You are here: Home / Training / Trainings We Offer / Leadership Institute / Curriculum


The Leadership Institute uses a model called problem-based learning and a combination of on-site and distance-based models to complete the nine-month curriculum. The 2017 institute focuses on the life course perspective in public health leadership, and uses a health equity lens.

The 2017 Leadership Institute theme focuses on the life course perspective in public health leadership, and uses a health equity lens. Scholars learn through a variety of formats, including an interactive model called problem-based learning, in which scholars take initiative to learn leadership skills together through relevant, real-world, and timely case studies.


The innovative nine-month program draws a diverse cohort of scholars from public health, primary care, and beyond, especially those whose work connects with maternal and child health or a life course perspective.

Framed through a life course lens, the 2017 program looks at health and leadership from a holistic and social justice-oriented perspective.

With examples drawn from MCH, life course, and health equity topics, scholars build collaborative leadership and change management skills necessary to effectively work with communities, colleagues, Accountable Communities of Health, Coordinated Care Organizations, health care systems, community-based organizations, and policymakers.

Learning Formats

The cohort participates in in group assignments, panels, lectures, webinars, and discussions, and uses problem-based learning to explore real-life situations public health leaders face in various parts of the field. Participants complete curriculum via:

  • Three on-site sessions. Each on-site session takes place in Seattle, Washington and lasts three days. The on-site sessions are the core of the program, and are enhanced by distance-based learning components. At each session, scholars learn from faculty, presenters, panelists, and each other about topics relevant to leadership development. Past topics have included change management, applying a life course perspective, systems thinking, understanding adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), communicating with elected officials, using a social justice framework, leadership through funding loss, collaborating across sectors, and many more. Planning for each session occurs in the months prior to the session. For a sense of the curriculum, you can view the 2016 schedule.
  • Distance-learning assignments. Subject-matter experts and national leaders conduct webinars and online discussions. Faculty mentors convene scholars for phone calls or webinars on problem-based learning cases. Scholars should also plan time to prepare cases or other activities as assigned (4–8 hours per month).
  • Individual leadership project. Each scholar will work with their employer and Leadership Institute faculty to develop an individual leadership project specific to their work or organization. The project is intended to exercise and hone leadership skills.
  • Personal leadership work. Each scholar completes a process to define and reflect on their personal leadership goals, integrating results from their 360-degree leadership profile and from individual coaching, direction, and feedback given during the program. 
  • Problem-based learning (PBL). Faculty mentors support small learning groups as they examine real-world public health leadership cases, identify key issues, research solutions, and apply findings to each case. This approach allows scholars to work with the complexities of real-world leadership challenges. It also encourages both self-directed learners and team players. Faculty mentors also help scholars develop their leadership projects and build and apply leadership competencies in a real-world seeing.

Learning Goals

The Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute incorporates competencies developed and adapted from a combination of sources, primarily the Council on Linkages and the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health. View the list.