American Public Health Association
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Health Administration
Section Newsletter
Summer 2004

Message from the Chair: Moving From Commitment to Action….the 2004 APHA Annual Meeting and More

 
Jon Thompson
Dear HAS Members,

In the past two newsletters, I have addressed the issues of strengthening your commitment to and involvement in the Health Administration Section and to APHA overall, and the need to focus on the “public” in public health—be it external or internal publics--in the best ways you can. As we approach the 2004 APHA Annual Meeting, let me reflect on the some of the accomplishments of our HAS Committees in the past few months, and express my thanks to all of you who are involved in Section activities.

The HAS Program at the Annual Meeting is arguably one of the most visible, informative and section-building activities of the HAS Section during the year. Under the leadership of Diane Adams and Polly Turner, our Program Planning Committee has established an excellent program complete with invited and contributed sessions on a wide range of important topics. It takes a tremendous amount of effort, coordination, perseverance and long hours to make the HAS program at the Annual Meeting a reality, and our deep appreciation and thanks go to Diane, Polly and the Program Planning Committee for their excellent work on this year’s program.

Our Membership Committee, under the leadership of Audrey Smith and Linda Moore, has identified ways to reach new members and involve the Section in mentoring students as well as new members. The committee will also be instrumental in managing our Section’s booth activities at the Annual Meeting. Thanks to them and their committee for excellent initiatives in meeting the individual needs of our members.

The Web and IT Committee, under the guidance of Laura Larsson and Jorg Westermann, has developed ways to expand our communication linkages through our Web site, newsletters and other means. The committee has also developed ways to identify the expertise of our members and bring that expertise to bear on addressing the needs of the section, APHA and the health services industry as a whole. Also, Laura has done an excellent job in developing and maintaining our section newsletter. Thank you for a job well done.

The Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee, under the direction of Tricia Todd, has provided a major coordination role in helping HAS shape a future vision, but more importantly, helping the Section focus on ways to operationalize that vision through specific action steps. One of the committee’s key activities is to coordinate the updating of the HAS Operating Manual to make it current and incorporate a means to translate operational policy into action. Thanks to this committee for their dedicated efforts.

And finally, the Policy Committee under the leadership of Michael Smiley, the Linkages Committee under the leadership of Bud Nicola, the Nominations Committee under the leadership of Joyce Gaufin, and the Awards Committee under the leadership of Marcia Levy Rosenstein, have been instrumental in coordinating reviews of existing and proposed APHA policies, developing linkages with organizations to position HAS for successful, long-term relationships, coordinating the section’s nominations process for HAS leadership, and determining the Section’s Awards winners for this year, respectively. I would also like to acknowledge the dedicated efforts of Laurie Fitts in her role as Secretary for the Section this year. Thanks to all these leaders and their committees for their hard work on behalf on the section.

The above examples show how commitment is translated into action for the good of the Section. (Please note that there are many others active in the Section whom I cannot mention in this short column that have done so much for the section and I applaud all of your efforts and thank you for your energy, talent and wisdom). Please plan to come to the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., this November, attend the scientific sessions, section business meetings and awards ceremony/social, and renew your commitment to and involvement in Section activities for the future.

Health Administration Program Committee Turns Up the Heat for the Fall Annual Meeting

 
As mentioned in the Chair's report above, Diane Adams, MD, MPH, and her committee, Polly S. Turner, DrPH, MPH, RPh, Eileen Parish, MD, and Sandra A. Worrell, MA, have turned in an exceptionally fine program for our Section for this fall's Annual Meeting. Scientific sessions run the gamet from information technology to social behavior, from leadership to research, from emergency preparedness to best practices and from cultural competency/diversity to linkages. The posters submitted to the Section are also very informative and wide-ranging in the information they present. Those attending the meeting, and I hope most of you are going to come to the meeting, will find it difficult to decide what sessions to attend. Sessions and posters are all very hot, hot, hot!

