Category: Systems Thinking

Strategic Skill Area

Succession Planning and Change: Growing and Developing Talent in Public Health

Course Objective

  • Define “succession planning” for public health agencies
  • Explain the rationale for succession planning in public health
  • Identify the key elements of the succession planning process
  • Describe the link between change management and organizational succession planning
  • Explain the critical success factors for succession planning in public health

Date: November 10, 2020

Presenter:
Emil J. Sadloch, MA
SADLOCH DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANTS


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Emil J. Sadloch, MA, highlights the importance of succession planning and why it is so relevant for public health today. While acknowledging the incredible contributions of public health officials during this pandemic, he underscores the aspects of leadership, change management and workforce resilience that enabled this. He goes on to discuss the necessary shift in focus needed to address the future of public health and how leaders can recover and adapt from times of crisis. Emil elaborates ways to strengthen the current workforce in preparation for new challenges, while simultaneously grooming the next generation for the same. He walks us through 10 important goals of succession planning and what the existing barriers look like. Lastly, he shows us how to create an effective succession planning system by walking us through crucial practices and providing us with important tips to develop future leaders.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Define “succession planning” for public health agencies
  2. Explain the rationale for succession planning in public health
  3. Identify the key elements of the succession planning process
  4. Describe the link between change management and organizational succession planning
  5. Explain the critical success factors for succession planning in public health
Problem Identification in the Policy Process and How Systems Thinking Fits In

Course Objective

  • Explain Stage One of the policy making process i.e. Problem Identification
  • Describe how Systems Thinking tools and approaches can help visualize a problem
  • Describe how Systems Thinking tools and approaches can help define the boundaries of a problem

Launch Date: June 30th, 2020

Subject Matter Expert:
Helen de Pinho, MBBCh, FCCH (Public Health), MBA
Assistant Professor at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health,
Associate Director of the Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD) at Columbia University


This training describes how to implement the first stage of the CDC policy process – Problem Identification. Using a scenario focused on the opioid problem in fictitious Tycho County, the course discusses the practical steps that a health department, working in collaboration with key stakeholders, can take to describe and understand this complex problem. The course also explores how the application of systems thinking tools and approaches to make boundary decisions and visualize the problem using behavior over time graphs and rich pictures, can strengthen this stage of the policy making process.

Participants will learn about the following:

  1. Explain Stage One of the policy making process i.e. Problem Identification
  2. Describe how Systems Thinking tools and approaches can help visualize a problem
  3. Describe how Systems Thinking tools and approaches can help define the boundaries of a problem
Systems Thinking: Habits for Addressing Public Health Challenges

Course Objective

  • Recognize the events, patterns, and structures relating to complex public health challenges
  • Explain how mental models impact the way we perceive, and intervene in, public health problems
  • Identify ways to incorporate systems thinking habits in your everyday practice

Date: November 12, 2019

Presenter:
Helen de Pinho,MBBCh, FCCH, MBA
Assistant Professor
Population and Family Health at the Columbia University


In this month’s Log-in2Learn webinar, you will learn how to integrate systems thinking concepts into your work to address public health issues from Dr. Helen De Pinho. The webinar further delves into various systems thinking habits to develop in public health practice. Helen explains that systems thinking is not about looking at events in isolation, but rather considers underlying patterns, events and structures. The webinar provides a look into decoding the complexity of public health problems and tool to avoiding linear thinking. Based on a fictitious case study, you will learn how to apply concrete systems thinking approaches in daily public health practice, taking into consideration your own mental models and the mental models that may be embedded in organizations where you work.

Participants will learn how to:

  1. Recognize the events, patterns, and structures relating to complex public health challenges
  2. Explain how mental models impact the way we perceive, and intervene in, public health problems
  3. Identify ways to incorporate systems thinking habits in your everyday practice
A Systems Approach to Understanding Childhood Obesity

Course Objective

By the end of this module, you should know how to:

  • Describe public health as part of a larger inter-related system of organizations that influence the health of populations at local, national, and global levels.
  • Describe different stakeholders with the power to address childhood obesity.
  • Explain how local health departments (LHDs) can use systems thinking approaches while planning intersectoral initiatives to reduce inequities in childhood obesity.

…and see how you can incorporate these concepts in your practice to address a major public health crisis.

This module developed by the Region 2 Public Health Training Center (PHTC) aims to explore how to use problem solving approaches inspired by systems thinking to reduce inequities in childhood obesity.* Systems thinking is a methodological approach that helps us better understand how complex systems operate, and how we can identify leverage points within systems to influence behavior. Since this is a foundational module, our goal is just to introduce how a systems thinking lens can be applied to a major public health issue.

In this module, you will learn how to identify the characteristics of a system in a public health context.

*To learn more about systems thinking, please enroll in the course ‘Introduction to Systems Thinking’, part of the Strategic Skills training series also offered by the Region 2 Public Health Training Center.

Strategic Skills Training Series: Introduction to Systems Thinking

Course Objective

By the end of this module, you should know how to:

  • Consider events, patterns, and structures related to a complex problem
  • Explain what a complex adaptive system is
  • Explain how mental models impact the way we perceive a problem
  • List some key systems thinking habits to develop

…and see how you can incorporate these concepts in your practice to address a major public health crisis.

The Strategic Skills Training Series developed by the Region 2 PHTC aims to help prepare public health practitioners to develop the practices and competencies associated with being a Chief Health Strategist. The modules in this series use the community health improvement planning process to introduce you to the basics of the following four strategic skills areas. This first set of modules have been developed at an introductory level; the next part of the series will build on these foundational modules.

