McCaskey Safe Surgery Fellows

Lifebox is proud of the Lifebox McCaskey Safe Surgery Fellows program, supported by Michael McCaskey, to promote a teamwork approach to improving surgical and anesthesia quality and safety in Ethiopia.

About the Program

Established in 2018, the annual Lifebox McCaskey Safe Surgery Fellows program supports six to ten Ethiopian professionals from across the surgical professions of nursing, OB/Gyn, anesthesia, and surgery to develop their professional, quality improvement, and research skills. The program is guided by a Steering Committee chaired by Professor Miliard Derbew, surgeon and professor at Addis Ababa University and previous President of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa.

“The values of teamwork, lifelong learning, and service to others that the McCaskey Fellows program embodies are very close to my heart.”
Michael McCaskey

The Lifebox McCaskey Safe Surgery Fellows are Ethiopian clinical leaders who have shown interest and leadership in promoting surgical safety teamwork in their country. They are appointed for a year and work together as a team to develop a quality improvement project that requires a multidisciplinary team approach. In addition, they support relevant Lifebox programs and  training courses, work alongside Ethiopian surgical mentors to make surgery safer at their own facilities and beyond.

Each Fellow is expected to dedicate 2-3 days each month to participate in presentations and workshops. Fellows are assigned mentors from within their  profession to support and guide them on all of the activities, including conducting monthly workshops and presentations. With the goal of creating a cohort of champions to contribute positively to the culture of how surgical teams in Ethiopia perform, the program aims to provide the Fellows with relevant knowledge and skills, through:

  • Monthly Presentations on a range of topics, from personal development to technical safety topics.
  • Practical sessions on conducting research site visits to design quality improvement projects and support facility implementation.
  • Discussion and analysis of global surgery publications.

Honoring Michael McCaskey (1943-2020)

Michael McCaskey, the original founder of the Lifebox McCaskey Safe Surgery Fellows program, was an American sports executive and the chairman of the Chicago Bears in the National Football League from 1999 until 2011. Inspired by his experience in the Peace Corps, Michael sought to make the vision of safer surgery in Ethiopia come through through the Fellows program.

In 2017 Michael traveled to Ethiopia to meet with the clinicians in the Fellows program and to offer his visionary leadership. He is dearly missed by Lifebox.

McCaskey Fellows Celebration 2022

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