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Journal Articles

OPHA Journal Articles

The National Public Health Leadership Institute: Evaluation of a Team-Based Approach to Developing Collaborative Public Health LeadersPublished in “American Journal of Public Health” on April, 2005

  • The National Public Health Leadership Institute aims to develop collaborative leaders and to strengthen networks of leaders who share knowledge and jointly address public health problems.
  • Evaluation results show that completing the institute training increases collaborative leadership and builds knowledge-sharing and problem-solving networks.
  • These practices and networks strengthen inter-organizational relationships, coalitions, services, programs, and policies. Intensive team-and project-based learning are key to the program’s impact.

 Tags: evaluation

Linking learning methods to outcomes in public health leadership development
Published in “Leadership in Health Services” in 2007

  • The purpose of this research was to present evaluation findings from the CDC’s National Public Health Leadership Institute (PHLI), regarding how the curriculum’s learning methods work singly and together to produce outcomes for learners and their organizations
  • PHLI’s learning methods are interrelated and lead to such outcomes as changed leadership understanding, knowledge and skill development, increased confidence, increased self-awareness, leadership practice changes, and organizational results.

Tags: outcome, evaluation

Does Leadership Training Make a Difference? The CDC/UC Public Health Leadership Institute: 1991–1999
Published in J Public Health Management Practice, 2003

  • Public health leadership development programs have proliferated since the release of the Institute of Medicine’s call for strengthened public health leadership.
  • This article presents results of an eight year retrospective evaluation of the Centers for Disease Control/University of California Public Health Leadership Institute, the nation’s first year-long leadership development program serving senior public health leaders.
  • Results show that this program has had a positive impact on participants’ leadership effectiveness at the personal, organizational, and community levels as well as on the field of public health.

Tags: evaluation

Bioterrorism, Reform and Public Health Reform: Matching a Policy Solution to the Wrong Window.
By George Avery, University of Minnesota, published in Public Administration Review, May/June 2004

  • During the 1990s, terrorist actions using biological weapons and the fear that rogue states possessed such weapons placed bioterrorism on the political agenda, a policy window widened by the September 11 attacks.
  • Advocates for improving the U.S. public health infrastructure attempted to use this window to obtain the resources necessary for modernization.
  • This article examines those efforts and identifies significant problems arising from a mismatch between the goals of public health policy entrepreneurs and the policy window used to address them.

Tags: crises leadership

The Challenges of Leadership in the Modern World
By Bennis, Warren, American Psychologist Association, January 2007

  • This article surveys contemporary trends in leadership theory as well as its current status and the social context that has shaped the contours of leadership studies.
  • He also asserts that the 4 major threats to world stability are a nuclear/biological catastrophe, a world-wide pandemic, tribalism, and the leadership of human institutions. Without exemplary leadership, solving the problems stemming from the first 3 threats will be impossible.

Tags: Leadership theory

Asking the Right Questions about Leadership.
By Hackman, Richard J., Wageman, Ruth in American Psychologist on January 2007.
Five questions prompted by the articles in the American Psychologist special issue on leadership suggest some new directions for leadership research:

  1.  Not do leaders make a difference, but under what conditions does leadership matter?
  2.  Not what are the traits of leaders, but how do leaders’ personal attributes interact with situational properties to shape outcomes?
  3.  Not do there exist common dimensions on which all leaders can be arrayed, but are good and poor leadership qualitatively different phenomena?
  4.  Not how do leaders and followers differ, but how can leadership models be reformulated so they treat all system members as both leaders and followers?
  5.  Not what should be taught in leadership courses, but how can leaders be helped to learn?

Tags: Leadership theory

The Third Way: A New Source of Leadership.
By Drath, Wilfred on May/June 2001

  • Until now people have recognized the individual leader as the obvious source of leadership, through either personal dominance or interpersonal influence.
  •  But because today’s workplace challenges are so difficult and complex, these two wellsprings of leadership cannot sufficiently address them.
  • What is needed is a third source of leadership: people making sense and meaning of their work together.

Tags: Leadership Theory, Social Entrepreneurship

Enterprising Non-profits.
By Dees, Gregory in Harvard Business Review on January/February 2008

  • What do you do when traditional sources of funding fall short? The American Medical Association’s experience highlights how turbulent the new tides of commercialization in the non-profit world can be.
  • Faced with rising costs, more competition for fewer donations and grants, and increased rivalry from for-profit companies entering the social sector, non-profits are turning to the for-profit world to leverage or replace their traditional sources of funding

Tags: Social Entrepreneurship


Leadership in Public Health highlights the innovative work of the national network of public health training centers. It is a publication by Mid-America Public Health Training Center and the Mid-America Regional Public Health Leadership Institute retrieved from School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Balderson Award Leadership Projects: This issue focusses on:

  •  the National Public Health Program
  • The Public Health and Environment Leadership Project
  •  Developing a Marketing Plan for Public Health

Cutting edge issues in Public Health Leadership: This issue focusses on:

  • The Leadership Pyramid
  • Public Health Leadership After September 11th
  • There is more to Public Health than Bioterrorism
  • Public Health Leadership in Rural America
  • Institute for Public Health and Faith Collaborations
  • Comparison of Public Health Leadership Institutes in the United States: A Descriptive Study
  • New Practices in Public Health Planning: Case Study on the Leadership Issues Associated with the Development of the Quebec Public Health Program.

