Accelerator Health Systems Strengthening Open House

The Health Systems Strengthening Open House, hosted by the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator, featured informative and interactive sessions, including posters, plenary discussions, and concurrent sessions. Participants explored the latest innovations and progress in health systems strengthening, focusing on critical topics like: 

    • Enhancing primary health care through provider networks 
    • Reducing maternal mortality with safe blood systems 
    • Institutionalizing community health 

Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2024 

Time: 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM EST 


    • In-person: Results for Development (R4D) Office, 1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
    • Virtual: Via Zoom 

Agenda, Resources, and Recordings:


Session Title and Description


8:30 – 9:30 AM

Registration, Coffee, and Poster Session

Welcome and Reflections

Following a welcome from Results for Development’s CEO, Gina Lagomarsino, we will hear opening remarks from Mai Hijazi and Jodi Charles of USAID/Office of Health Systems and reflections from Accelerator leadership.

    • Gina Lagomarsino (President/CEO, R4D)
    • Mai Hijazi (Director, USAID Office of Health Systems, Global Health Bureau)
    • Jodi Charles (Sr. Health Systems Advisor, USAID Office of Health Systems, Global Health Bureau)
    • Dr. Nathan Blanchet (Accelerator Project Director, R4D)
    • Dr. Laurel Hatt (Sr Program Director, R4D)

Plenary 1: Making Integrated Health Systems Work for Priority Services

This session will explore how health systems can integrate a select set of programs and services historically funded and delivered vertically. Panelists will share insights on health systems strengthening approaches for rehabilitation services, COVID-19 immunization, and safe blood systems.


    • Dr. Linda Thumba (Technical Advisor, Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology, USAID)
    • Cheickna Toure (Program Director, R4D)
    • Dr. Mohammed Farouk (Managing Director, Africa Society for Blood Transfusion)
    • Lauren Rosapep (Associate Director, R4D)
    • Adeel Istiaq (Program Director, Health Financing Reform & Health Systems Strengthening, R4D)

Plenary 2: Transformative Approaches to Strengthening Community-based Primary Health Care Services to Achieve UHC

Primary health care is essential to realizing universal health coverage. This session will delve into recent reforms in Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, and Togo to examine: re-imagining primary care service delivery, integrating and strengthening community-level PHC, and promoting engagement with non-state actors for advocacy and social accountability.

    • Elizabeth Hammah (Associate Director, R4D)
    • Umar Kabo-Idris (Senior Program Officer, R4D)
    • Dr. Lior Miller (Program Director, R4D)
    • Gwladys Hermionne Agbofoun (Program Manager, Accelerator Togo)
    • Dr. Linda Vanotoo (Senior Program Director, R4D)

12:00 – 1:15 PM

Lunch and Poster Walk Around. Lunch will be provided. 

1:15 – 2:15 PM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Benefits Policy Design to Align Financing with Essential Services

This session will explore recent/ongoing benefits policy reforms in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Georgia and practical ways benefits policy is being aligned with health financing realities. We will also examine other vital considerations—e.g., analytical approaches, politics, and fragmentation in financing—that must be navigated to bring benefits policy and financing levers together to ensure coverage of a high-quality package of services and commodities.

    • Elizabeth Hammah (Associate Director, R4D)
    • Yodi Tesfaye (Program Director, R4D)
    • Dr. Akaki Zoidze (Health Policy & Systems Expert, Curatio International Foundation)
    • Dr. Cheryl Cashin (Managing Director, R4D)

Breakout 2: Next-Generation Approaches to Implementing Technical Assistance for Health Systems Strengthening

Moving beyond traditional, top-down technical assistance approaches is critical to strengthening HSS’s ability to effectively meet local needs, support country change agents, and further localize. In this session, panelists will share experiences using next-generation approaches to technical assistance—such as collaborative peer learning, co-creation, and coaching—and participants will brainstorm how HSS can build on these approaches in the future.


    • Julie Wieland (Manager, Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation)
    • Adwoa Twum (Senior Program Officer, R4D)
    • Leah List (Program Officer, R4D)
    • Amanda Folsom (Senior Program Director, R4D)
    • Lauren Rosapep (Associate Director, R4D)

Breakout 3: Incorporating Cross-Cutting Concepts into Health Systems Strengthening Work

Increasingly, within health systems strengthening (HSS) work, donors and implementers are incorporating social and behavior change (SBC), youth and resilience, and equity as crosscutting concepts. This panel will explore how incorporating these crosscutting concepts works and provide key lessons learned and implementation considerations.


    • Dr. Susan Pietrzyk (HSS/SBC Advisor, ICF)
    • Molly Lauria (Senior Research Specialist, ICF)
    • Dr. Athena Pantazis (Global Health Research and Evaluation Specialist, ICF)
    • Melanie Morrow (Senior Manager, ICF)
    • Neetu Hariharan (Outbreak Response Advisor, USAID Global Health Bureau)

2:15 – 3:00 PM

Open Walk Around & Poster Session