Building Georgia’s Culture of Health

The College of Public Health and the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development are partnering to offer the Public Health Leadership Academy: Building Georgia’s Culture of Health beginning in March, 2015. Its mission is to increase the capacity of leaders to transcend boundaries, work collaboratively, and transform their communities in order to improve the health of Georgians. The Public Health Leadership Academy will provide training to multi-sector teams from across the state with the goal of advancing each team’s leadership skills to foster a culture of health in their communities.



Individuals across multiple sectors in their community, in traditional health and health-care related areas, as well as others engaged in a broad range of community efforts (education, transportation, law, planning, policy) that may influence a culture of health in their communities. Up to six community teams (24) people will make up the cohort.

How To Apply

To apply for the 2017 Cohort of the Public Health Leadership Academy complete the application packet and mail it to the UGA College of Public Health Office of Outreach and Engagement. Applications are due by 5:00 pm on December 15, 2015. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by January 15, 2017. Additional information about the program is outline in the application packet. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Marsha Davis at 706-542-4042.


The one-year program offers an array of experiential learning activities that includes six face-to-face multi-day sessions, distance learning, discussions with subject matter experts and national public health leaders, support and peer networking, and an applied project in each team’s respective community.

  • Individual Leadership

    This session will focus on building leadership capacity in the individual and the multi-sector team. Participants will:

    • Learn about the culture of health framework
    • Discuss current trends in public health and their impacts on Georgia
    • Explore the difference between leading versus managing a transformation process in communities adopting a culture of health
    • Assess leadership styles of individuals and the multi-sector team
    • Understand how to identify a community’s public health values and define shared vision
  • Culture of Health 1

    This session will focus on building leadership skills to improve communication and cultural competency to promote a culture of health. Participants will:

    • Explore their own personal cultural competency
    • Discover how to foster cultural competency across community groups
    • Learn techniques to address conflict and negotiation
    • Practice framing messages that include both values and solutions to a public health concern
    • Learn how to create communications processes to advance community narratives about the creation of health throughout Georgia


  • Systems Leadership

    Systems Leadership

    This session will focus on applying systems thinking to public health leadership. Participants will:

    • Develop their understanding of health as a system of structured relationships
    • Explore how we interact with each other in social networks
    • Discover how to support interaction across organizational lines with multiple stakeholders to understand and manage complex challenges
    • Focus on information exchange and synthesis
    • Review case studies that have used systems thinking and collective impact to address a public health issue
    • Study “Health in All Policies” and other policy related initiatives
    • Focus on upstream work — which address root causes of a problem — versus downstream work, which delivers immediate help to people who need it now
    • Learn about the components of upstream work such as sector analysis, public expenditure review, policies that affect health
  • Collaborative Leadership

    This session will focus on building leadership skills to create a shared vision for a common agenda to address a public health focus in their communities. Participants will:

    • Enhance understanding of collaborative leadership and its connections to systems thinking
    • Learn how the collective impact approach creating lasting solutions contributes to a culture of health
    • Discover how to use data for planning, decision-making, influencing others, and monitoring progress towards goals
    • Engage in activities to understand how public health leaders create direction, alignment, and commitment towards collaboration and coordination of efforts
  • Culture of Health 2

    This session will focus on the leadership skills for planning, managing, and sustaining community dimensions of practice. Participants will:

    • Learn the variety of components required in effective multi-sector work
    • Know the steps and tools to sustain program and efforts
    • Explore identification and engagement of assets, resources, and stakeholders
    • Understand how to move work forward in different contexts related to any community health improvement concern


  • Action Leadership

    In this culminating session:

    • Teams will make presentations on the projects they have undertaken during the year
    • Individuals will reflect on learning and teams will develop action steps for moving forward
    • Discussions will focus on cross- team sharing and learning from the experience
    • Plans will be developed to promote network building within the Public Health Leadership Academy community
    • Finally, the session will provide closure to the program and celebrate the achievements of the teams