204120 Been There, Done That: The Use of Experienced Local Public Health Officials as Coaches for the Survive and Thrive Program

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:50 PM

Vonna J. Henry, MPH , Vonna Henry, Coon Rapids, MN
Recent research reveals the public health workforce is "aging" leaving unprecedented openings in public health leadership positions. In addition, over one third of Local Health Officials have been employed in their position at Local Health Departments two years or less. This presents not only a challenge, but also an opportunity in public health for action-oriented programs that are tailored to train new Local Health Officials to apply the most effective strategies and solutions to various local-level challenges. The Survive and Thrive program was designed to increase the competence and skills of new Local Health Officials to maintain and succeed (“Survive and Thrive”) within this multi-faceted environment of local health practice. New Local Health Officials can benefit from guidance and support in their new roles as managers and leaders. Coaching by experienced, seasoned Local Health Officials is critical to these new learning opportunities. In this way, a transfer of knowledge and skills can occur from the experienced Local Health Officials to the new Local Health Officials, thereby filling the growing knowledge gap in Local Health Departments. Consequently, an integral component of the Survive and Thrive program is coaching in which the new Local Health Officials develop an active coaching relationship with an experienced, seasoned Local Health Official. This session will be presented by a current Survive and Thrive coach who will highlight her experiences with the coaching process, including strategies that were used and the lessons learned.

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe the process used in coaching new Local Health Officials for public health agencies in the Survive and Thrive program. 2)Discuss three strategies used by seasoned Local Health Officials in coaching new Local Health Officials during the Survive and Thrive training. 3)Identify lessons learned in the coaching process used by the Survive and Thrive Program.

Keywords: Leadership, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a seasoned public health director who has served as a coach for new local public health officials.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.