Turning great ideas into healthier communities


Center for Health Leadership and Practice

Today’s public health challenges are complex and rapidly evolving, and call for an innovative approach to leadership development. The mission of the Center for Health Leadership and Practice (CHLP) is to advance health by increasing leaders' capacity to transcend boundaries, work collaboratively and transform their communities. Through the use of blended learning modalities, CHLP leads programs for teams, coalitions, initiatives and professional networks to advance leadership skills and reduce health inequities.



California Leadership Academy for the Public's Health (CaLAPH)

Similar to our national academy, this program develops cadres of current and emerging leaders working across sectors and disciplines to advance health equity in the state of California through transformational leadership. Funded by The California Endowment, CaLAPH works with participants to plan, develop and/or implement policy and systems change, and to expand and develop partnerships and networks among participants, alumni, teams, communities and stakeholders. The California teams deepen their leadership practice as they work together on an Applied Health Leadership Project to address social determinants of health and work toward Health in All Policies in their community. The 2018 CaLAPH cohort will be the fourth. Learn more about CaLAPH here.

CDC NLACHI Curriculum and Program Development

The National Leadership Academy for Community Health Improvement (NLACHI) uses an experiential learning process which includes the Action Learning Model of plan, do, check/reflect, and act. The program integrates multiple learning modalities including in-person, distance, synchronous and asynchronous learning. All program activities will be enhanced by the teams working together to reflect on their leadership learning.

Expanded Evaluation of the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health

This project assessed the long-term impact of a major intervention designed to build the capacity for collaborative leadership that improves population health: the National Leadership Academy for the Public's Health (NLAPH). A robust evaluation of NLAPH's impact, this evaluation examined the integrity of its structure and selection process, reviewed the state of the art in the field, and measured the long-term impact of the NLAPH on community health improvement. The focus was the continuing work of the first two cohorts of the NLAPH program. Click to read the full NLAPH evaluation report.

Invest Health Initiative Leadership Training

Center for Health Leadership and Practice was a design and curriculum development partner of the Reinvestment Fund for the duration of the leadership academy for participants of the 50-city Invest Health Initiative.

Leadership Consulting

The Center for Health Leadership and Practice creates custom leadership guidance for local health departments and regional initiatives to help them achieve their goals and objectives. Current and previous partners include the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit of Southern California, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Leadership Learning Network

The Leadership Learning Network (LLN) provides ongoing leadership training to public health professionals who have completed a Center for Health Leadership and Practice program. Through webinars and peer networking, the LLN brings together health and leadership experts with program alumni in intimate conversations on new and emerging practices in the public health field.

Leadership Program Design for Y-USA Mobilization for Health

CHLP will be a partner organization providing critical expertise. CHLP will advise Y-USA on the design of a leadership development program customized to meet their needs. This includes delivery model, curriculum content, rollout strategy, quality assurance and evaluation methodology. This advisory role will be based on CHLP’s knowledge from the development of its Academies and proven results.

National Leadership Academy for the Public's Health (NLAPH)

NLAPH trains multi-sector teams from across the U.S. with the goal of developing the leadership capacity of participants working across sectors to contribute to improved population health. Funded by the CDC, this one-year program uses cutting-edge strategies, tools and the latest in cross-sector collaboration practices, including an action-learning process that includes a webinar series, leadership retreat, coaching support, peer networking, an Applied Health Leadership Project (AHLP), and web-based resources. The curriculum encourages advances in leadership knowledge, attitudes and practices. NLAPH teams learn by doing as they work on an issue already a priority in their community through their AHLP.

Some of the enriching projects from previous years include:

  • Partnerships to Address Community Health and Realize Health Equity

  • Systems and Environmental Change to Tackle Substance Abuse

  • Culturally-Adapted Strategies to Address Chronic Disease

  • Policy Change in Smoke-Free Housing and Parks

  • Healthy and Active Living through the Built Environment and Workplace Wellness

  • Community Resilience to respond to Emergency Events

In addition to a nationally competitive cohort open to communities around the country, the CDC has invested in some specific mini-cohorts chosen according to an issue, region or special population that would most benefit from the processes, tools and skills of the NLAPH program. Some of these have included the Appalachian region, the US Virgin Islands, American Indian and Alaska Native populations, Ebola-affected regions, and Zika-affected regions. During NLAPH’s fifth year, the CDC Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, to support the improvement of population health, funded a specific cohort of NLAPH to train the current local and tribal public health department workforce. This cohort included some of the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country grantees in partnership with their communities and other sectors.

NLAPH also provided training and support to further develop the leadership skills and build upon lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic. The program’s purpose was to build international and domestic public health capacity for response to Ebola and other infectious disease outbreaks. It was based on the four factors identified by the World Health Organization that helped end Ebola outbreaks in West Africa: 1) Leadership; 2) Community Engagement; 3) Strong Support for International Community; and 4) Strong Coordination.

In 2018, we will welcome NLAPH Cohort 7. Learn more about NLAPH here.

Tribal Opioid Coalition Program Design Planning

The Center for Health Leadership and Practice is providing consultation to the California Rural Indian Health Board on program design to provide structure for their Tribal Medication Assisted Treatment local opioid coalition work.

Here's How We're Making a Difference

Accelerating Multi-Sectoral Leadership for Health

The National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH) is a one-year applied leadership training program designed to build leadership capacity and strengthen multi-sector collaboration within community health initiatives across the country. Since 2012, NLAPH has trained 425 leaders from 111 teams from 41 states and territories. Over 90% of participants reported that the NLAPH model is effective and sufficient in supporting intersectoral leadership development. Most participants (97%) would recommend the program to their colleagues.

NLAPH participants are already making a difference: teams have tripled the number of underrepresented medical residents at the Medical University of South Carolina, helped pass a NYC-wide law restricting tobacco purchases for people under 21, and increased lead screening rates from 80% to 100% in New Jersey’s Burlington County.

Preparing for Emerging Epidemics

In 2016 PHI’s Center for Health Leadership and Practice met with local leaders in the U.S. Virgin Islands to facilitate a strong, coordinated public health response to the Zika virus. The center’s model approach to creating cross-sector collaboration is informed by lessons learned from past epidemics and can support other communities facing Ebola, Zika and other infectious disease outbreaks.

By bringing tested and proven models built by lessons learned as a result of past epidemics, the Center is helping international and domestic entities build cross-sector capacity and collaboration for preparing for and responding to infectious disease outbreaks.

Strengthening Health Departments

PHI’s Center for Health Leadership and Practice has trained hundreds of senior personnel from local and state health departments to become more effective leaders in the movement to reduce health disparities and improve the social determinants of health.