NYMC > News and Events > News Archives

Dr. Mboge Plants Seeds of Change from The Gambia to New York

Baturu Mboge, M.P.A., M.P.H. '15, Dr.P.H. '17, Breaks Barriers and Nurtures Change as a Global Health Leader

June 18, 2024
 SHSP alumnus Baturu Mboge
Baturu Mboge, M.P.A., M.P.H. '15, Dr.P.H. '17

A Gambian by birth and upbringing, Dr. Mboge grew up in a rural community, where he witnessed the lack of resources and limited opportunities for women, people in rural areas, and people with disabilities. These early experiences fueled his passion for social justice and community development. After attending The Gambia College School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where he earned an advanced diploma in general agriculture, he worked with the Ministry of Education as a teacher in junior secondary schools, and later with a nonprofit organization supporting women groups engaged in rice production and vegetable gardening in rural Gambia. 
“I worked very closely with civil society organizations, youth, women, and faith-based organizations on human rights, poverty, and other forms of deprivation in African communities,” said Dr. Mboge. “Something I was able to link to social and economic determinants of health during my studies at New York Medical College (NYMC).” 
Dr. Mboge’s academic and professional journey is a testament to his dedication to development and social justice. He earned his bachelor's in development studies with a minor in sociology at the University of The Gambia, and a diploma in management studies and information technology at the Management Development Institute in 2005. Concurrently, he also worked as a development trainer with the West African Rural Development Centre, conducting training in rural Gambia and Ghana on participatory development; with the Child Fund International in The Gambia as a program site coordinator for community development initiatives; joined the African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies as a program assistant; and served as the co-chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty in The Gambia. 
A hunger for more knowledge and influenced by his background in human rights, Dr. Mboge traveled 4,000 miles to the United States in 2006, leaving his successful career to pursue a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on emergency management at the City of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “Growing up in Africa, I witnessed the challenges posed by disasters," he said. "I focused on emergency management to help communities in need with disaster preparedness, mitigation, recovery, and response." 
A graduate during the Great Recession, uncertain of his future, Dr. Mboge was all but discouraged to pursue his passions when he graduated in 2009. He trained as a live-in caregiver and provided quality care to individuals with long-term needs, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
“Being a caregiver was one of the best highlights of my career,” he said. “I cannot describe the feeling you get when the people you support look at you and say, ‘Thank you for helping me.’ The families have been incredible and make you feel at home.” 
One of the many people he supported was an employee at the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD). Dr. Mboge cared for him at home and at work. “He is a young man with a vision and together we cultivated a true friendship anchored on respect,” he said. “I built a good relationship with him and his family. I am happy to be part of his circle of support to this day and supported his dreams and vision of a better community. I attended self-advocacy trips in Albany with him and heard him speak about matters that I would later study at NYMC.”  
After learning about WIHD’s affiliation with NYMC, as he worked as a Medicaid service coordinator and support broker for WIHD, Dr. Mboge learned about the opportunity of getting a degree in public health. Welcomed by the admissions office, faculty and students it was easy to join the NYMC community. Dr. Mboge graduated with his M.P.H. in 2015 and Dr.P.H. in 2017, as he continued to work for WIHD as a Medicaid service coordinator program supervisor and self-direction broker.  
“Education is the greatest equalizer,” said Dr. Mboge. “I always believed that people are born equal, but we are born into an inequality of circumstances. Based on my experience working in under-resourced communities in Africa and the United States, as well as with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, I have always viewed it as a moral obligation to get an education, which would prepare me for the role of expanding opportunities and discovering new possibilities. NYMC contributed to that and strengthened my resolve for this journey.” 
For his doctoral dissertation, he examined the extent to which attitudes towards female genital cutting in The Gambia are influenced by empowerment status of Gambian women. He looked at the prevalence of the practice by age, employment, educational level, ethnicity, region, religion, female genital cutting status, among other factors. Using ecological and women empowerment frameworks, his study found that women's attitudes towards female genital cutting are significantly affected by their circumcision status, suggesting that education-focused investments could change attitudes towards the practice over time. 
In July 2018, Dr.Mboge joined the Advance Care Alliance of New York (ACANY) as a senior director of care management. Currently, he works as the vice president for learning and development for ACANY and LIFEPlan CCO, which are organizations that deliver care management services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In his role, he supports the mission of the agencies by providing comprehensive training to 1,600 employees, building partnerships within the learning community, and leading the development of workforce programs for intellectual and developmental disabilities, focusing on person-centered engagement and institutional effectiveness. 
Dr. Mboge, who has had a successful career in human rights and public health policy, considers his most significant achievement to be nurturing relationships and building trust with people over the years. Reflecting on his impact, he said, “We all have dreams and the capacity to contribute to our communities. People will remember your impact through your contributions in building better communities.”