Magazine article The Nation's Health

Today's Public Health Students to Ensure Health for Generations

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Today's Public Health Students to Ensure Health for Generations

Article excerpt

AS APHA president, some of my warmest memories will be the time that I've spent with students and recent graduates. As we start a new school year, I would like to share some thoughts on leadership with students--but it's also for those who teach, mentor, coach and care about their future.

You will face complex challenges today and throughout your career. You must blend your academic preparation with the best of real-life experiences to meet these challenges. My own career was strongly influenced by exceptional mentors. There are four elements that are critical to effective leadership: building relationships, living your passion, sharing a vision and lifelong learning.

The most essential leadership skill is your ability to form meaningful relationships with a broad base of individuals. Relationships that are built on trust, respect and good communication are essential to allow you to work with individuals, families and communities.

This skill will help to facilitate collaboration across disciplines, across political boundaries and across international borders. Take time to solicit feedback on how others view you as a leader, and let that inform your development.

Next is clarifying and nurturing the passion for the work that you do. Think back to the first time you knew that public health was your calling. What aspects drew you into the field? The values of prevention, health promotion, protection, science and evidence-based decision-making and social justice were probably among them. …

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