with areas of the world such as Ethiopia in offering at least the didactic component of medical education,” Robertson said. “The face-to-face component of medical education that is necessary for skills and hands-on training is still a must, but with the ability to lecture from a distance, the time we spend there in person has become much more practical.”
As this relationship between WSU and Tebita continues to flourish, so too will the overall quality of emergency medical care in Ethiopia, leading to the prevention of unnecessary deaths and thousands of more lives saved. And that is a success story we all can get behind!