From the Management Academy Director

As Anne mentioned, the Management Academy for Public Health (MAPH) teams have been working hard on their feasibility plans and the meaning of the word "teamwork" has been made clear through a variety of tasks. Working together efficiently is of utmost importance now because each team has a lot of work to do in order to complete their business plan draft by January. The business plan must include detailed project operations, a marketing strategy, potential risks and a thorough description of a first year and a five year budget. The business plan development is a continuous process that has been building since the first MAPH retreat in July/August.

In the final hours of the first retreat, each group presented their first business plan idea to the other members of the cohort. Then as a follow-up, we had an almost 3-hour session during the second retreat for each group to present their current plan to their fellow colleagues. It was amazing to hear the changes and positive transformation that the plans have gone through. The members of the cohort, the business plan coaches and the local public health experts in the room were impressed by the research done to establish the true community need in a specific area. The topics of teenage pregnancy, the uninsured, childhood obesity, childhood immunizations/vaccinations, tuberculosis testing, community recycling, public health program evaluation and medical billing are all important to the residents of North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin and each team had the statistics to prove it. What makes the Management Academy so unique is that each team has to consider how to address the community need, while at the same time, consider how to develop a self-sustaining program that doesn't merely rely on grant funds.

I would definitely be remiss if I did not mention the other activities that took place during the most recent on-site retreat. One of the goals of the Management Academy is to prepare the participants for new management challenges in public health. The faculty members focus, not only on business plan development, but also on improving the participants' individual managerial skills. The retreat included 360 Assessments, tips on negotiation and communication skills and work towards of a plan aimed at improving managerial competencies. Let's hear from the Management Academy participants about what they found most helpful during the retreat..................