Minutes of the Health Administration Section Council Meeting

The Health Administration Section Council met by telephone conference call, June 1, 2004. The minutes are posted to a temporary Web site. Minutes from HAS Council meetings will be posted to the new Web site when we get the site ready for viewing.

In the meantime, please review the minutes of the Section here: <http://depts.washington.edu/hswork/apha-has/has-minutes-060104.doc>.

HAS Booth Needs You!

 
Time is soon approaching for the 132nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6-10, 2004. We need your help to make the Health Administration Section Booth both interesting and inviting for those who pass by in the exhibit hall. Working at the HAS Booth is an opportunity to meet section members, recruit new members, as well as network with thousands of public health professionals and students attending the meeting. Please sign up to help your Section by working the HAS Section Booth for at least two hours over the course of the Annual Meeting, although we encourage you to sign up for as many blocks of time as you have time for.

The HAS booth signup calendar is located at: <http://my.calendars.net/has_booth/> . The times are already set up in one-hour blocks for you. Time slots available include:

Sunday, Nov. 7: 2 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 8: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 9: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 10: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

To get to November, click on Display-->Month-->November. To sign up for a time period, click on the day (number), then on "Edit" next to the time period you want to sign up for. Fill in your name and e-mail address in the Calendar text box. Remember, dates of use of this calendar are Nov. 7, 8, 9, 10.

I look forward to working with you to make the 132nd meeting a great success. If you have any questions or ideas I would really like to hear from you, please e-mail me at <asmith48219@aol.com>. If you have technical problems with the calendar, contact Laura Larsson at <larsson@u.washington.edu>. Laura will also help you sign up if you run into problems.

SPOTLIGHT on HAS Section Leaders and Members: Bud Nicola, MD, MHSA, FACPM

This is a new Newsletter feature beginning in this issue. In this part of the Newsletter, we will interview Health Administration Section leaders and members. Bud Nicola volunteered to be interviewed first. (Thank you, Bud!)

Our intent is to interview members as well as our leadership. If you know of a member who is both interesting and willing to be interviewed, please suggest his or her name to the Newsletter editor. If you are interested in being interviewed, please contact me. And now the interview with Bud Nicola.

Laura: Who are you and where do you work?
Bud: I am a Senior Consultant on assignment from the CDC working with the Turning Point National Program Office at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

Laura: How did you get into public health, especially health care administration?
Bud: When I was in medical school at the University of Oregon, I worked with a group of medical students in my third year planning and staffing a migrant health clinic in Stayton, Oregon. It stimulated my interest in organizing and delivering health care. I took a preventive medicine residency at the University of Michigan, which included a Master's degree in Health Services Administration. My first job was working for Denver Health and Hospitals in the Neighborhood Health Program doing a combination of clinical work and program evaluation - and from there I was hooked on public health.

Laura: Why do/did you volunteer to work as a HA Section leader?
Bud: Our Health Administration Section in APHA provides a real opportunity to network with other health administrators throughout the nation and to explore best practices in administration. I was interested in helping to improve the Section's relationships with other national administrative organizations for educational and networking purposes. So I volunteered to work on a "linkages" committee to begin some exploration.

Laura: Where do you see the Section going in the next two to three years?
Bud: The Health Administration section can help APHA members become better administrators by providing an excellent annual program, by sponsoring cutting-edge Institutes and educational sessions, and by providing opportunities to network with administrators from within and without APHA.

Laura: Can you share some thoughts about your chosen field of work?
Bud: It's a privilege to be able to work on health improvement and protection. We get to wear white hats and work with passionate, caring people to improve the lives of our families and neighbors. What could be better?

Laura: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Bud.
Bud: You're welcome!

Secretariat

Nadim A. Haddad, MD, MPH, a recent member of the HAS Web and IT Committee, is currently a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Academic Development Projects, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut. During the past three decades, he occupied the positions of Chair and founder of the Department of Health Services Administration, School of Public Health, American University of Beirut; senior healthcare management positions in university extension programs; and chief executive officer in the private sector industry with operations in the Middle East and the United States.

