CHOP Launches First Global Health Nursing Fellowship in Botswana

Published on

Beginning in January 2023, neonatal nurses from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) will travel to Botswana to help train Botswana’s nurses in neonatology to improve the health of the country’s smallest citizens. In partnership with CHOP Nursing, CHOP Global Health Center, the Botswana-UPenn Partnership and colleagues in Botswana, this is CHOP’s first Global Health Nursing Fellowship.

Sally Poliwoda, MPH, BSN, will lead this program as Clinical Program Director of Global Health Nurse Fellows. Sally has an extensive clinical background and experience in program development and leadership. Over the course of her career, Sally has worked at CHOP as a staff nurse in the Cardiac Care Unit and as a staff nurse and Clinical Nurse Leader in the Emergency Department. Internationally, Sally has served as a nurse volunteer at St. Jude Hospital – St. Lucia, West Indies, and as a nurse leader with the CHOP Global Health Center for the Allies Program to Consuelo, Dominican Republic, and for a Pediatric Needs Assessment in Francistown, Botswana. Additionally, Sally has served as a Pre-Post-Operative Nurse Leader on the Surgical Care Team and as Quality Assurance Officer in the Quality Assurance Department for Operation Smile.

More about Botswana and the Global Health Nursing Fellowship:

  • In Botswana, significant advances have been made in child health, but progress in neonatal health has been slower. Despite more than 98% of deliveries occurring in a health care facility and 99% attended by a skilled healthcare worker, neonatal mortality rates have changed little over the last 20 years – the annual reduction in newborn mortality rate is 0.4% per year between 2000-2018.
    • In fact, more than 50% of deaths of children under 5 years in Botswana now occur in the neonatal period.
  • Working together with the University of Pennsylvania, CHOP’s Global Health Center has maintained a long-term partnership in Botswana for more than 20 years with the broad goal of improving the health of the country’s citizens.
    • At Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana (the main referral and teaching hospital for the country), CHOP partners with the University of Botswana (UB), Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the Botswana-University of Pennsylvania Partnership (BUP) to jointly provide clinical care for more than 1,000 children each year. Current and past areas of focus include general pediatrics, neurology, infectious diseases, microbiology, sedation, allergy/ immunology, radiology, and pathology.
    • This new nursing global health fellowship enhances CHOP’s ability to work more closely with nursing colleagues at Princess Marina Hospital and strengthens CHOP’s Global Health team with Sally Poliwoda serving as a nurse leader in Global Health.

Contact: Kaitlyn Tivenan, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-8614 or

two nurses smiling

Nursing Professional Development

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia holds nursing practice to the highest standards, supporting the achievement of high-quality patient care and professional nursing advancement.