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State Health Official Career Advancement and Sustainability Evaluation—Description of the Methods Used in the SHO-CASE Study

Halverson, Paul K. DrPH, FACHE; Yeager, Valerie A. DrPH; Menachemi, Nir PhD, MPH; Chapple-McGruder, Theresa PhD; Moffatt, Sharon MS, BSN; Baker, Edward L. MD, MPH; Boedigheimer, Steven F. MBA; Tilson, Hugh MD, DrPH; Castrucci, Brian C. DrPH, MA; Gould, Elizabeth PhD; Jacinto, Corey M. MPH; Mays, Glen PhD, MPH

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: January/February 2020 - Volume 26 - Issue 1 - p 5–8
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000938
Research Reports: Research Brief Report

State health officials (SHOs) lead state governmental public health agencies, playing an important role in their states. However, little comprehensive research has examined SHOs or characteristics of these leaders, limiting evidence about ways to improve SHO selection and subsequent performance. This brief describes the methods of the SHO-CASE study focused on current and former SHOs in state public health agencies. Methods used include qualitative components that informed the development of survey questions, survey administration, and survey response. A total of 147 SHOs responded to the SHO survey representing every state and Washington, District of Columbia. The SHO-CASE study survey database represents the most comprehensive database of its kind regarding a range of attributes of current and former SHOs. These data can be used to explore factors contributing to SHO success including valuable insights into effectively working with the states' elected officials.

IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indianapolis, Indiana (Drs Halverson, Yeager, Menachemi, Baker, and Tilson, Messrs Boedigheimer and Jacinto); de Beaumont Foundation (Drs Chapple-McGruder and Castrucci) and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (Dr Gould), Bethesda, Maryland; Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, Virginia (Ms Moffatt); and University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, Kentucky (Dr Mays).

Correspondence: Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, FACHE, IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, 1050 Wishard Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (

This work was funded by the de Beaumont Foundation. The SHO-CASE study is a collaborative effort between the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, de Beaumont Foundation, and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The authors thank Sue Hancock and Hannah Bauer, for their contributions to the collection of the survey and historical data, and Emily Sargent and Ross Silverman, for their support in the collection of the legal data. The authors also thank ASTHO for supporting and facilitating the survey and historical data collection and the de Beaumont Foundation for financial support of the SHO-CASE study.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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