Rebecca (Becca) Kirby
Becca Kirby serves as a Research Assistant Professor and Lecturer in Kellogg’s Sustainability and Social Impact Program, and as Market Access Director for NEST360 (Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies). NEST360 works to reduce preventable newborn deaths in sub-Saharan Africa through the development of innovative technologies and the scaling of these life-saving medical devices across health systems. Through her involvement in market shaping activities, Becca works to design solutions that help better connect both the supply and demand side who face high transaction costs, information gaps, or risk imbalances that contribute to market shortcomings. In her role, Becca works to understand these challenges and design scalable and sustainable solutions, ultimately helping to build an efficient and functional marketplace for newborn services and equipment in Africa. She has worked closely with UNICEF to develop Target Product Profiles for newborn technologies in resource-limited settings, presented as a panelist on global World Health Organization (WHO) webinars, led market assessments in multiple African countries, and designed the first global Newborn Technology Landscape report.
Prior to her work at Kellogg, Becca worked as a consultant in Deloitte’s healthcare practice. She received her MBA from Kellogg and BBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Students who enroll in SSIM 673-5 in Winter Quarter will automatically be enrolled in SSIM 673-5 in Spring Quarter. Students will earn one credit (.5 in Winter and .5 in Spring) and receive a grade at the end of Spring Quarter. The class meets during the final five weeks of Winter Quarter and the first five weeks of Spring Quarter.
The Medical Technologies in Global Public Health course provides students the unique opportunity to inform the design and launch of medical technologies for developing countries by conducting market research. The students' findings will be shared with the developers of the medical technologies, including Northwestern University and several companies and philanthropists.
Prior market research trips have taken place in India, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia, each with a focus on medical technologies such as HIV tests, tuberculosis tests, and neonatal devices for small and sick newborns. This class typically requires a two week market research trip to an African country during Spring Break. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, a decision will be made in December on whether or not the course will be physically traveling to a country in Africa. The course will still take place even if the decisions is that it is not safe or reasonable to travel. Instead, students will be assigned to an Experiential Learning Project providing opportunity for virtual collaboration with partners across multiple African countries. This is the new normal for global health, at least for now.
Students will spend the second five weeks of Winter Quarter in the classroom learning the science of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other high-burden diseases; the background on medical technologies under development; and the essentials for conducting medical product market research in these geographies. Through interactive case studies and prominent guest lecturers, students will gain a holistic understanding and a broad overview of global health. During this time, students will also begin working with product developers from countries across Africa to better understand their products, needs and challenges.
Following this initial coursework, students will spend the next five weeks during the Spring Quarter conducting user interviews both virtually and locally to understand how the medical technologies are perceived by key stakeholders in the market, including: end-users at hospitals and clinics, government officials, and NGOs and distributors. These results will then be analyzed to synthesize key findings and provide recommendations to the developers of these medical technologies.
**Admittance to this course is by application only.**
Your accepted application for this class will also ensure that you will be enrolled in SSIM-673-5 in Spring Quarter.
This course may not be dropped once the student has been matched with a project or sponsor.More information about the application and due dates can be found here