The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of a secretariat and propose a venue for its application in the Health Administration Section.

What is a secretariat?



Secretariats in international, governmental, public and not-for-profit institutions carry out diverse administrative functions pertaining to programs and policies laid down by their parent organizations.

Perceived as an ‘administrative arm’ of its parent organization, a secretariat acts as a ‘standing body’ for the purpose of maintaining continuity of operations in the face of ever-changing electoral and political appointments that come and go over the years.

A secretariat operates within the framework of pre-set policies and procedures that are organization-specific. The backbone rests in its role as the custodian of all documents pertaining to the parent organization. Whereas historically documents were initially filed in ‘hard copies’, they are now electronic. Information technology therefore is now part and parcel of its operations. Building Web sites is one of the effective communication tools.

What is the definition of a vision statement?



Managers versed in balanced scorecard methodology define an organization’s vision statement as a powerful tool that provides everyone in the organization a shared mental framework that articulates an abstract future to what lies ahead. A meaningful vision statement is a ‘word picture’ of what an organization intends to become in 3-5 years.

What is the venue for application?



The writer perceives the ‘Web Site and IT Committee’ (or, for short, “W/IT Committee”) as the venue for application of the concept of a secretariat. The vision statement of the secretariat is an operating ‘work unit’ within the organizational framework of HAS held responsible for:

1. Designing appropriate IT architectures to support HAS operations.

2. Application of IT tools, including Web site technology for the purpose of effective communication and e-learning.

3. Collection of data on operations, analysis of findings, and preparation of performance reports.

4. Conducting internal processes for the purpose of evaluation and monitoring of performance against HAS’s stated mission, vision and principles.

5. Assessment of outcome as a result of activities carried out by HAS for the benefit of the community served.

6. Designing strategic and tactical plans aimed at full achievement of HAS’s mission and vision.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

[Editor's Note: The other members of the W/IT team are: Jorg Westermann, Co-Chair, Laura Larsson, Co-Chair, Bud Nicola, Laurie Fitts, and Vonna Henry. You will be hearing more from us as we re-invigorate the current Web site.]

What's New(s) on...?

This section links you to Web sites that have information useful to those working in health administration. To visit the site, just click on the underlined link. Valuable resources all. These links will remain as part of the Newsletter. (Keep in mind that some of the links might take a few seconds to load as they are doing searches of very large databases – and that takes time).

What's New on the APHA Web Site? <http://www.apha.org/news/>

What’s New on the AHRQ Web Site? <http://www.ahrq.gov/whatsnew.htm>

What’s New on the DHHS Web Site? <http://www.dhhs.gov/news/press/2004.html>
DHHS Reference Collection? <http://www.dhhs.gov/reference/index.shtml>

What’s New in Medicine and Public Health on the National Academy Press Web Site? <http://books.nap.edu/v3/makepage.phtml?val1=subject&val2=ms>

What’s New at the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™? <http://www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov/whatsnew/newthisweek.aspx>

What's New on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Web Site? <http://www.jcaho.org/news%2Broom/index.htm>

What’s New in the Grey Literature? (New York Academy of Medicine) <http://www.nyam.org/library/greyreport.shtml>

What's New in Health Administration on the Yahoo! Web Site? <http://dir.yahoo.com/Health/Health_Administration/>

What's New in Healthcare Management on Google? <http://tinyurl.com/3srwa>

What's New in PubMed on Organization and Administration in Public Health? <http://tinyurl.com/4tsnk>

Eliminating Health Disparities: Measurement and Data Needs

 
From the description on the National Academies Press Web site:
"Disparities in health and health care across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in the United States are well documented. The reasons for these disparities are, however, not well understood. Current data available on race, ethnicity, SEP, and accumulation and language use are severely limited. The report examines data collection and reporting systems relating to the collection of data on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic position and offers recommendations."

