The de Beaumont Foundation identifies success factors for state health officials and offers training to build management and leadership skills.
State health officials (SHOs), appointed by governors to lead state public health agencies, are tasked with protecting and improving the health of all residents. SHOs play a key role in policy development and must be well versed in health issues to effectively educate the public and advise the legislature and governors. However, little comprehensive research has examined the experience and characteristics of these leaders.
Through an initiative called SHO-CASE (State Health Officials — Career Achievement and Sustainability Evaluation), the de Beaumont Foundation partnered with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health to survey and interview 147 current and former SHOs, representing every state and Washington, D.C. These responses were collected in a comprehensive database that governors and others can use to understand and analyze the qualities and backgrounds of potential candidates. Download the SHO-CASE infographic showing trends and demographics among state health officials.
In addition, the de Beaumont Foundation has worked with ASTHO to create a year-long leadership program for senior deputies, the lead staff members in state public health agencies who are charged with implementing policies and procedures. The program prepares them to lead and manage state programs, identify and adopt best practices, and interact with peers and stakeholders on national issues.