Most AMCHP members bring deep programmatic and scientific expertise to their positions. But many maternal and child health (MCH) staff at the state and local levels, like many public health practitioners, have a substantial knowledge gap in business skills, such as budgeting and financial reporting. To close this critical gap, the de Beaumont Foundation and the University of Miami developed a certificate program for public health professionals who are interested in learning business fundamentals tailored to the public health context.
The Building Expertise in Administrative Management (BEAM) certificate program provides public health professionals with the foundational business acumen needed to succeed in the workplace, including professional development, financial management and reporting, budgeting, contracts, and management.
Lori Freeman, AMCHP's chief executive officer, has been an active participant with other national leaders in the BEAM National Advisory Committee (NAC) over the past year. The NAC has been integral in the planning and developing the BEAM certificate program, including identifying the course topics, developing content, and advising on instructional design.
"Offering this type of continuing education for our public health workforce is long overdue," Freeman said. "Acquiring the critical business skills and acumen necessary to leading our public health agencies is a long missing element of public health training, and this course meets that need perfectly."
Designed for professionals who have formal or informal public health leadership responsibilities, BEAM is a 20-hour, non-credit bearing, independent study online certificate program geared toward teaching strategic tools that drive innovation and success. The interactive curriculum draws on the expertise of industry leaders and the University of Miami's stellar faculty, and features situational, work-based activities. Modules will often draw from participants' own real-work experiences:
- Budgeting and Finance: This module introduces the essential techniques of planning, managing, and monitoring budgets in the governmental public health sector. Various aspects and considerations of budget building are presented, as well as ways of examining the differences between the budget and actual spending.
- Measuring the Financial Health of a Public Health Agency: This module covers how financial analysis uses data from various financial and operating reports to assess performance of individual programs, services, and an agency. It teaches how to determine which programs and services drive positive or negative outcomes. Students will learn how to assess an organization's overall capacity to continue programs and services needed to meet its mission.
- Strategy Orchestration: This module demonstrates what happens when firms or agencies prioritize building over controlling. Rather than starting with what you control and looking for ways to leverage it, managers begin with the opportunity and then assemble the required resources.
- Contracts: This module focuses on the legal implications of business transactions as they relate to contracting in the public health sector. It provides an introduction and overview of general principles of contract law, covers contract formation and practical approaches to standard contract clauses, and examines examples from the public health industry. The course methodology offers real-work situations with online activities and course assessments.
Enrollment for the BEAM program will begin January 2018, with courses scheduled to begin in May. The de Beaumont Foundation will offer a limited number of scholarships to employees of governmental public health departments and agencies. All public health professionals are encouraged to enroll, please visit www.beamskills.com.