Dr. Garfee T. Williams
It is a known fact that Liberia’s health sector has been facing serious challenges over the year ranging from unqualified health workers, lack of modern equipment, medicines and brain drain of qualified and competent medical doctors. As a result of this, curable illnesses and diseases sometimes lead to the death of patients.
This is why the new government of Liberia headed by Ambassador George M. Weah needs to hire qualified health practitioners who have the ability to transform the country health sector. If Liberia is to succeed in the provision and delivery of qualified health services, then the need to tap on the expertise of individuals who have the tenacity to improve the health sector cannot be overemphasized.
One of such individuals is Dr. Garfee T. Williams.
Dr. Williams is a dynamic and highly trained medical and public health professional with extensive program management experience within the context of health systems, organization management and planning.
He boasts of more than 20 years’ experience working in public service at senior managerial and technical levels within the Liberian health system; with additional professional experience as a health worker, while studying in Uganda.
Dr. Williams has extensive knowledge of issues and trends in medicine and public health with emphasis on health system management/planning; policy compliance and regulations within the health sector; partnership coordination and capacity strengthening; and provision of general and specific (pediatric) care with in a clinical setting.
He is a strong organizational, leadership, representational and coordination skills with ability to adapt easily to new situations gained from working in senior management positions for more than 12 years in multinational and multicultural teams.
He also has excellent writing skills in proposal development and donor reporting; ability and resilience to work in extremely difficult circumstances based on experience of working for 10 years in a rural health facility in Liberia during its civil war; effective resource management skills gained from managing European Commission, USAID and UN supported projects; and also from partnership with ELCA and Danish Evangelical Mission, directly managing a cumulative budget of more than US$5 million over an eight year period.
Dr. Williams also has strong relationship to national and regional networks, including the Liberia Medical and Dental Association; Liberia Public Health Association; West Africa Network for Performance-based Financing (World Bank Group); West Africa College of Physicians.
Currently, Dr. Williams is the Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP)/Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD) Advisor – USAID Collaborative Support for Health Program (April 2015 to present)
The Deputy Chief of Party’s responsibility is to provide support, leadership and technical expertise for the overall management and implementation of the USAID-funded Collaborative Support for Health Project.
As member of the senior management team, the DCOP has responsibility for technical management, coverage and quality of implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of key interventions to support the Liberian Ministry of Health (central), County and District Health Teams to maintain and strengthen the achievements of previous and current investments in the national health system.
Additionally, he collaborated with the COP in MSH (the lead partner in the consortium of CSH) representation, strategy development, policy and norms formulation, project management, performance management planning, results monitoring, and client and partner management.
The DCOP also provides strategic leadership, coordination and oversight to interventions and relationships with the Liberian Ministry of Health, and serve as the senior management liaison with the COP to USAID.
The Deputy Chief of Party works with the HSS Advisor of the CSH consortium to provide technical oversight and direction of the CSH project’s objectives to build the capacity of the MOH at all levels.
The DCOP is the project’s technical expert in the area of human institutional capacity building (HICD) and will work closely with the Chief of Party, the project team, and local capacity building organizations to develop cutting edge capacity building practices, ensure their integration into the project’s overall strategy, and to provide technical assistance on institutional capacity building to key health sector actors at the central, county and district levels.
This also covers responsibility for ensuring that project results are reported on and communicated in line with project guidelines. Under the leadership of the Chief of Party, the DCOP is responsible for key documentation required by the MOH and/or USAID.
These will include, but not be limited to, annual progress reports, annual work plans, and other documentation needed or required to demonstrate program progress.
Dr. Williams served as Health Technical Advisor for Africare – Liberia February 2013 to April 2015.
The position has oversight responsibility of the country program’s health portfolio including all ongoing health projects. It provides technical guidance to all health projects and leads the development process of our country led health strategy.
It includes representation in health coordination processes with the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, the Government of Liberia and donors.
From December 2005 –February 2013, Dr. Williams served as County Health Officer/Medical Director for Bong County and Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing.
As Medical Director of Phebe Hospital, Dr. Williams was accountable to manage, lead, direct and shape a vision for Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing within the context of medical and community health services; and in line with the established policies, principles and operating practice of the institution, as well as good management practice. Phebe Hospital is a 200-bed regional hospital with a complex funding source which includes USAID, EU, ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), DEM (Danish evangelical mission), the Bavarian church of Germany, and the government of Liberia (GOL) through the ministry of health (MOH).
The hospital also had its own training program for nurses, midwives, nurse anesthetists, and laboratory technicians
In this position, Dr. Williams made several achievements.
He successfully instituted a staff career development programme that increased the capacity and quality of the senior staff portfolio; and benefitted 11 senior managers over a three year period; restructured institution to increase quality, accountability and effectiveness through an improved performance management system, development of policies and procedures that increased organizational health and capacity development of staff aligned to donors’ requirements, compliance to government’s regulations and development strategy and communities’ priorities; established first regional blood safety programme in central Liberia with support from GFATM.
He led the integration of the Liberia Fistula Rehabilitation Programme into mainstream medical services; increased national budget allocation to Phebe Hospital through the development and implementation of a fundraising and advocacy strategy.
Through partnership, he strengthened the capacity of middle level health workers to provide emergency obstetric and new-born care to ensure a reduction in maternal and new-born mortality.
As County Health Officer, he submitted health services reports (administrative, technical, contingency) quarterly to the office of the Director of Health Services Division, using the designated reporting formats; conducted monthly County Health Sector Coordination meetings with all partners; established the County Health and Social Welfare Board, and hold quarterly CHSWB meetings, (as the Secretary to the Board) and inform CHSWB members of all ongoing health activities in the county, among others.
In 2010, Dr. Williams graduated from the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) Antwerp, Belgium with Master’s in Public Health (MPH) – emphasis in Strategic Management and International Health Policy Training included: Health Economics, Health System Thinking, Health System Analysis and Framing and Development Analysis of Models. Research focused on integration of mental health services at primary level of the health system.
He graduated from the College of Pediatrics and Child Health, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda (2002-2005) with Master’s in Pediatrics and child health (M. Med-Candidate) Training included: Pediatrics Infectious Diseases and New-born Resuscitation; Adolescent Health; and Decentralization of Health Systems in Africa.
Research focused on determinants of serum zinc concentrations among children aged 6-59 months attending the acute care unit (ACU) of Mulago Hospital.
Dr. Williams also graduated from A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia in September 1996 with Doctor of Medicine. In 1987, he obtained Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Chemistry from the University of Liberia.