Examine the full text of this National Academy Press document free of charge at the NAP Web site: <http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10979.html?ed_33>.

Academic Health Centers: Leading Change in the 21st Century

 
Academic Health Centers cover from NAP Web site.
From the description on the National Academies Press Web site: "Academic health centers are currently facing enormous changes that will impact their roles in education, research, and patient care. The aging and diversity of the population will create new health care needs and demands, while rapid advances in technology will fundamentally alter the health care systems’ capabilities. Pressures on health care costs, growth of the uninsured, and evidence of quality problems in health care will create a challenging environment that demands change."

"Academic Health Centers explores how AHCs will need to consider how to redirect each of their roles so they are able to meet the burgeoning challenges of health care and improve the health of the people they serve. The methods and approaches used in preparing health professionals, the relationship among the variety of their research programs and the design of clinical care will all need examination if they are to meet the changing demands of the coming decades."

Examine the text of this document free of charge at the NAP Web site: <http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10734.html?ed_23>.

Microbicides an Important Potential Weapon Against HIV

Microbicides are becoming an important potential weapon against HIV infection. A new article posted on the SciDevNet Web site explores the issues of microbicides, asking such important questions as:

  • "Will they redefine the phrase 'safe sex'?"

  • "Will researchers avoid the ethical setbacks of many vaccine trials?"


The SciDevNet microbicide Web page, <http://tinyurl.com/4atfa>, includes an introduction to the issue of microbicides, some background reading, and links the to news, feature and opinion articles and to related organizations.

Personal Knowledge Management Column

This column is devoted to personal applications and information that you, as an individual knowledge worker, can use to improve your information productivity without necessarily relying on your IT staff. The short articles and hints contained in this section will follow a framework originally developed by Prof. Paul Dorsey, who has recently retired from Millikin University to work on personal knowledge management articles and teaching.

Dorsey’s framework consists of seven areas: 1. Accessing information and ideas; 2. Evaluating information and ideas; 3. Organizing information and ideas; 4. Analyzing information and ideas; 5. Conveying information and ideas; 6. Collaborating around information and ideas; and 7. Securing information and ideas. The framework is an attempt to combine computer literacy with information literacy. It’s an expansion of the: “find, organize, use and disseminate” school of thinking.

Why You Should Google Yourself...Often

 
You are likely well-known in your field and on the Web. Want to find out how well-know you actually are? Open Google.com and type in your name in quotes. Then see how many mentions of you are listed. Well, how many are there and what do they say about you? Do NOT use your Social Security Number or any credit card number to search. The Web is very insecure. Just inputting your card numbers or SSN can get you into trouble.

A Croatian colleague was able to track me down using Google. She input my name and hunted for my phone number. Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call early one morning this week from her. When I asked how she found me, she answered, "Google."

Mobile Communication

Personal wireless communication gets a lot of hot play these days. Arguably, it will change business more than anything else since the advent of the Internet. It's more a question of when than if. For now, most wireless use is confined to cell phone calling. But wireless Internet connections will become ubiquitous; most employees will access the Internet over cellular phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and wireless laptops. Read this article, which is copyrighted by CXO Media Inc, at: <http://guide.darwinmag.com/technology/personal/communication/index.html>.

Disinfecting Your PC, By Larry J. Seltzer. PC Magazine

What would you do if your Windows computer suddenly became unresponsive? Or if you could no longer access the Internet?

Viruses and spyware can cause that, even when you're running up-to-date protection against them. Tools aren't perfect, and it's possible that some malware sneaked by.

If you can't get online, you're stuck with the tools built into Windows XP. Read this article to learn more:
<http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1626132,00.asp>

PowerPoint Tips

Visual improvization with PowerPoint

[Innovation Weblog, Tuesday, June 08, 2004]

Cliff Atkinson, author of the Beyond Bullets Weblog <http://sociablemedia.typepad.com/beyond_bullets/>, is a man on a mission: His goal is to get businesspeople to think beyond the typical (read boring) way everyone uses PowerPoint to convey information (zzzzz....) and to open their eyes to what's really possible in terms of visual storytelling and persuasion using this popular but often misused business tool.

