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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

South Florida: From Public Health Executives to Public Health Leaders

In June, the University of South Florida College of Public Health’s (COPH) newly revived Public Health Executive Leadership Program graduated its first cohort of students in 10 years.

“In those 10 years, it was my understanding that there was a paucity of leadership training and formal programming for Florida Department of Health professionals,” explained Dr. Marissa Levine, a COPH practice pathway professor and one of the faculty organizers of the program. “We resurrected the program not to teach public health skills, but to bring out leadership skills.”

The program, designed for rising stars in the Florida Department of Health, brought public health executives across the state to the USF campus. Twenty-eight bureau chiefs, doctors, program administrators, lab executives, nurses and even IT professionals graduated the nine-month course that required five in-person, on-campus sessions with online work and discussion in-between.

At the end of the nine months, participants presented their capstone projects, which covered things like decreasing turnover by increasing morale and succession planning.

“The response from our participants has been excellent,” said Dr. Levine. “These are busy professionals who are working on this program in addition to their usual responsibilities and activities. And judging from the quality of their capstone projects, I think the program’s been important to them.”

Ms. Lylah Seaton, the chemical threat program administrator at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories in Jacksonville, said she was drawn to the program because, as a newly appointed supervisor, she was interested in learning how things operated around the state.

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