VOLUNTEERS STORY WALL

Andy Boettcher

Calgary, AB
Canada

PARTNERS IN HOPE

Lilongwe, MALAWI
AFRICA

Role:                      Director of Operations

Posting Period:  Nov., 2013 through Oct., 2016 (36 months)

Reported to:      Dr. Perry Jansen, Executive Director

Prof. Skills:        Executive Leadership, Administration,
                             Financial Management, HR Management, 
                             Information Technology Services, 
                             Facilities Management, Supply Chain
                             Management Project Management

Delivery Partner
Services

  • Primary Health Care
  • HIV/AIDS Care
  • Community Health
  • Family Planning
  • Inpatient Wards
  • Day Surgery
  • Rural Medical Centre
    Services Training

People Groups
Impacted

Main Entrance Road Sign
Medical Centre Main Building and Ward
120 Staff Members, Medical & Support
Moyo Clinic (free services) Waiting Room
Remodeled Main Patient Reception
Dalitso Clinic (paying patients) Waiting Room
Mphatso - Finance Manager
Finance Team soon after Arrival
2 Bedroom Cottage Accommodation for Posting
Executive Leadership Team: Andy,John,Perry, Dan
Dr. Jones examines young patient - village house call
Village Follow-up Visit on Motorcycles
Andy Training PIH Staff
Operations Management Team: Doreen, Joseph, John, Zione, George
Man on Bicycle carrying Firewood
Andy in Dugout Canoe - Lake Malawi
Andy with Head Nurse and VCT Counsellor
Andy with Operations Management with farewell book gifts
Operations Management express their Thanks
ELT with PIH Board of Directors
More Canadian doctors arrive to assist Dr. Jansen
Birds of Malawi - Bohemian Bee Eater
Staff Farewell Party given for Andy's 3-yr Volunteer Service
Andy & his wife Sonya and their 3 Children

Andy’s Story of Volunteer Service

My story is a bit unique on this “Story Wall” as it’s the first one!  It’s actually the story that laid the foundation for this unique Canadian society.  Hands and Feet International was borne out of my personal experience serving as Operations Director for Partners in Hope, in Lilongwe, Malawi.  If I could have as much fun and fulfillment out of what I did there, surely I could find a way to help other professionals like myself also have a similar or even better experience!  While I had done the “cookie cutter” group short term missions several times through my local church, I never felt that I had really accomplished something unique and something that really took advantage of my business experience gained though my many years in industry.  It was the first time I could really say that my passion to serve and my business competencies came together in a very unique opportunity.  Having lived and worked in Malawi as a family eight years earlier, I knew the country, people, culture, and also knew that there was a great need for quality, affordable healthcare.  Public healthcare delivery in Malawi continued to face many challenges, especially since the AIDS epidemic hit them full on shortly after the turn of the 21st century.

When the opportunity presented itself at Partners in Hope through my friend Dr. Perry Jansen, I never understood at the time, just how impactful my business skills and experience would be to this organization. I was a an Engineer, not a Doctor!  But what I quickly learned after arriving and settling in was that like most service delivery organizations in the third world, the core services that are going out the front door and serving needy people in the community are mostly happening with a high level of quality, care and in general terms meet the intended needs their mission set out to achieve.  But it was what was happening (or not happening!) behind the scenes, in the back office is where I learned I could make a major difference and bring my skills and competencies to take the organization to a whole new level.  This back office had some of the basics set up but was seriously lacking policy, strategy, competencies, process integration, inter and intra-departmental communication proficiency and needed a major injection of how to work efficiently and effectively.  As much as reasonably good medical services were being given to our patients, most front line staff (receptionists, nurses, patient attendants, ambulance drivers, – basically everybody interacting with patients) had never been formally trained in how to deliver customer service – consistently and to a high professional level that made our clients want to come back to get more great service. So all of those “gaps” is where my role as Director of Operations focused for the next three years.  The latter stages focused on creating a good hand-off to my successor – a local Malawian. And all through the three-year journey I was focused on growing and building the finest senior leaders reaching their fullest potential, through regular coaching, mentoring and basically investing my collective learning’s of what it takes to lead people and teams over the last 35 years.

Here is a brief summary of what I was privileged to be a part of delivering for Partners in Hope over my 36 month volunteer posting engagement as Director of Operations:

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