Cliff recently explained how he created a visual improvization exercise <http://sociablemedia.typepad.com/beyond_bullets/2004/06/visual_improvis.html> to help a group of businesspeople understand this concept. Read this article:
<http://www.innovationtools.com/Weblog/innovationblog-detail.asp?ArticleID=468>.



Beyond Bullets: Aristotle's Top 10 PowerPoint Tips

by Cliff Atkinson, Aug. 4, 2004

Western philosophers have been mapping a course to clear communication for more than 2,500 years, but judging by many PowerPoint presentations today, you would think we completely missed the boat. That means it's time for us to hit the PowerPoint pause button, circle back and catch up with the past.

In their study of rhetoric, the ancient Greeks described how people can persuade by appealing to reason, emotion, and the character of the speaker. Has anything changed since then? Read the full article: <http://www.beyondbullets.com/2004/08/99_perspiration.html>

Have You Tried Collaborating Using Instant Messaging (IM)?

All the youth I know are connected via IM. Are you? If you are not, explore Yahoo! Messenger available at: <http://messenger.yahoo.com/>.

Download the application, register yourself, find a colleague and get him or her to sign on and begin communicating in real time.

IM is a terrific collaboration tool. You can share URLs, documents, discuss issues of importance with one or more colleagues, transfer files, keep an online address book, and share photos, talk to others via voice chat and even play games and listen to the radio.

The Yahoo! Messenger site has examples, tutorials, and advice on how to use the IM application from an online help person. This is a pretty good deal for free, but the real value lies in your ability to communicate inexpensively over the Internet.

The Decade of Health Information Technology: Delivering Consumer-centric and Information-Rich Health Care

A report released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlines a 10-year plan to build a national electronic health information infrastructure featuring joint public/private cooperation and leadership. The plan includes bringing electronic health records (EHRs) into clinical practice and linking health records nationwide.

The plan's four major collaborative goals are to:


  • Inform clinical practice by bringing EHR systems to physician offices and hospitals.


  • Interconnect clinicians by building an interoperable health information infrastructure.


  • Personalize care by using health information technology to help consumers become more involved in health decisions.


  • Improve population health by expanding capacity for public health monitoring, quality-of-care measurement, and the acceleration of research advances into medical practice.



HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced several specific actions that will advance the plan. These include funding community health information exchange demonstrations and establishing a Medicare beneficiary portal, which will provide secure, personalized health information via the Internet. Thompson Launches "Decade of Health Information Technology" (7/21/04, news release, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
<http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20040721a.html>

HHS Fact Sheet--HIT Report At-A-Glance (7/21/04, fact sheet, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
<http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20040721.html>

The Decade of Health Information Technology: Delivering Consumer-centric and Information-Rich Health Care (7/21/04, full report, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
<http://www.hhs.gov/onchit/framework/>

Source: Janice Solomon, Program Analyst, Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute.

Leadership Articles

This section will concentrate on articles that are intended to help you think about your role as leaders in health administration and in public health and to offer practical tips for doing so. Wherever possible we will include articles on best practices.

This month we feature two articles, one is by Jeff Wilson, Turning Point and Strategic Planning Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Health on Collaborative Leadership. A second article written by Betty Bakemeier, Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Turning Point National Program Office at the University Of Washington School Of Public Health, provides an overview of the Turning Point Program. It is found under the General Articles section. Several other articles on topics related to health care management and leadership are also available for reading.

Request. This is a request to readers to submit their most important questions regarding leadership issues and best practices in public health to Laura Larsson at <larsson@u.washington.edu> for possible inclusion in future issues of the Newsletter.

