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New Rooney Scholars

Friday, January 13, 2017

A South African couple who are both doctors with expertise in analyzing health care costs and clinical outcomes are the spring semester Rooney Scholars living on campus in Rooney House.

Drs. Monwabisi Gantsho and Moloko Ramashala-Gantsho are collaborating with faculty and students at the School of Nursing and Health Sciences with lectures, classroom visits, research, and other work. Their expertise will be especially appreciated by students and faculty in the university's bachelor's and master's degree programs in health services administration.

Ramashala-Gantsho, who is a medical advisor and health risk manager for the private health insurance company MMI in Pretoria, says she and her husband are fortunate to be visiting the United States at a time when the debate about health care reform is in the news, as Republican leaders consider plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act signed into law by Barack Obama.

"I can sense the anxiety about the changing health care regime in America, that what is in place may change soon when some people thought it may have resolved some existing challenges," she said. "Our health care system (in South Africa) has challenges as well, though not the same kind."

Ramashala-Gantsho specializes in HIV/AIDS management programs, and practiced clinical medicine in both private and public hospitals in South Africa for 19 years. She also has been a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria Medical School.

Her husband is also a medical doctor and a consultant for Afris Health and Technologies, a Johannesburg medical technology company that specializes in nuclear cancer treatment. As the former chief executive of South Africa's regulator of private health insurers, and before that the head of the private practice and economic research department of the South African Medical Association — analogous to the AMA in the United States — Gantsho has traveled widely for international health care policy and systems conferences.

The Rooney Visiting Scholars Program, founded by RMU Trustee Emerita Pat Rooney in 2004, sponsors semester-long residence on campus for international scholars who serve as visiting faculty members teaching and working on research during their time on campus.