Leadership, Management and Workforce Development
Sharing Session - 60 Minutes
College is a place where students gain expertise in a chosen career field and the constantly expanding world of public health requires more than just theoretical learning. In order to maintain a vision of promoting health and well-being for a population, health departments must reinvent themselves as ‘teaching’ health departments and ‘think tanks’ for emerging leaders, becoming full partners with academic institutions.
Increasingly, demands and shrinking budgets place immense pressure on its current and future leaders in public health. At the same time, many are using the challenge of growing needs as an opportunity to build partnerships and collaborations.
In response to the need to develop future public health leaders beyond the classroom, Boone County Health Department (BCHD) has created a talent and interest development system. When a student is chosen for an interview, project ideas will be discussed that benefit both the health department and the student’s future goals. The student is then partnered with a mentor from the health department who most closely matches the student’s project interest. Students from all disciplines are invited to create projects that provide fresh perspectives to community challenges. This process strengthens the relationship between local public health and academic institutions while providing an unparalleled opportunity for professional growth and development as a public health practitioner. Having the opportunity to create or contribute to projects, work with local government, attend trainings, and shadow staff in a wide range of public health disciplines allow them to gain competencies beyond those found in the classroom.