Survey of leadership skills needed for state and territorial health officers, United States, 1988.
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Survey of leadership skills needed for state and territorial health officers, United States, 1988.

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      As part of efforts to develop training and career development experiences to enhance leadership skills among public health officials, the Public Health Foundation, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Association of County Health Officials, United States Conference of Local Health Officers, and Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conducted a training needs assessment survey in 1988. Fifty-five State and territorial health officers were asked about potential knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that a prospective or new health officer might require in performing his or her job. Thirty-eight health officers returned completed questionnaires, a 69 percent response rate. For each KSA, respondents assigned scores from 1 (low) to 5 (high) to three different variables: the KSA's importance to job, as an initial ability of a new health officer, and as a desired ability for someone in that job. Of 78 KSAs, those scoring in the top 25 percent for importance to job were identified, and individual composite scores were calculated using the formula: (importance to job) x (desired ability minus initial ability). The top 10 mean composite scores ranged from 7.55 to 10.40 and were in five competence areas: public image (working with the community) (3 KSAs); policy development and program planning (3 KSAs); interpersonal skills (2 KSAs); agency management (1 KSA); and legal issues (1 KSA). These skills are not commonly acquired in schools of medicine or public health. Public health agencies should develop programs to assure that persons with leadership potential are identified early and given guided experiences and mentors, as well as specific training and education. Additional studies of public health officers are needed to develop and strengthen leadership KSAs among new health officers.
    • Source:
      Public Health Rep. 108(1):116-120
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