Context: Addressing the nation's increasingly complex public health challenges will require more effective multisector collaboration and stronger public health leadership. In 2005, the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute launched an annual, year-long intensive “community teams” program. The goal of this program is to develop collaborative leadership and public health skills among Wisconsin-based multisectoral teams mobilizing their communities to improve public health.
Objective: To measure the scope of participation and program impacts on individual learning and practice, including application of new knowledge and collective achievements of teams on coalition and short-term community outcomes.
Design: End-of-year participant program evaluations and follow-up telephone interviews with participants 20 months after program completion.
Setting: Community-based public health leadership training program.
Participants: Sixty-eight participants in the Community Teams Program during the years 2006 to 2007 and 2007 to 2008.
Main Outcome Measures: Professional diversity of program participants; individual learning and practice, including application of new knowledge; and collective achievements of teams, including coalition and short-term community outcomes.
Results: Participants in the Community Teams Program represent a diversity of sectors, including nonprofit, governmental, academic, business, and local public health. Participation increased knowledge across all public health and leadership competency areas covered in the program. Participating teams reported outcomes, including increased engagement of community leadership, expansion of preventive services, increased media coverage, strengthened community coalitions, and increased grant funding.
Conclusions: Evaluation of this community-based approach to public health leadership training has shown it to be a promising model for building collaborative and public health leadership skills and initiating sustained community change for health improvement.
This article describes the evaluating community-based public health leadership training leads to the conclusion that this training helps in building leadership skill and initiating health improvement.
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Population Health Institute, Madison (Ms. Ceraso, Ms. Hill and Dr. Remington); Ozaukee County Health Department, Port Washington, Wisconsin (Ms. Gruebling); Department of Emergency Medicine (Dr. Layde) and Professional Development Division, Department of Family and Community Medicine (Dr. Morzinski), Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire (Ms. Ore).
Correspondence: Marion Ceraso, MHS, MA, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Population Health Institute, 610 Walnut St., Rm. 387, Madison, WI 53726 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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The Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute receives program funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Program of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment of the Medical College of Wisconsin. The authors thank D. Paul Moberg of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute for feedback and analytical assistance on the manuscript and Sheryl Scott of Scott Consulting Partners for early data collection and analysis assistance.