Staff Spotlight: Dr. Andritiana Tsirinomen’ny Aina Gella
Prior to joining the PIVOT team, Dr. Andritiana Tsirinomen’ny Aina Gella was working as a physician in various private clinics in Madagascar’s capital city of Antananarivo. When an opportunity arose for him to join a volunteer medical mission on the east coast of Madagascar, he jumped at the chance for a change of scenery. It was during that trip that he realized a passion he had that hadn’t yet been fully satisfied – treating not only the sick, but the most vulnerable.
He first heard about PIVOT from a friend, and decided to apply in an effort “change his life” by uprooting to a different part of the country for a new adventure in humanitarian service. In April of 2016, Dr. Aina, as he’s known to patients and colleagues, began his journey with PIVOT as an attending doctor at the Ifanadiana’s District Hospital.
Today, he serves as our Manager of Hospital Programs, giving his time to both clinical patient care and program management. Both sides of the job, he says, have the advantage of forcing him to learn new things constantly. One of the aspects he enjoys most about his role is getting to see and treat patients with conditions that he has never encountered before. From severely malnourished children to complicated surgical cases, the district hospital receives patients from across Ifanadiana District whose illnesses are too complex to treat at the health center level. The challenge of figuring out how to best serve each patient’s specific needs motivates Dr. Aina to improve his own knowledge and practice every day.
Dr. Aina’s bright smile and warm presence fill the district hospital whenever he is there. He’s serious and ambitious in his endeavor to improve the health of the district population while simultaneously exhibiting a great deal of compassion for all of those he encounters. From patients, to personnel, to partners, Dr. Aina navigates relationships with a kindness that leads to great productivity.
“Before entering PIVOT, I knew little more than that it is a humanitarian NGO dealing with the well-being of the population,” Dr. Aina says. “But now I know that PIVOT does so much more than that. What impressed me most at the beginning was learning that PIVOT was not limited to treating people within Ifanadiana District. No matter what treatment a patient might need, if it is not available within Ifanadiana District, PIVOT does not give up – we ensure that any patient can access the care that they need at no cost.”
In his nearly 3 years with PIVOT, Dr. Aina has come to consider it more than just a job, but a family. He loves the pace of life in Ifanadiana District, and is happy with his decision to trade city traffic jams for the fresh rainforest air – he enjoys it by playing volleyball and swimming in his spare time.
When asked to describe PIVOT, Dr. Aina chooses the word “empathetic” – a trait he embodies to the fullest. What makes him most proud of the organization is its unique emphasis on treating the whole patient, providing social support that goes beyond the health facility. He hopes to see PIVOT’s position of leadership in the realm of health care continue to grow both in Madagascar and beyond, and says he is motivated to play his part making PIVOT a world-renowned organization.
“Dr. Aina is a passionate clinician doctor who has taken to heart what it means to work in public service,” says PIVOT’s Country Director Dr. Ali Ouenzar. “He symbolizes the future of PIVOT, and we feel fortunate to have him heading up activities at the district hospital.” It’s safe to say that this sentiment shared by all who have had the chance to meet Dr. Aina in his role at PIVOT.