SPH faculty members James Begun and Jan Malcolm have published a leadership book for public health students and practitioners. Leading Public Health: A Competency Framework (Springer Publishing, 2014) is intended to equip current and aspiring public health leaders with the knowledge and competencies they need to mobilize people, organizations, and communities to successfully tackle tough public health challenges.
Building on several existing competency-based models, the book focuses on preparing public health professionals to invigorate bold(er) pursuit of population health; engage diverse others in public health initiatives; effectively wield power; prepare for surprise in public health work; and drive for execution and continuous improvement in public health programs and organizations. It is based on research from leadership theory and practice and combines the viewpoint of a prominent scholar with that of a seasoned practitioner.
According to Begun and Malcolm, public health offers the best hope for cost-effective and value-adding solutions to intractable population health challenges in the United States and around the globe. The mismatch between the amount of resources devoted to public health and the influence of public health approaches on ultimate health status outcomes ought to frustrate the public health community and be a rallying cry for strengthened leadership at all levels.
SPH alumnus James A. Rice (MHA ‘71, PhD ‘91), Director of the Global USAID Health Leadership Project for Leadership, Management and Governance, offers the following assessment:
“If we are to remove barriers to better health gain, not just health care, we need more of our public health leaders in the U.S. and in the other 199 countries of the world to read this text. As the U.S. struggles to balance its resource investments for health, we need leaders that understand and practice the insights captured in this valuable book. Knowledge, practices, power and smart strategy can be mined from the pages. You should begin that mining process now.”