Interview with Rizza Rivera: Young Executive Leaders 2022 participant

Date:  20 December 2022

Interview with Rizza Rivera: Young Executive Leaders 2022 participant

We asked Rizza (from Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center, Philippines) to share her thoughts  on her experience as a participant in the YEL 2022 programme, including her time at the World Hospital Congress in Dubai.


How did you come to apply, and be selected, for the YEL programme?

I was checking the official email of our facility when I came across the notification coming from the Philippine Hospital Association. The idea of converging with other young leaders from other parts of the world in an international setting excited me. I readily sent the IHF an application letter along with other requirements but I doubted whether I would be selected or not. But I was able to make it to the final cut, I am among the 42 cohorts of YEL 2022.

Did any particular masterclasses have a strong impact on you, make you reflect or make changes to your leadership activities?

While I appreciated all the masterclasses, the Leading Self Series by CMA has been the most impactful for me. It has allowed me to embark on a journey of deep introspection in discovering my strengths and weaknesses as a person and as a leader. The self-discovery afforded me useful insights on how I can better my performance as a young executive leader in the hospital and how, in my own way, I can be an agent and catalyst of change in my organization.

How did you find working with a group of peers with different international perspectives on your small project?

One of the highlights of my YEL experience was being able to work with like-minded young leaders from across the globe. The diversity of experiences, ideas, and practices has provided a strong backbone to our capstone project. While there may be differences in some aspects, the commonality in terms of healthcare challenges is very evident. Before the YEL experience, I really thought that most of the healthcare problems that berate the third-world countries are not evident or are non-existent in more progressive countries. But from our focus group discussions, I have learned that most of the challenges that we face in our organization are universal in nature. It is thus good to learn how the organizations that the other YEL participants come from cope and adapt to such challenges and hopefully apply the learning to our own institutions whenever applicable.

Tell us about your experience attending the World Hospital Congress

Being able to attend the World Hospital Congress in Dubai has been a huge blessing. Due to financial constraints and a shift in the hospital administration, I initially thought I would not be able to attend the congress in person. I reached out to our YEL programme manager and pitched the possibility of sponsorship even though it was beyond the deadline for sponsorship grants. The IHF was benevolent enough to hook me up with a sponsor, Intuitive, one of the pioneers of robotic-assisted surgery, through the Dr Kwang Tae Kim Trust Fund. These two entities have been instrumental in bringing me to Dubai. The World Hospital Congress was an enriching experience to me as I was able to learn from world experts, converge with healthcare leaders and connect with fellow YEL cohorts. We also got to visit hospitals in UAE that exhibit exemplary practices in their care processes in the hopes to learn from them firsthand and possibly apply them to our facilities. It is also very meaningful for me that I get to wrap up the discussions on sustainability with world-renowned leaders such as those from the Joint Commission International, International Committe of the Red Cross, World Health Organization, among others.

What you think being a YEL graduate will bring you (professionally or personally)?

After graduating from YEL, I automatically became a member of an exclusive YEL alumni network wherein we constantly exchange good practices and learning opportunities. I was also able to share the YEL experience across my social media platforms. In this manner, a good number of qualified young leaders are already able to connect with me and are just waiting for the next cycle of YEL.

Thank you, Rizza for answering our questions and for being a participant in the YEL 2022 programme!




Written by:

Katherine Bennett

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