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Eyeing Changing Times Ahead, Scholars Wrap Up 2016 Leadership Institute

Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute 2016 scholars completed their final three-day onsite session in mid-November, with presentations from special guests, faculty, and institute scholars, as well as conversations about changing times ahead.
Eyeing Changing Times Ahead, Scholars Wrap Up 2016 Leadership Institute

Local public health leaders meet with institute scholars.

Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute 2016 scholars completed their final three-day onsite session with presentations from special guests, faculty, and institute scholars.

December 5th, 2016

Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute 2016 scholars completed their final three-day onsite session in mid-November, with presentations from special guests, faculty, and institute scholars, as well as conversations about the changing times ahead. Many of the cohort’s 27 scholars announced that they had taken on new leadership responsibilities or roles in recent months.

Topics at this onsite session included collaborating across sectors, population health, collective impact, gun violence and injury data, conflict resolution, communicating with media, and the role of public health leaders in addressing climate change and health equity. Scholars also presented the results of the leadership projects they had been working on for months.

Institute scholar Sarah Fanucci, MSW, reflected, “The Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute was an exceptional experience. It offered me a vocabulary around organizational systems and systems change, as well as leadership approaches that really grounded my thinking and allowed me to feel more prepared and confident to meet the needs of my program(s) and successfully influence the systems within which I operate.” Scholar Katie Curtis, MPH, MEP, CHES, added, “The Leadership Institute exposes you to a wide variety of subject matter experts, points of view, and challenges that we all face day to day. I found it professionally challenging, and the tools and skills I’ve gained will be useful in my career.”

With the institute following barely a week after the 2016 presidential election, Leadership Institute Director Michelle Sarju, MSW, saw an opportunity to ensure emerging leaders are prepared to face changes ahead. “With the Affordable Care Act and other areas, we know that change is coming. Public health will need to be nimble and able to respond quickly in a way that continues to improve population health,” said Sarju.

Institute guest faculty member Kurt O’Brien, MHROD, started the first morning session with an opportunity for everyone to share their feelings and reflections on the election’s implications—personally, for communities, and for population health. As part of a session on leading crucial conversations, this activity built on previous months’ trainings on topics such as change management styles, peer coaching, equity, and policy.

In what many scholars called their favorite part of the three-day session, a panel of local public health leaders discussed insights from their long leadership careers, then talked in small “speed mentoring” groups with scholars seeking advice about their own career trajectories. The panel of luminaries—members of which started affectionately referring to the group as the “public health avengers”—included: Janna Bardi, MPH; Sheila Capestany, MPH, MSW; Joe Finkbonner, RPh, MHA; Maxine Hayes, MD, MPH; Patty Hayes, RN, MN; Rep. Laurie Jinkins, JD, MS; Frankie T. Manning, RN, MAN; and Rogelio Riojas, MEChA. In an evaluation of this activity, one scholar reflected, “[The mentors] contributed inspiring and contextualizing stories and provided meaningful and specific advice that affected me profoundly.”

The 2016 cohort represented a wide range of public health professionals, many of whom worked in areas directly impacting or related to maternal and child health. They came from local and state health departments, tribal health centers, public health nursing, community-based organizations, and advocacy groups. “This cohort has expanded their understanding of so many intersecting issues, and honed their skills crucial to being proactive and responsive public health leaders,” said Sarju. “I look forward to seeing what they continue to accomplish in the years to come.”

Institute faculty and NWCPHP staff are already planning for the 2017 institute. Registration typically opens in February. Keep an eye on the Leadership Institute section of the NWCPHP website or contact Deborah Gardner for more information.

To see photos from the 2016 institute, view our Facebook album.

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