Feature 5

AMCHP Adolescent Health Leadership Development Initiative 

By Sharron Corle
Associate Director for Adolescent Health, AMCHP

Dr. Steve Edwards
President and Chief Executive Officer, Edwards Educational Services 

Guided by the belief that leadership is key to improving maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes, that leadership is needed throughout the organization, and that leadership can be improved and developed by learning and experience, in 2008 AMCHP, working in collaboration with Edwards Educational Services, launched a pilot leadership development initiative for State Adolescent Health Coordinators. The initiative is a one year pilot project working with Title V programs in five states.  

A key component of the initiative is the application of the12 MCH Leadership Competencies through organized training, collaborative meetings and virtual support. Over the next year, AMCHP hopes the Adolescent Health Leadership Development participants will achieve the following outcomes:  

  • Gain a greater understanding of the 12 MCH Leadership Competencies and how they can be applied in multiple arenas;
  • Be able to apply the 12 MCH Leadership Competencies in a day-to-day professional environment;
  • Develop a learning collaborative who will learn and grow together in the application of these competencies;
  • Learn leadership skills that will enhance career growth and opportunities, and become embedded in professional practice, creating sustainability over time; and
  • Have a repertoire of skills that can be shared with others to distribute leadership throughout the organization. 

Predicated on the belief that leadership development programs should use real organizational issues to provide challenges, feedback and support — the adolescent health leadership development initiative sought to integrate learning and application by creating a 12 module curriculum that provides an overview of MCH leadership skills and the requirement of a professional activity, based on real-world program needs, to demonstrate competency of the skill. On-going support through an interactive wiki, video conferencing, emails and phone calls provides participants guidance in their leadership development journey.  

In the spring of 2009, the pilot group will come back together to evaluate the experience, discuss challenges, celebrate successes, communicate ideas to improve the initiative and discuss thoughts on bringing the concept of leadership development for State Adolescent Health Coordinators to other states. Look for more information on the initiative in 2009.