Collaborative Leadership: A Tool for Success

By Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson is the Turning Point and Strategic Planning Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Health. In that role he manages the Turning Point Leadership Development National Excellence Collaborative. He currently serves as the Director of the Virginia Center of Healthy Communities. He can be reached at <jeff.wilson@vdh.virginia.gov>.


What are the most pressing problems facing public health today? Lack of resources? Increasing chronic disease rates? Bioterrorism? Access to health care services? Cultural competency? Very likely it is all of them. But how can governmental public health agencies deal effectively with these issues? One answer: collaborate.

Collaboration is a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations. It requires exchanging information, altering activities, and sharing resources to achieve common goals. It takes special skills to shepherd groups through a collaborative process.

Collaborative leadership embraces a process in which people with different views and perspectives come together, set aside narrow self-interests and discuss issues in an open and supportive manner. The purpose is to find ways of helping each other solve a larger problem or achieve broader goals. Collaborative leaders should possess a number of critical skills and capacities. Many of the skills are not necessarily unique to a collaborative form of leadership and have already been described in the literature and developed into training curricula. The Turning Point Leadership Development National Excellence Collaborative, however, has identified six key elements important for leading a collaborative process.

1) Assessing the Environment for Collaboration: Understanding the context for change before you act.

2) Creating Clarity - Visioning and Mobilizing: Defining shared values and engaging people in positive action.

3) Building Trust: Creating safe places for developing shared purpose and action.

4) Sharing Power and Influence: Developing the synergy of people, organizations, and communities to accomplish more.

5) Developing People: Committing to the development of people as your key asset through mentoring and coaching.

6) Self Reflection - Personal Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): Understanding your own leadership, engaging others.

The Turning Point Leadership Development National Excellence Collaborative has worked to create a series of tools to enhance collaborative leadership skills among public health professionals and their key community partners. The Collaborative Leadership Learning Modules: A Comprehensive Series provide skill-building instruction to shape current and future collaborative leaders. These materials are adaptable for learners with different amounts of experience and time and can be mixed and matched for a learning plan that meets the needs of a specific group.

Each learning module addresses one of the six key elements. The elements are not mutually exclusive but support each other to provide a picture of the essential skills of a collaborative leader. Some organizations use all the modules and present them over four to six full-day sessions (or over the course of a semester). Others customize the material by focusing on a few aspects of collaborative leadership, or by spending less time on each module.

Each module includes a Facilitator’s Guide, a Participant’s Guide, PowerPoint slide sets and Module Activities. The series begins with an introduction to the concept of collaborative leadership, a brief review of the six collaborative leadership practices, and an introduction to the module that reviews the purpose and learning objectives. Next, learners complete a self-assessment to reveal strengths and gaps in leadership capacities related to the collaborative leadership practice that is the focus of the module. A short conceptual overview of the collaborative leadership practice follows.

The bulk of time is spent on three or four interactive activities designed to allow learners to experience the key concepts for themselves. This is accomplished through the use of role plays, games, small group discussions, simulations, and case studies. Each module ends with a list of readings and resources for collaborative leadership in general and for that collaborative leadership practice, specifically. The final activity is the development of a personal learning plan, which incorporates information from the self assessment tool and insights from the workshop.

The learning modules and other collaborative leadership materials developed by the Turning Point Leadership Development National Excellence Collaborative can be accessed free of charge on the Web at <www.collaborativeleadership.org> or <www.turningpointprogram.org>. If you are interested in obtaining a printed version of these materials, contact and ordering information is available on the Web.

Edward De Bono - Creative Organizations

Naina Redhu from the ASIDE Innovation Blog recently posted a list of corporate attitudes toward creativity which were excerpted from Edward DeBono and Robert Heller's newsletter, Management Intelligence. It reflects some of the prevailing responses of organizations to the challenge of creativity -- some productive, and some unproductive. Here are several examples:

Quiet Life
A new idea is a distraction and a disturbance. The idea may fail. So just don't have any.