Stories of Collaborative Leadership: This issue focusses on:

  • Leading Leaders: Hold Firm to the Values you espouse
  • Creating Win-Win: Leveraging and Strengthening Coalition Resources.
  • Operationalizing a Vision: Partnership means never having to go it alone
  • Leadership is Not a One-woman Show: Facing Change and Turbulent Times
  • Building Bridges to Create Healthier Communities: Let’s Get the Ball Rolling!
  • Working Across Nations: Reflections of a Collaborative Leader

Stories of Leadership: It includes:

  • A Community’s quest for answers: The Grand Bois Story
  • Creating a Community Dialogue and Turning it into action
  • Teen pregnancy prevention: Coalition development
  • Between the rock and a hard Place (But still Squirming)
  • Leading change with a Customer Focus
  • The Role of Leadership in Developing a Sentinel Surveillance System Variant and Resistant Strains of HIV

Application of situational leadership to the national voluntary public health accreditation process:
BY College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA in Frontiers in Public Health on 12 August, 2013

  • Situational leadership provides a framework that allows leaders to match their leadership styles to the needs of agency personnel.
  • In this paper, the application of situational leadership to accreditation is demonstrated by tracking the process at a progressive Kentucky county public health agency that served as a PHAB beta test site.

Tags: Situational leadership

APHA 1997 Presidential Address- Creating the Future of Public Health: Values, Vision and Leadership
By Barry S. Levy in American Journal of Public Health on February, 1998

  • In 1921, at the 50th annual meeting of the Association, Dr. Steven Smith, cofounder APHA, returned at the age of 99, to give the principal address.
  • He was very pleased that APHA had been contributing, and was continuing to contribute, in many ways to public health.

Tags: Values, vision and leadership

Competency Development in Public Health Leadership
In American Journal of Public Health on August, 2000

  • The professional development of public health leaders requires competency based instruction to increase their ability to address complex and changing demands for critical services.
  • This article reviews the development of the Leadership Competency Framework by the National Public Health Leadership Development Network and discusses its significance.

Tags: Leadership Competency

Transformational and Transactional Leadership: Association with Attitudes toward Evidence-Based Practice by Gregory A. Aarons, Ph.D.
Published in Psychiatric services on August 2006 

  • Studies have shown that in youth and family service organizations, mental health providers’ attitudes toward adopting an evidence-based practice are associated with organizational context and individual provider differences.  
  • The purpose of this study was to expand these findings by examining the association between leadership and mental health providers’ attitudes toward adopting evidence-based practice.

Tags: Transformational leadership, Transactional leadership

A qualitative study of leadership characteristics among women who catalyze positive community change
Published in BMC Public Health 2012

  • The purpose of this qualitative study is to identify specific leadership skills and characteristics in women who have successfully created change predominantly within the food and physical activity environments in their communities and beyond.
  • The second purpose of this study is to understand best practices for training and nurturing women leaders, to maximize their effectiveness in creating social change.
  • The findings of this study may be used to help develop or inform a model of women’s leadership in public health and to improve the training and nurturance of leaders who promote health in their communities and beyond.

Tags: Leadership characteristics women

Preparing Leaders in Public Health for Success in a Flatter, More Distributed and Collaborative World by John R. Kimberly, PhD
Published in Public Health Reviews, 2011

  • In a world that is rapidly changing, what are the challenges for which leaders in public health in the future need to be prepared, what are the qualities and skills they will need for success, and where will they get the training they require?
  • Addressing each of these questions in succession, this article contends that success in a flatter, more distributed and collaborative world will require a new generation of leaders in public health with new mindsets, an appetite for innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration and a strong dose of political savvy.

Tags: competencies

Fostering public health leadership
By Howard K. Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg, Marsha Jacobson published in Journal of Public Health in 2009. It includes:

  • The special nature of public health problems
  • The special opportunities of public health leadership
  • Supporting future public health leaders

Tags: unique leadership

Skills for the Ethical Practice of Public Health
By James Thomas published in Public Health Leadership Society, 2004. It includes:

  • the key skills for the ethical practice of Public Health.
  • The source tools for the list of ethical skills were the Core Competencies and the Code of Ethics
  • Tags: Ethical Practice of Public Health

My leadership engine *
By Marina Binet Baroff, Community Information Exchange San Diego published in Frontiers in Public Health in May 2015

  • As a senior healthcare executive and fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), she explains on how she became a leader.

