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Patient Coordinator -Northern Region at Operation Smile

  • Full Time
  • Mzuzu
  • Salary: 00

Operation Smile

Job description

Job Type 



Position Overview:

A Patient Coordinator’s primary responsibility is specifically related to the patients. Their role is focused on the social components of sequencing patients and providing additional logistical and psychosocial support. Coordinators must have a broader understanding of the contextual factors that patients face when accessing care so that the most appropriate resources to mitigate the barriers to care can be provided.

This role supports strategic plan development and regional outreach and awareness activities. Monitoring and evaluation experience is an asset in this role as Patient Coordinators are also responsible for patient recruitment data capturing, reviewing patient surveys and adapting program design to better support patient-centered care. Patient Coordinators play a key role in engaging field-based patient management volunteers (Community volunteers, community health workers, health and birth facility focal points, local leaders). They also oversee the regional / local outreach campaigns and media partnerships.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Serve as the main point person in the Malawi northern region between Operation Smile Malawi, patients and families and community leaders.
  • Undertake patient management activities, with support from the Country Manager and Program Manager, including supporting pre-screening, sequencing patients to surgical care, and post-operative follow-up care.
  • Design and implement patient recruitment strategies; In collaboration with the Program Team, develop partnerships (hospitals, Regional and Council Health management team, local leaders, NGOs, UN agencies, Community Health Workers and other influential people in the community, corporate) to broaden the scope and reach of efforts to find patients.
  • Engage local level stakeholders to support patient management activities.
  • Lead community mobilization activities and continuously seek ways to strengthen and improve.
  • Carry-out administrative tasks including, documenting operated and unoperated patient information in a database; managing the patient interaction log (weekly); developing a database for patient referrals; creating and managing a database of all the contacts/focal points that Operation Smile has in the region such as, birth and health facilities, local NGO, church leaders.
  • In partnership with the Program team, organize post-operative care check-ins for patients at health facilities with appropriate medical volunteer teams to conduct care assessments.
  • In collaboration with the Program team manage Patient Advocacy and Accompaniment Programming: Support recruitment of Patient Advocates, administer stipends (where applicable), ensure agreements are in place, deliver training and monitor program performance.
  • Financial responsibility of patient management areas to ensure appropriate budgeting and reporting in partnership and with support from the Country Manager and Financial Manager.
  • Assist in general program support as needed.
  • Facilitate special projects as needed.

Essential Functions

Community Mobilization

  • Responsible for community mobilization activities and overseeing community-based volunteers.
  • Design and implement community mobilization/outreach strategies and undertake field visits to support activities.
  • Design, schedule and organize training modules for local level patient management volunteers (community health workers, community volunteers, local leaders, health facility focal points)
  • Set up meetings with hospitals and clinics; arrange meetings with chiefs and traditional authorities; find point person at each health/birth care facility or in each town/village.
  • Manage finances to ensure budget aligns with field and outreach activity plans.

Patient Care and Management

  • Provide ongoing communication and support to patients and families from first point of contact throughout care pathways.
  • Create a strong relationship with patients and guardians to continuously assess if their needs are being met.
  • Escort patients through the prescreening process.
  • Review the surgical and non-surgical needs of each patient to understand patient objectives and needs of patients.
  • Ensure that all patients are contacted leading up to surgery to confirm their arrival and make any prior arrangements; Continuous communication with patients and families to ensure ongoing support.
  • Oversee admission of patients prior to surgery.
  • Ensure that adequate numbers of patients travel to short-term and hospital partner sites on the correct dates.
  • Manage patient surgical expectations and engage medical teams where needed.
  • Identify malnourished patients to be enrolled in nutrition programming and ensure that these patients are regularly followed up in their communities to optimize their nutrition status
  • Responsible for patient national transport (from home to surgical sites and back); while ensuring cost efficiency.
  • Responsible for patient expense reimbursement.
  • Ensure availability of translated materials for patients.
  • With the program team, identify and implement appropriate care needed by each patient before and after surgery: nutrition, dental, speech, psychological support.
  • Work closely with the program team to organize the logistics, materials, and supplies to support recommendations for ongoing comprehensive care through Hospital Based Partnerships and home-based care alternatives.

Surgical Programs

  • For surgical programs, manage all patient-centered logistics so that patients can attend screening – patient village/shelter preparations (bed, sheets, spaces, etc.), managing patient logistics (food, water, transportation, etc.)- consider language barriers.
  • Liase with the relevant contacts at the hospitals to ensure that patients will be received well and handled appropriately when they arrive at the hospital setting for services.
  • Maintain patient lists to ensure effective and efficient patient shelter management.
  • Organize patient information and orientation sessions for all patients at screening (ex. Screening process, selection and announcement, surgery days).
  • Create patient return lists after patient announcement and schedule accordingly.
  • Schedule patient workshop itinerary with partners and volunteers.

Post-Operative Care and Follow up

  • Support the Program Coordinator during the seven-day post-op.
  • Ensure patients receive a discharge booklet that details early identification of post-operative complications and clearly explains follow-up instructions.
  • Communicate to patients the importance of attending post-operative visits.
  • Organize and lead post-op follow – specifically for 6-month post-operative care.
  • Ensure timely Follow up of all nutrition patients. Or post-operative care visits, both to the assessment site and back home.
  • Encourage patients and caregivers to remain engaged with Operation Smile as Patient Advocates and Smile Ambassadors.
  • Ensure timely follow up of all nutrition patients.


Education /Experience required

  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, medicine, nursing, health care management, Non-profit management or a related field
  • Project management skills in public health or related field
  • Customer facing experience is a plus
  • Work experience in an international NGO or non-profit context preferred

Characteristics/Skills Required

  • Highly capable verbal and written communication skills with fluency in local and English languages
  • Ability to articulate the position of Operation Smile with respect to development, global health delivery, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Team spirit, flexibility, commitment, initiative and creativity.
  • A self-starter who is willing to learn and mature.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and Office products highly preferred
  • Knowledge of RedCap an asset
  • Must be proficient in managing relationships and building networks.
  • Willingness to travel and stay away from base station from time to time.

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