As the global burden of disease has transitioned from predominantly communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases, injuries, and disability, global rehabilitation needs will increase. Health systems must be organized to meet the rehabilitation needs of the population however this requires multisectoral action from stakeholders beyond just the rehabilitation sector.

In responding to the growing rehabilitation needs of the population, we must prioritize:

  • Political commitment to rehabilitation
  • Capacity development of decision-makers, governments, and rehabilitation professionals
  • Sustainable change through local leadership which takes ownership of its health needs

The Global Rehabilitation Leadership Institute (GRLI) was developed and implemented by the John Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) through the Learning, Acting and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems (ReLAB-HS) Activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Institute responds to the need to support, position, and retain country officials, health care providers, and other key stakeholders to serve as leaders in the field of rehabilitation and health systems strengthening. Through this, the GRLI will build leadership capacity to address the need for rehabilitation integration, inclusive of assistive technology (AT) into low- and middle-income countries’ (LMICs) health-systems. The inaugural offering of the GRLI took place in Munyonyo, Uganda, in September 2022, and included 55 participants from five countries.

With capacity building at its core, key features of the Institute include:

  • Activity-based leadership training which leaders will use to guide strategic action and change within organizations across all sectors
  • Learning from global faculty who are experts in health systems, rehabilitation service delivery, and implementation science
  • Collaborating with local, regional, and international colleagues to facilitate exchange of knowledge, ideas, and shared experiences
  • Certification from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Strengthening leadership for rehabilitation-inclusive health systems