Incorporating Mobility in Healthcare Facility Location Models

Past event — 15 May 2019

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg, Room EE Lecture 2

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Dr. Harwin de Vries

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Humanitarian Research Group at INSEAD, France


The healthcare facility location literature has traditionally assumed that both patients and healthcare facilities are static: they do not move. This talk is about two location problems that violate these assumptions and thereby induce a need for new models and methods. We will first consider a network design challenge faced by NGO North Star Alliance, in which clinic locations are to be optimized with respect to mobile patients: truck drivers in sub-Saharan Africa. In the second case, clinics themselves are mobile, and the challenge is to optimally deploy them – i.e., to optimally change their locations over time. We will specifically consider the deployment problem faced by NGO Marie Stopes International, which uses over 500 family planning outreach teams to bring family planning services to remote areas and urban slums. This talk discusses the main challenges faced when incorporating mobility, how traditional models have been extended, and several key insights that resulted from their analyses.


Harwin de Vries is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Humanitarian Research Group at INSEAD. His research mainly focuses on complex health supply chain problems, with a particular focus on improving availability of essential medicines and scaling up access to essential health services. In close cooperation with relevant stakeholders, Harwin analyzes how such supply chains impact patients and how they could be improved. Harwin won several prizes with his research, including the INFORMS Healthcare Best Student Paper Award 2015, and published several academic papers in scientific journals, including Production and Operations Management, Omega, PLoS Computational Biology, and European Journal of Operational Research. Harwin holds a PhD degree in Operations Research from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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Birgit Kappert

Program Manager