To help you think about ways to leverage these skills in your journey as a Chief Health Strategist to address real world problems in your community, the modules will utilize a case study approach, set in the fictitious Tycho County.

Follow how the Tycho County Health Department could adopt a systems approach to inform its thinking and planning while developing a community health improvement plan focused on a familiar public health problem, opioid misuse.

In this module, you will learn how to identify the characteristics of a system in a public health context.

Systems Thinking for Public Health: An Introduction
Systems Thinking for Public Health An Introduction

Course Objective

  • Define a system
  • Explain why systems thinking is important for public health
  • Describe 3 tools for systems thinking

Date: May 7, 2019

Presenter:
Dr. Jacqueline Merrill, PhD, MPH, RN


In this month’s Log-in2Learn webinar, participants learn from Dr. Jacqueline Merrill about the value of systems thinking in addressing major, complex public health challenges. The lecture provides an overview on public health’s emerging responsibility to engage multiple stakeholders and community partners in improving social determinants of health, as well as how systems thinking can facilitate the creation of context-specific solutions between them. Dr. Merrill introduces the major constructs and describes basic decision-making tools used in systems thinking. At the end of the lecture, Dr. Merrill illustrates in-depth examples in applying systems thinking techniques in public health.

Participants will learn how to:

  1. Define a system
  2. Explain why systems thinking is important for public health
  3. Describe 3 tools for systems thinking
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and Drug Poisonings: What do we know? What do we need to know?
Pharmacists Looking at Medication

Course Objective

  • Define prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP)
  • List the measurement issues that arise when studying PDMPs and their effect on prescription opioid and heroin poisoning rates
  • Describe the evidence surrounding the effects of PDMPs on rates of nonfatal and fatal prescription opioid and heroin poisoning

Date: December 4, 2018

Presenter:
Silvia Martins MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Magdalena Cerda, DrPH
Associate Professor, Department of Population Health
New York University School of Medicine

David Fink, MPhil, MPH
PhD Candidate, Epidemiology Department
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


Participants learn from Dr. Silvia Martins, Dr. Magdalena Cerda and Dr. David Fink about the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in the United States. First, Dr. David Fink provides an overview in current PDMP practices, explains the inconsistent evidence related to their success in reducing fatal and nonfatal prescription drug poisoning, and explores the unintended consequences of PDMP implementation such as increased heroin poisoning rates. Then, Dr. Cerda categorizes different PDMPs as proactive and reactive, then describes their research of PDMP implementation from 1999 to 2016. Lastly, Dr. Martins explains how proactive PDMPs–which proactively provide unsolicited information to PDMP users, provide open access to law enforcement, and require frequent data reporting–are less likely to be associated with increased in fatal heroin poisonings than reactive PDMPs.

Strategies to Advance Health Equity: State and Local Health Departments’ Role in Building Pathways to Higher Education
Group of Diverse Graduates

Course Objective

  • Explain the rationale for expanding public health practice to promote health and equity by supporting access to high-quality, affordable education
  • Summarize evidence documenting how high school and college completion can improve health
  • Describe structural, social, political, and economic barriers to high school and college completion
  • Identify three specific strategies designed to support high school completion, transition to higher education, and college completion to advance health equity
  • Explain how LHDs can leverage “upstream” strategies to support these initiatives, including partnering with other agencies, social movements and community organizations

Date: September 24, 2018

Presenter:
Nicholas Freudenberg
Distinguished Professor of Public Health
City University of New York School of Public Health

Emily Frazosa
Senior Researcher
City University of New York School of Public Health


The relationship between health and education is well documented. However, not everyone in the United States has the same access to high-quality education, which creates wide disparities in high school and college graduation rates and future life success. Additionally, people with more education live longer lives and have lower rates of chronic disease and less drug use, less smoking and better birth outcomes. Advancing health equity means we must work to make sure everyone in our communities has access to equitable, high-quality, affordable educational opportunities. In this module, participants will explore specifically on how high school and college completion influence health, and what prevents students from earning a degree. While high school and college each present some challenges that are different, you’ll see that many of them overlap. Also, learners will review barriers that keep students from academic success, and the public health tools we have to break down those barriers. Lastly, learners will look at real-world examples of how schools, governments and health departments are working to help all students succeed.

Collective Impact Part I: Common Agenda and Shared Measures
Hands Drawing on Chalkboard

Course Objective

  • Identify some ways a community organization could provide assists to a Collective Impact project.
  • Describe a key practice for the Continuous Communication condition.
  • List the elements of Backbone Support for a Collective Impact project.
  • Describe how technology-based tools can affect Collective Impact efforts.

Date: August 31, 2018

Presenter:
Bill Barberg
President
Insightformation, Inc.


This module is part two of a two-part introductory series to the Collective Impact framework. In this module, participants build upon the lessons of part one by learning about the last three conditions of the Collective Impact framework–mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support. Participants will explore best practices of each of these conditions in order to advance public health initiatives.

Collective Impact Part II: Mutually Reinforcing Activities, Continuous Communication, and Backbone Support
Hands Drawing Graph on Chalkboard

Course Objective

  • Identify some ways a community organization could provide assists to a Collective Impact project.
  • Describe a key practice for the Continuous Communication condition.
  • List the elements of Backbone Support for a Collective Impact project.
  • Describe how technology-based tools can affect Collective Impact efforts.

Date: August 31, 2018

Presenter:
Bill Barberg
President
Insightformation, Inc.


This module is part two of a two-part introductory series to the Collective Impact framework. In this module, participants build upon the lessons of part one by learning about the last three conditions of the Collective Impact framework – mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support. Participants will explore best practices of each of these conditions in order to advance public health initiatives.

Region 2 Public Health Training Center