AVPN Global Conference 2023 | 20 - 22 June 2023


Improving Quality of Maternal and Newborn Health Care – Case Study Learning

By AVPN Academy





Date & time


16 August 2023



16 August 2023


About this event

In the last ten to fifteen years, India has seen a significant shift from home births to hospital births. The quality of healthcare in private facilities, which are used for over 25 percent of all institutional deliveries by women of all socio-economic backgrounds in Rajasthan, varies widely and its improvement plays a key role in decreased maternal and newborn mortality.

Analyze an outcomes-based financing approach to this problem and think of new solutions by joining Improving the Quality of Maternal and Newborn Health Care. This is the second of three Case Study Learning sessions supported by UBS Optimus Foundation where you can deepen your understanding of complex social and environmental problems to come up with innovative social finance solutions alongside peers, and under the guidance of experts and practitioners.

Ellen Smith
Utkrisht Director,

Ellen Smith is Palladium’s Utkrisht Director. She has 15 years of experience across many countries in program management, health financing, equity, data analytics, metrics, and modeling for strategic planning and policy audiences. She has worked on a wide range of health topics such as reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, infectious zoonotic diseases, as well as on environmental and educational topics. Ellen holds an MA in Demography from the University of California Berkeley and a BA in Anthropology, Economics, and International Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in New York City.

Marissa Leffler
Health Program Director,
UBS Optimus Foundation

Marissa joined UBS in 2018 to lead the health portfolio for the UBS Optimus Foundation. The Foundation has a global network and focuses on programs with the potential to be transformative, scalable and sustainable in the areas of child health, education and protection. In her role, Marissa rigorously selects and actively supports programs run by innovative entrepreneurs that use new approaches and technologies to solve problems that prevent children from surviving and thriving.

Prior to UBS, Marissa spent over 10 years at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she most recently served as the Innovation Team Leader in the Global Health Center for Innovation and Impact, a center of excellence established to accelerate the development, introduction, and scale up of priority global health interventions. In the Center, Marissa lead the Grand Challenge portfolios of innovations, including the design, launch, and execution of three Grand Challenges to source innovations to address the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the Zika outbreak in Latin America, and barriers to more effective health supply chains.


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