Leading State Maternal and Child Health: A Guide for Senior Managers is designed to help you succeed at your job. If you are a senior manager in your agency responsible for the oversight or management of all or part of the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, this manual is for you. Titles, duties, and scopes of responsibility for family health related federal and state programs vary between agencies and states, but this guide was written to be adaptable to your situation regardless of your specific position title or responsibilities. It is also useful whether you are from a state where you are the only staff member or from a state having a large number of staff devoted to block grant programs.
As requested by an advisory focus group of state leaders and other experts in the field, the guide is framed around major leadership concepts of vision, change and relationships as well as current management concepts including planning. We reviewed conceptualizations of leadership roles by key thinkers whose writings have been used in national public health leadership institutes. These experts include Stephen Covey, Peter Senge, Edgar Schein, John Kotter and David Campbell. While varying in conceptualization of major leadership roles, this literature makes a clear distinction between leadership and management. Stuart Capper's curriculum "The Mystical Reality of Leadership," part of the MCH Leadership Institute on Systems, includes some concise comparisons of the two roles noting, "management and leadership may be different - but they are not separate." The content for this guide is consistent with Capper's idea, framing the guide around leadership roles as well as providing practical information, tips and resources for senior managers of MCH block grant and related federal and state programs.
In preparing this guide, we sought the advice of many people across the country. We would especially like to acknowledge with gratitude the following people for their assistance and support:
- Deborah Dietrich, acting executive director, AMCHP
- Stephanie McDaniel, Director, Center for Best Practices, AMCHP
- Meg Booth, policy analyst, AMCHP
- Lisa Cain, director of center for membership & communications, AMCHP
- Sally Fogerty, president, AMCHP
- Members of the focus group listed in Appendix B
Each of these people gave freely of their knowledge, skill, expertise and time. They believed that we would translate their perspectives into a document that meets its ultimate goal - passing along to the next generation of state leaders in family health, MCH and CSHCN programs the wisdom gained from the perspective of the program's rich history combined with the experience of past and present program leaders. We trust that we have met that expectation.
We have enjoyed the challenge presented to us in terms of meeting all of the desired content, format and utility of the guide expressed by those with whom we conferred. We have been mindful that this is a document that must remain somewhat "ageless" in its content; practical in its advice to those newly embarking on leadership positions in family health, MCH and CSHCN programs in the states, territories or District of Columbia; helpful to the more "seasoned" leaders who may just need a reason to rethink their approach to the job; and inspiring to all senior managers who need to find their own way to do the best job they possibly can. Our bottom line message is: You Can Do It!
Catherine Hess, M.S.W.
Kathy Peppe, R.N., M.S.