Me-Too
Let someone else develop the new idea. Let someone else carry the development costs. Let someone else develop the market. When the idea is seen to be successful then you come in with a 'me-too'.

Chance
You read the literature. You go to conferences. You talk to others. Ideas do happen from time to time. You have to be patient and to wait.

To read about other ways that organizations face innovation so that you can learn from their efforts, visit Naina Redhu's Weblog: <http://tinyurl.com/4dd6w>.

Getting Things Done: Time Management Tips

Here is a useful list of suggestions for increasing your productivity and reducing clutter.

Don't fill up the filing cabinet. When setting up files, don't cram too much into each drawer. Leave plenty of space for expansion.

Interruptions vs. opportunities. Try to keep interruptions to a minimum, but don't be so obsessed with priority tasks that you miss out on something even more important. Recognize that any interruptions are opportunities coming at inopportune times. Allow time in your schedule to respond to these immediately - before the opportunity is lost.

Street Smart. Everything requires time. And time is a non-renewable resource in limited supply. When choosing what to do next, determine the investment of time needed and compare it to the benefits the completed task will provide. Mark H. McCormack, in his book, "Staying Streetsmart in the Internet Age" (Viking Penguin, 2000) uses this strategy to determine when he should say No. To quote him: "Everyday business decisions such as where I travel and whom I meet are guided by how much time they require of me and how much reward will result from the investment of time. If the time investment outweighs the reward, I'll usually say no to an opportunity to which other less time-conscious executives might say yes."

Voice mail vs. e-mail. Marjorie Brody, CEO of Brody Communications Ltd. suggests that if a message is longer than 30 seconds, it's probably better to send e-mail.

Keep e-mail brief. Don't go beyond one screen and keep sentences short, between 10 - 25 words. The shorter the sentences, the more readable the e-mail becomes.

E-mail training. Collect examples of well-written e-mail messages and post them on the Intranet so employees can use them for reference.

Exercise. Bob Adams, in his book, "The Everything Time Management Book", suggests that exercise be a part of everyone's schedule, even if it's only 10 minutes per day. He claims that the time you spend making excuses for not exercising is the time you could be using to exercise.

These tips were taken from several issues of Taylor's Time Tips, an electronic newsletter and used with permission of the author. Harold L. Taylor is the author of 'Making Time Work for You.' Subscribe to Taylor's Time Tips at <www.TaylorOnTime.com> .

Quotes To Think About and Use

"A man is not old until his regrets take the place of dreams." (John Barrymore)

"A man always has two reasons for doing anything --a good reason and the real reason." (J.P. Morgan)

“Change is persuading massive numbers of people to stop what they have been doing and start doing something they probably don’t want to do.” (David Nadler, Champions of Change)

"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." (Bertrand Russell)

Management Humor

Suffering during a long, zzzzzz meeting? Surf to <www.lonsteins.com/management_speak.html> to "painlessly formulate a corporate, divisional or departmental mission statement. It's quick, it's easy and it's as incomprehensible as what the executives concoct."

Ever wondered what terms like "self-motivated," "we offer great benefits" and "competitive environment" mean when you're job hunting? Visit Translating the Want-ad Web page at <www.cbu.edu/~kprien/wantad.htm> to learn what these terms REALLY mean.

Leadership References to Buy, Borrow or Read Online

Public Health Leadership and Management: Cases and Context, by Stuart A. Capper, Peter M. Ginter and Linda E. Swayne. Sage Publications, 2001

The six chapters and 15 cases contained in this book challenge students and administrators to ask the appropriate questions and stimulate their thinking about public health leadership and management.

NASA has posted a long list of leadership books on its Web site. The books range from Roger Axtell and colleagues' "Do’s and Taboos Around the World for Women in Business" to Zander and Zander "The Art Of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life". You will have to go to Amazon.com to get the books - or to your local public or academic library. The URL is: <www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/NLS/LeadershipBibliography.pdf>.

