About the Academy

The Public Health Leadership Academy provides training and education to members of Boards of Health and Boards of Supervisors. The overarching goal is increasing public health knowledge to better protect and improve the health of Iowans. The Academy’s inaugural year occurred from 2019-2020, and is currently in its second year.


Year 1

Six virtual sessions occurred over Zoom from November 18, 2019 – August 31, 2020. Sessions included:

Session 1: Overview of the Iowa Governmental Public Health System

November 18, 2019 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: Boards of Health, State Health Department, Core Functions & 10 Essential Services of Public Health, Community Health Needs Assessment & Health Improvement Plans.

Learning Goals: Participants will gain knowledge of the structure of public health in Iowa.

Session 2: Putting the Local in Local Public Health: Local Roles and Responsibilities

January 6, 2020 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: Roles of a BOH/BOS member, relationships with various government personnel, financing in public health.

Learning Goals: Participants will explain the structure and functions of local public health, advocate for resources that improve health in a community and understand the importance of their role as a BOH/BOS member.

Session 3: Public Health Law in Iowa

February 24, 2020 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: Public Health laws in Iowa including immunizations, communicable diseases, environmental health and quarantine/isolation.

Learning Goals: Participants will be able to describe and understand laws, regulations, guidelines related to public health in Iowa, and the local BOH/BOS role in these laws.

Session 4: Health Equity: Why it Matters and How to Achieve It

POSTPONED TO: Remote – available after June 1, 2020.

Topics: Social determinants of health, health equity.

Learning Goals: Participants will understand the role and importance of social determinants of health and health equity, and ensure the diversity of populations is addressed in health policies and programs.

Session 5: Ethics and Decision Making in Public Health

POSTPONED TO: July 20, 2020 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: Conflicts of interests, communicating with the media, release of information, ethics in public health guidelines, best practices/science-based interventions.

Learning Goals: Participants will understand ethical issues in public health and apply ethical principles in their roles.

Session 6: Advancing Policy in Public Health

POSTPONED TO: August 31, 2020 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: Position statements, working with legislatures.

Learning Goals: Participants will understand their role in developing and influencing public health policies that affect the health of their communities.

Year 2

After year one’s success, the Academy continues for a second year, from May 3 – August 2, 2021. Sessions will include:

Session 1: Strategic Planning

May 3, 2021 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: What is strategic planning, who should be involved in the process, why strategic planning matters, connecting strategic planning to other board functions, strategic planning resources.

Session 2: Workforce Development

June 7, 2021 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: What is workforce development, who should be involved in the process, why workforce development matters, connecting workforce development to other board functions, workforce development resources.

Session 3: Performance Improvement

July 12, 2021 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: What is performance improvement, who should be involved in the process, why performance improvement matters, connecting performance improvement to other board functions, performance improvement resources.

Session 4: Financial Management

August 2, 2021 – 6:00-7:30pm

Topics: What is financial management, who should be involved in the process, why financial management matters, connecting financial management to other board functions, financial management resources.

Planning Committee

The planning committee served an important role in designing and developing Year 1 of the Public Health Leadership Academy. We would like to thank the following individuals for their time, talent and expertise in guiding the Academy:

Diane Anderson

Erin Barkema

Heather Bombei

Mark Campbell

Becky Nowachek

Kathy Preston

Patty Ritchie

Marisa Roseberry

Hannah Shultz

Erin Taber

Laurie Walkner

Jes Wegner


The Academy is led by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

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