Designing Competencies for Chronic Disease Practice
Published Date:Feb 15 2010
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 7(2).
Competencies are the cornerstone of effective public health practice, and practice specialties require competencies specific to their work. Although more than 30 specialty competency sets have been developed, a particular need remained to define competencies required of professionals who practice chronic disease prevention and control. To that end, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) engaged a group of stakeholders in developing competencies for chronic disease practice.
Concept mapping was blended with document analysis of existing competencies in public health to develop a unique framework. Public health experts reviewed the results, providing extensive and richer understanding of the issues.
The final product presents an integrated picture that highlights interrelationships among the specific skills and knowledge required for leading and managing state chronic disease programs. Those competencies fall into 7 clusters: 1) lead strategically, 2) manage people, 3) manage programs and resources, 4) design and evaluate programs, 5) use public health science, 6) influence policies and systems change, and 7) build support.
The project yielded a framework with a categorization scheme and language that reflects how chronic disease practitioners view their work, including integrating communications and cultural competency skills into relevant job functions. Influencing policies and systems change has distinct relevance to chronic disease practice. We suggest uses of the competencies in the field.
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