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  • Writer's pictureAbby Fowler

The Impact of Dennis Jarpah's Mandela Washington Fellowship: Improving Healthcare in Liberia

Dennis Jarpah

Dennis Jarpah of Liberia came to Iowa as a Mandela Washington Fellow in the summer of 2022. As a proprietor of Den-Vera Medical Laboratory & Clinics, a clinic that provides affordable quality healthcare to women, children, and elders in rural communities, as well as being the chief executive officer of humanitarian organization Jarpah’s Foundation, Dennis is committed to improving healthcare and education in Liberia and across Africa. Since returning to Liberia, he has been very involved with developing stronger policies for his clinic.

“Before Iowa, my business had little financial policies, no business model and wasn’t profit oriented,” said Dennis. “Using the knowledge gained, my team and I have successfully developed a business model, [strengthened] the clinic's financial policies to increase revenue generation, purchased additional medical equipment, [and improved] on the quality of services offered at the Clinics.”

Executive Director Amy Alice Chastain and Dennis pose at happy hour.

The fellows are also involved in various service projects during their time in Iowa, exposing them to various parts of the local community. Dennis highlights one of these service projects as a favorite memory.

“One of my favorite moments was when Global Ties took us to Cedar Rapids as volunteers to support Central Furniture Rescue [to] take home [furniture] to [newly housed] people who are starting life over but do not have [furniture] in their new homes. This experience to date still brings me joy knowing that I was involved in helping a family smile,” said Dennis.

In all, Dennis saw tremendous impact from his summer in eastern Iowa. He has since received several speaking and panel invitations and has used his new network to benefit his business. We are so proud to have hosted him in our community!

“I found the missing pieces needed to develop my confidence and grow my business,” said Dennis.

About the Mandela Washington Fellowship

In collaboration with the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, Global Ties Iowa has had the privilege of hosting the Mandela Washington Fellows annually since 2016. This fellowship sponsors young leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa to spend six-weeks of the summer studying business, civic engagement, or public management at United States universities. Their time spent here is incredibly transformative, with the impact being clear soon after the fellows return to their home countries.

Sign up for our newsletter to get information about this summer’s Mandela Washington Fellows!

Dennis (third from left) poses in Iowa City with other Mandela Washington Fellows.


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