Connecting healthcare professionals in Central America through management and leadership development: A social network analysis

Andrea M. Prado, Andy A. Pearson, Nathan S. Bertelsen, José A. Pagán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Leadership and management training has become increasingly important in the education of health care professionals. Previous research has shown the benefits that a network provides to its members, such as access to resources and information, but ideas for creating these networks vary. This study used social network analysis to explore the interactions among Central American Healthcare Initiative (CAHI) Fellowship alumni and learn more about information sharing, mentoring, and project development activities among alumni. The CAHI Fellowship provides leadership and management training for multidisciplinary healthcare professionals to reduce health inequities in the region. Access to a network was previously reported as one of the top benefits of the program. Results: Information shared from the work of 100 CAHI fellows from six countries, especially within the same country, was analyzed. Mentoring relationships clustered around professions and project types, and networks of joint projects clustered by country. Mentorship, which CAHI management promoted, and joint project networks, in which members voluntarily engaged, had similar inclusiveness ratios. Conclusion: Social networks are strategic tools for health care leadership development programs to increase their impact by promoting interactions among participants. These programs can amplify intergenerational and intercountry ties by organizing events, provide opportunities for alumni to meet, assign mentors, and support collaborative action groups. Collaborative networks have great value to potentiate health professionals' leadership and management capabilities in a resource-constrained setting, such as the Global South.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalGlobalization and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020

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© 2020 The Author(s).


  • Central America
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Social network analysis


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