Former Ethiopia hospital CEO to lead global women's health center

While an obstetrics and gynecology resident in Ethiopia, Dr. Lia Tadesse saw too many women suffer and die simply because they didn’t have access to proper care. She vowed she’d pursue a path in ob-gyn to help prevent such deaths in her home country.

Now, the former hospital executive will play a key role in improving maternal health in Ethiopia as the new executive director of the Center for International Reproductive Health Training at the University of Michigan.

“I saw women die from preventable deaths and I knew I had to get involved with efforts to help stop it,” says Tadesse who is known in Ethiopia as “Dr. Lia.”

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead a center that will play a critical role in saving lives and empowering women. Women are the anchors of their families and communities. Stronger, healthier women lead to more stable families and ultimately, a more productive country.”

CIRHT, based in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the U-M Health System, launched in 2014. In this first phase, the center is working with nine medical schools in Ethiopia to help integrate comprehensive reproductive health training for aspiring doctors, nurses and midwives.

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