Follow the Leader: Panel Identifies Requirements of Public Health Leadership Programs

Forum on leadership training for the public health workforce

In January 1997, the Center for Health Leadership & Practice, a training, consulting and resource center for leadership development, sponsored a meeting of a 31-member group of providers, consumers and sponsors of public health leadership programs to explore the challenges of training leaders in public health.

Key Results

The Center reported the following recommendations from the meeting to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF):

  • There is an "extraordinary urgency" for public health leadership development.
  • There is a need to strengthen and support exist leadership development programs at national, state, regional and local levels.
  • New models of leadership development should emphasize community leadership, engaging a broad spectrum of persons committed to the health of the community.
  • Community leaders need linkages and forums to exchange ideas, forge actions and increase influence for public health.
  • Public health leadership training should be made ongoing and more available through mechanisms such as distance learning.

An important outcome of the project was the development of a new RWJF national program, The State Health Leadership Initiative, to meet the training needs of newly appointed state health directors.


RWJF provided $42,120 in funding from November 1996 to November 1997 to support the project.

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