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Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute Kicks Off for 2017

Scholars at the 2017 Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute began their program year with the institute’s first onsite session, May 1–3, at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute Kicks Off for 2017

2017 Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute scholars and faculty gather for a photo during the institute's first onsite session, May 1-3, at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Scholars at the 2017 Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute began their program year with the institute’s first onsite session, May 1–3, at the University of Washington in Seattle.

May 12, 2017

The first onsite session of the 2017 Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute took place May 1–3, with participants hailing from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. Through presentations, discussions, panels, and problem-based learning cases, the scholars discussed topics such as conflict resolution, adaptive leadership, leadership styles, the life-course perspective, and collaborating across sectors to advance health equity—the core concept of Public Health 3.0.

Demonstrating the breadth of public health practice, the 2017 cohort represents a wide variety of agencies, including state health departments, local health departments, children’s advocacy groups, and organizations advocating for refugees and immigrants.

“We are excited about the professional diversity and backgrounds of this year's participants, which will enhance cross-sector learning opportunities,” said Institute Director Michelle Sarju, MSW. In addition to Sarju, 2017 leadership institute faculty members include Gita Krishnaswamy, MPH; Bruce Miyahara, MHA; Kurt O’Brien, MHROD; Jack Thompson, MSW; and Dennis M. Dennis, PhD, RN.

The leadership institute, which is also the cornerstone of the MCH Professionals Leadership Training Program, approaches leadership development through a life-course perspective—a focus on how experiences and exposures during particular critical stages shape health outcomes along life’s trajectory and for future generations.

A highlight of the session was a panel on the life course perspective and public health leadership, featuring Lacy Fehrenbach, MPH, CPH, Washington State Department of Health (DOH); Paj Nandi, MPH, Washington State DOH, and Astrid Newell, MD, Whatcom County Health Department. The panel was moderated by institute faculty member Tao Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, University of Washington. Presenters emphasized that the cumulative effect of risk and protective factors, particularly during sensitive periods, contribute in combination to health equities. By focusing on prevention of stressors and negative exposures in children’s early years and at other critical stages, public health leaders can improve population health outcomes.

During the months until the next onsite session, in early August, scholars will review the results of their 360-degree leadership assessments, develop an individual leadership plan, continue to engage in problem-based learning, attend presentations and panels from more regional public health experts, and begin their leadership projects at their home agencies—projects which culminate by the final onsite session in November.

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