Tags: Leadership story

The journey toward voluntary public health accreditation readiness in local health departments: leadership and followership theories in action
By Angela L. Carman, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA published in Frontiers in Public Health in March 2015

  • It includes about how local health department directors’ who intent on getting their organizations ready for accreditation must embrace the blurring of leader/follower lines and create an accreditation readiness team fueled not by traditional leader or follower roles but by team ship.

Tags: Public Health department Accreditation

Leadership in public health: new competencies for the future
 By Nick Yphantides, Steven Escoboza and Nick Macchione

  • In Contemporary Public Health, there is a call for changes in vision among those leading the evolution of healthcare from individualistic to community-wide approaches to improve health status.
  • Having new vision is necessary but not sufficient; new leadership skills are also needed in order to implement and sustain change.
  • This article summarizes thoughts about new competencies essential to moving community’s health system to meet the demands of public health in the twenty-first century.

Tags: Vision of a Leader

Values-Based Leadership: The Foundation of Transformational Servant Leadership
By Darrell Peregrym and Randy Wollf, Trinity Western University in the Journal of Values Based Leadership

  • The writers of this article contend that values-based leadership (VBL) is foundational to the practice of transformational servant leadership (TSL).
  • VBL involves knowing one’s core values, but it also necessitates an ongoing process of critiquing and shaping existing values or integrating new ones based on one’s sense of life purpose, contextual factors, community affiliations, and/or the central texts that one embraces as moral compasses in life.

Tags: Values-based Leadership, Servant Leadership, Leadership theories

 Servant Leadership: A Review of Literature
 By Clay Brewer, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Online Journal of Workforce Education and Development in 2010

  • Servant leadership is a unique style of leadership ideology which flows against the grain of self-interest human behavior.
  • In this paper, servant leadership is characterized by listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualizing, foresight, stewardship, commitment to growth, and community building (Spears, 2004).
  • Drawing on literature review linking servant leadership to job satisfaction, data exists to conclude organizations which adopt servant leadership doctrines lead to success, significance and perform at higher levels.

Tags: Servant Leadership

Full-range public health leadership, part 1: quantitative analysis
By Erik L. Carlton, James W. Holsinger Jr., Martha Riddell, Heather Bush in Front. Public Health in 2015

  • This study utilized the full-range leadership model in order to examine public health leadership.
  • Specifically, it sought to measure leadership styles among local health department directors and to understand the context of leadership in local health departments.

Tags: Leadership styles

Leading for Health and Wellbeing: the need for a new paradigm
By David J. Hunter, Professor of Health Policy and Management published in Journal of Public Health in 2009

  • There are many examples in public health of wicked problems.
  • A good example is obesity, especially in terms of its multiple causes, the absence of clear solutions and the range of organizations needed to address the problem.
  • The need is to see such issues in the round—that is, as whole systems and not as a series of discrete concerns or silos which can be targeted and picked off individually. 

Tags: New leadership paradigm

European public health leadership competency framework
Published in European Journal of Public Health on October 2013

  • In search for a public health leadership competency framework to support leadership curriculum–a consensus study
  • The aim of this study was to develop a public health leadership competency framework to inform a leadership curriculum for public health professionals.
  • The framework was developed as part of the Leaders for European Public Health project—supported by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme.

The role of leadership in HRH development in challenging public health settings
Published in Human Resources for Health in November 2008

  • As part of the special series on leadership and human resources (HR), Management Sciences for Health profiles three leaders who have made a significant difference in the HR situation in their countries.
  • By taking a comprehensive approach and working in partnership with stakeholders, these leaders demonstrate that strengthening health workforce planning, management, and training can have a positive effect on the performance of the health sector.

Tags: Leadership and human resources

Human resource leadership: the key to improved results in health
By Mary L O’Neil published in Human Resources for Health in June 2008

  • This opening article describes the human resource challenges that managers around the world report and analyses why solutions often fail to be implemented.
  • Despite rising attention to the acute shortage of health care workers, solutions to the human resource (HR) crisis are difficult to achieve, especially in the poorest countries.

Tags: Leadership and human resources

Leadership in public health: a view from a large English PCT co-terminus with a local authority
By Hugh Annett, Director of Public Health published in Journal of Public Health in 2009

  • There have been questions regarding the distinctive contribution of the contemporary public health function and how it can be best discharged both within the NHS and more widely.
  • The solutions to these emergent issues regarding the role and responsibilities of public health in today’s complex environment of continuous organizational change, evolving inter-organizational arrangements and the coming-of-age of working in multi-agency partnerships are not straight-forward, which is precisely why committed and effective leadership in public health remains an important and rewarding professional role.

Tags: Leadership Stories

Public health leadership: creating the culture for the twenty-first century
By Muir Gray, Director of Knowledge into Action published in Journal of Public Health in 2009. It includes

  • How leaders are the shapers of culture
  • How does the leader shape culture?
  • Bearing bad news: the second leadership function
  • Could healthcare be the most important focus for public health leadership?

Tags: leaders and culture 

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