The Time is Right...

I was talking with Monecia Thomas, the director of the Management Academy for Public Health, about recruitment for the program. She and the program coordinator, Nancy Cripps, have been working hard contacting teams that have expressed interest and urging them to submit applications. All are due at the end of May, but because it is a competitive process, the earlier the better!

We know that funds are tight right now, but I’m going to lay out a few reasons this is actually the perfect time to come to the Management Academy.

1. The economy may get worse, and the skills you gain at the Management Academy will see you through the rough patches. It will help you manage your people and resources more efficiently and effectively; it will maximize your connection with the larger community of individuals and organizations interested in the public’s health; it will give you the means to bring money in to your organization that is not tied to political or grant makers’ priorities. The external evaluation of our pilot phase indicated that public health agencies had garnered $6 million in revenue from training that had cost $2 million to provide. And that was back in 1999-2002: we’ve had hundreds more students since then, all of whom have written, and many of whom have implemented successful business plans for revenue-generating public health projects. Imagine what the next large evaluation study may show!

2. The political environment is changing. All signs point to a greater willingness of the new administration to put federal monies towards health care and public health priorities in the coming years. Already Congress and President-Elect Obama are preparing to renew the bill that provides health insurance for low-income children. Also, insurance for legal immigrants under 21 may be added back into the bill, after having been cut more than a decade ago. As public health managers, you can be at the forefront of this new era. Expertise in building strategic partnerships, managing data to make the best case for your priorities, and managing money to support shifting emphases will all help you.

3. The workforce is changing. It has to: we must bring in new public health professionals and management to fill the void that will be created as today’s public health workforce retires. How better to groom that promising middle manager for a leadership role than to teach him or her strategies for managing money, people, and information? Do they know how to delegate tasks? Do they know how to read a budget? Do they know how best to communicate in written work or oral presentations?

Public Health Business Planning: A Practical Guide is about one small part of the Management Academy for Public Health. Call Nancy Cripps at (919) 966-2248 or Monecia Thomas at (919)843-8541 to learn more about the rest of the program.

-- Anne Menkens