Dr. ROB GILLIO AT A GLANCE
Education: MD, Rush Medical College, Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine, Mayo Graduate School
At EduCom: Board member and member of the Programs Committee
Work: Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer, Force for Health Network
Dr. Rob has been heavily involved in community service since his college days. His most noteworthy efforts were in the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. At Ground Zero, he helped set up a clinic to serve people involved in the rescue effort. This led him to work with the White House on population health initiatives. In New Orleans, he was one of the clinics’ organizer and youth engagement centers, which served around 8000 people.
Dr. Rob is very committed to using technology in the health services. In this pursuit, he has overseen the creation of better medical products and worked tirelessly to spread healthcare services and health literacy among health professionals and common people alike.
BROADENING EDUCOM’S HORIZONS/A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL PARTNERSHIP
Dr. Rob co-founded Force for Health with Lucy Howell based on the principle – If you want to change the situation, you need to change yourself first. Education, in health or any other domain, is the biggest factor that brings independence and change in society. So when he came across a LinkedIn notice advertising an opening in EduCom, he joined to help educate people in challenging situations.
He is a part of EduCom’s programs committee, where he uses his passion and skills to empower young people to be change agents for themselves and their families and communities.
EduCom and Force for Health are now partners in advancing the goal to create the healthiest generation ever. Force for Health provides EduCom with basic tools for engagement of local communities, scholarship recipients, and high schools in Ghana at no cost, and also the ability to use them to motivate people to apply for their scholarships. Some tools help facilitate a sustaining revenue for the scholarship program with health-related fundraising activities.
In the long-term, he wishes EduCom to earn the respect of local leaders and communities and for it to expand its work beyond Ghana. The biggest barrier on the ground for such meaningful change is the limited infrastructure of technology and communication, especially in rural areas.
Apart from doing such meaningful work, he enjoys meeting the successful board members from multiple cultures and nationalities. Dr Anne Grey’s decision to use the program to gain engagement, even before funds were raised was a satisfying experience for him.
SECRETS TO CONTINUOUS EFFECTIVENESS
Dr. Rob’s achievements and his outlook on change are underlined by one paramount attribute – being proactive. That habit helps him face down challenges and is the conviction behind his programs. When a person takes up the baton, he develops, overcomes, influences people around him and even brings about a change in his community at large.
Dr. Rob is not only significant in the dynamic fields of medicine, education and innovation, but he’s also an effective leader and agent of change. He attributes this success to his willingness to learn about problems from those around him and then train himself to solve those problems.
“Be prepared to reinvent yourself when your world changes.”
In his hard times, gratitude has helped him maintain perspective and given him the courage to push for what he can get and even survive if the answer is no. He has considered no task to be beneath him, and this, coupled with persistence and hard work, has made him a respected and valuable member of any team he works with.
“The answer is usually no, but it is always no if you don’t ask.”
Dr. Rob loves to teach and to do that he works hard to listen to those around him. Respecting local people, and asking them to lead the discussion, sharing success and credit with people he works with – such traits have developed him into a better leader.
His advice on becoming a productive human being – sustain yourself physically, mentally, spiritually and financially so you don’t get distracted or become a burden on others.
Interview Conducted by: Hajra Mirza