There is a need for programs tailored to train the approximately 300 new local health officials (LHOs) who emerge each year with the knowledge and skills needed to build, maintain, and enhance public health capacity and infrastructure. The Survive and Thrive program incorporates a curriculum that is designed to address the challenges faced by a new LHO. The Survive and Thrive program seeks to address these issues by leveraging the expertise of the current generation of local public health leadership by incorporating experienced LHOs as coaches. Coaching, mentoring, and peer assistance by seasoned LHOs is critical to these new learning opportunities. This article highlights aspects of the coaching component of Survive and Thrive program. Actual examples of its relevance to the professional growth and development of new LHOs and the coaches themselves are presented. The article also describes the novel approach of including coaches in evaluating program effectiveness. The Survive and Thrive program's coaching component can serve as a template for other public health leadership programs and related workforce development initiatives as well as a model to help facilitate lifelong learning of LHOs.
This article highlights aspects of the coaching component of Survive and Thrive program and also describes the novel approach of including coaches in evaluating program effectiveness.
Vonna Henry, MPH, BSN, RN, was CHS Administrator and Public Health Director, Elk River, Minnesota.
Sue Ann Sarpy, MS, PhD, is Principal, Sarpy and Associates, LLC and Clinical Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Rachel Green, BSN, RN, is Administrator, Quin Community Health Services, Newfolden, Minnesota.
Seth Kaplan, MS, PhD, is Assistant Professor, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
Ramon Bonzon, MPH, CPH, is Senior Analyst, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Washington, District of Columbia.
Corresponding Author: Vonna Henry, MPH, BSN, RN, Sherburne Public Health Department, 12078 Butternut St NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Support for this manuscript was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.