Online Program

Change Leadership: Local health department accreditation status and leader openness to change

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Emmanuel Jadhav, DrPH, MHM, Public Health Program, College of Health Professions, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI
James Holsinger Jr., MD, PhD, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Glen Mays, PhD, MPH, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
David Fardo, PhD, Department of Biostatistics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Background: lack of openness to change by LHD leadership is one of the concerns associated with the up-take of Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). However during the economic downturn leaders local health departments (LHDs) used innovative approaches to keep their agencies functional. One of the approaches included adapting to the changing Quality Improvement environment by applying or initiating PHAB. Research on leader demography in for-profit organizations has yielded valuable insights into top executive behavior while little to nothing is known about LHD leaders. This is one of the first studies in public health agencies to examine the association, if any between leader openness to change and accreditation status of LHDs.

Research Objective:1.Classify socio-demographic characteristics of LHD leaders by examining the variation in openness to change score 2. Characterize association between accreditation status of LHD and leader openness to change.

Data Sources: LHD leaders in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are the unit of analysis. Expenditure and revenues are available from the state department of health. County level population estimates are from the national census website.

Study Design: cross-sectional survey of KY LHD leaders’ observable demographic attributes relating to age, gender, race, educational background, leadership experience and openness towards change. Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney and Kruskall Wallis tests are used to identify differences in leader average rank openness score.

Preliminary Analysis: approximately 45% of LHD leaders had a high openness to change score. The Mann-Whitney U-tests for gender and race, and the Kruskal-Wallis test for highest degree obtained were statistically significant.

Conclusions: there are strong underlying relationships between leader experiential and demographic attributes with their openness to change. Formal public health leadership development programs will benefit from preparing leaders to modify their leadership behaviors.

Implications for Policy or Practice: Formal public health leadership development programs will benefit from preparing leaders to modify their leadership behaviors.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between leader openness to change and accreditation status of the local health department.

Keyword(s): Leadership, Local Public Health Agencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a recent graduate of the Doctor of Public Health program. The submitted abstract is a part of my doctoral dissertation. I have published papers focusing on leadership and organizational theory in public health organizations. My research focuses on the application of health services research to organizational theory, leadership and long range decision-making in public health to develop strategies facilitating the organized financing of public health services to eliminate health disparities locally and globally.
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.