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2013–14 Management Certificate Cohort Uses Program to Meet Workforce Development Needs

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services used Management Certificate program to build individual skills and strengthen workforce capacity.
2013–14 Management Certificate Cohort Uses Program to Meet Workforce Development Needs

Management Certificate mentor Carl Osaki, RS, MSPH, networking with scholars at the kickoff session.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services used Management Certificate program to build individual skills and strengthen workforce capacity.

July 24, 2014

Thirty public health professionals primarily from Montana have successfully completed NWCPHP’s Public Health Management Certificate (PHMC) program.

The training came to fruition through a partnership between NWCPHP and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to help the department implement workforce development and accreditation efforts. The Montana DPHHS selected managers and supervisors from public health organizations at both state and local levels to participate in the 2013–14 certificate program.

“The PHMC course work meets important workforce development needs for our agency that most public health departments encounter,” said 2013-14 program scholar, Lindsey Krywaruchka.

Many scholars focused their integrated projects on the outcomes from their agency’s Division Strategic Plan, and their State Health Improvement Plan, resulting in a strategic and system-wide approach for quickly strengthening public health agencies at the state and local levels. “I think as an agency we will continue to reap the benefits of this program and what it taught our staff for years to come.”

The 12-month program develops participants’ skills for managing people, budgets, and information to increase workplace efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. Scholars participate in a one-week on-site session, take online core and elective courses, and work on an integrated workplace project, all under the guidance of program mentors.

The on-site session for the 2013–14 cohort was held at the University of Montana in July 2013, in conjunction with the Montana Public Health Summer Institute. NWCPHP faculty and staff provided an overview of the core course material to come. Due to the extended length of this cohort’s on-site session, scholars were able to spend more time with the mentors than in previous years, even networking with mentors through an interactive “speed-date” format.

“Thorough discussions with mentors at the kickoff session of the program year really helped scholars shape their integrated projects and set them on the right track,” said program coordinator Janell Blackmer.

In addition to access to mentors, 2013–14 scholars found the integrated projects to be a beneficial component of the program. Integrated projects allow scholars to apply the knowledge and skills gained from their coursework to real-world situations. Scholars choose an integrated project that is timely and relevant to their current position, working on their project throughout the program year. At the end of the program year, scholars give a 15-minute presentation on their project, followed by a final report. Results from the 2013–14 PHMC program evaluation showed that 93% of participants rated the integrated project as a useful way to apply the skills learned in the program.

“The integrated projects gave us an arena to practice the new skills we were learning,” said 2013–14 program scholar, Gayle Shirley. “I had valuable support from NWCPHP staff, mentors, and fellow scholars in developing a quality improvement (QI) plan for my health department. We are now in the process of implementing the QI plan, which will benefit our agency and the people we serve. It will also move us another step closer to national accreditation.”

Interested in learning more about the Public Health Management Certificate program? Contact Janell Blackmer, Management Certificate Coordinator.

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