Women in Leadership: Bibliography and Selected Annotations. The partially annotated bibliography assembled by Marie Edenfeldt of the Reflective Leadership Center and Vinita Jethwani of the Center on Women and Public Policy at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs provides recommended readings on the following topics: leadership in context, personal leadership, team leadership, organizational leadership, political leadership, visionary leadership, ethical leadership, and international leadership. If you want to brush up on your leadership skills, this is a good place to start. The URL is <www.hhh.umn.edu/centers/wpp/women_in_leadership.htm>.

Turning Point Provides Lessons and Tools for Public Health System Improvement

By Betty Bekemeier <bettybek@u.washington.edu>

Betty Bekemeier is a Public Health Nurse who holds a Masters in Public Health and a Masters of Science in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to becoming Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Turning Point National Program Office at the University Of Washington School Of Public Health, Betty managed the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice at the UW. The Northwest Center facilitates public health workforce development activities and planning throughout the Northwest Region.


Full collaboration across sectors and at all levels can transform how we think about public health, what our resources are, how we approach problems, and what kind of solutions emerge. The Turning Point Initiative has made this apparent.

Public health practitioners and administrators often describe themselves as familiar with Turning Point, but as not quite understanding what it is all about. Many know that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Turning Point Initiative fostered the development of the 2003 Model State Public Health Act, for example, or that their state is a “Turning Point state” or that Turning Point has to do with partnerships and public health systems. Turning Point is all of these things.

Twenty-one states have been receiving Turning Point funding from the RWJF to transform their public health systems through collaborative statewide, cross-sector partnerships. Since 1997 they have been leveraging these RWJF dollars and Turning Point relationships toward concerted efforts in planning and implementing innovative strategies for stronger public health systems. These states have a great deal to show for the extent to which they have been:

  • Improving the accountability for public health efforts;


  • Developing and implementing public health statute reform;


  • Strengthening public health capacity at the local level;


  • Reducing health inequities through better data and organizational planning support;


  • Leveraging external resources and support across sectors; and

  • Using social marketing to encourage behavior and policy change.



In May 2004 a national Turning Point conference, “States of Change,” showcased the accomplishments of each of the 21 Turning Point states. This conference brought high level local and state public health officials from all 50 states together to gain from lessons learned and strategies used in Turning Point states to utilize statewide partnerships, create an ongoing planning environment for public health, and greatly expand public health capacity. While the funding for these Turning Point states will end by late 2005, they have all sought effective ways to sustain the successes they have had in creating systems that provide ongoing planning and support to the growth and development of their public health capacity.

Meanwhile, these Turning Point states have also been members of the Turning Point National Excellence Collaboratives. These National Collaboratives are made up of multiple Turning Point partner states, with representatives from state and local public health as well as from national partner organizations. The Collaboratives were formed to address areas of national significance in public health system improvement—areas that were found to have common issues among many of the states. The five Collaboratives have developed models, processes, products, and tools over the past four years, contributing to the state of the science in 1) Collaborative Leadership, 2) Public Health Law, 3) Performance Management, 4) Social Marketing, and 5) Information Technology.

The products of these Collaboratives have had a very wide appeal among public health administrators at the state and local level, seeking effective tools for meeting complex public health challenges among their populations. Several of the National Collaboratives have developed curricula and training opportunities, some have established specific ongoing Web sites, many have case study examples of how others have successfully addressed specific issues, and all have suggestions for how to use these tools to improve how we do public health and how we can maximize our partnerships.

You can access the products and lessons of Turning Point through the Turning Point Web site at <www.turningpointprogram.org>. This site will lead you to information on each of the 21 Turning Point states as well as the work and the products of each of the five National Excellence Collaboratives. Many of the materials of the Collaboratives can be downloaded or ordered through this Web site.

We can all strengthen and transform our nation’s public health system through partnership, planning, and innovation. Turning Point lessons and tools are helping show us how.