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Advancing the public health workforce to achieve organizational excellence
Council on Linkages Meeting Summary - July 2018

Related Categories: Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Topic: Conferences and Events, Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Author: Kathleen Amos

Date: 7/31/2018



Council on Linkages Meeting Summary


July 2018

The Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (Council on Linkages) held its first meeting of 2018 on July 16th. Eighty Council on Linkages members and friends participated in this virtual meeting, discussing current Council on Linkages initiatives and plans for the future.

The State of the Council on Linkages: Impact, Current Initiatives, and Future Opportunities
The Council on Linkages has a more than 25-year history of supporting the US public health workforce and advancing workforce development efforts nationwide. Over this history, the Council on Linkages has grown from nine member organizations to 23, expanding its breadth and bringing in a range of stakeholders whose efforts align in the goal of improving the public’s health. During this meeting, Council on Linkages Director Ron Bialek, MPP, provided a look at the Council on Linkages’ impact and current initiatives, highlighting its early work to lay the groundwork for The Community Guide (The Guide to Community Preventive Services) and the field of public health services and systems research (PHSSR), contributions to Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accreditation for schools and programs of public health and Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) accreditation for health departments, development of foundational competencies for the practice and teaching of public health, and strengthening partnerships and collaboration between public health practice and academia. He also looked to the future, with discussion of continuing to support movement toward Public Health 3.0, champion the public health workforce as roles evolve, support collaboration across disciplines and sectors, increase the visibility and use of the Core Competencies, and foster academic health departments (AHDs), among other areas. Council on Linkages members, including representatives of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and National Association of County and City Health Officials, joined the discussion to share how the Council on Linkages efforts have supported their organizations’ members. For more information about the Council on Linkages’ history and opportunities for the future, please view the meeting presentation slides or contact Kathleen Amos at

Academic Health Department Mentorship Program Seeks Mentors
The AHD Learning Community has grown to more than 900 members, and the AHD Mentorship Program has provided one-on-one guidance related to AHD partnerships to 16 AHD mentees. The AHD Mentorship Program, which aims to build ongoing mentoring relationships to foster AHD partnerships, is designed to connect individuals seeking guidance in an area of AHD development or operation with those having experience in that area. Currently, additional mentees are waiting to be matched with an AHD mentor, and additional mentors with expertise or experience in a variety of areas of AHD development, operation, and evaluation are needed. To volunteer as an AHD mentor or learn more, please contact Kathleen Amos at

New Competency Sets Focused on Performance Improvement and Nursing Available
Two new competency sets with close ties to the Core Competencies have recently been released: the Competencies for Performance Improvement Professionals in Public Health (PI Competencies) and the 2018 Community/Public Health Nursing (C/PHN) Competencies. The PI Competencies are a set of skills desirable for performance improvement (PI) professionals working in public health and were developed to offer additional guidance in PI for public health professionals with responsibilities related to developing or implementing plans and activities in the areas of quality improvement, performance management, workforce development, accreditation readiness, or community health assessment and improvement planning. Released in June 2018 by the Public Health Foundation (PHF), these competencies were developed with guidance from the Performance Improvement Competencies Subgroup of the Core Competencies Workgroup and can be used along with the Core Competencies to help guide workforce development for PI professionals. The 2018 C/PHN Competencies reflect the unique competencies required for the practice of public health nursing and were recently released by the Quad Council Coalition of Public Health Nursing Organizations. These competencies were updated to align with the current version of the Core Competencies, as well as a variety of other related nursing competencies, and can be used by public health nurses from entry-level to senior management/leadership in a variety of practice settings. The Core Competencies are available to support the development of discipline-specific competency sets, in addition to supporting the development of foundational, or cross-cutting, skills for professionals working in public health, and any questions about these efforts may be shared with Kathleen Amos at

Volunteers Needed for PHPartners Website Usability Testing
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is currently assessing the newly redesigned Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce website ( The new website is now available in a staging area before it is made available to the public, and volunteers are needed to participate in a brief online usability test and survey. The testing can be completed remotely online and should take about 20 minutes. If you are interested in participating, please visit the usability testing platform UserHappy to sign up. If you prefer to only be contacted for this specific test, please use “PHPartners” for the “Name of the specific project” on the sign up form. After completing the form, UserHappy will contact you with the information for the test. Please note that federal government employees are not eligible for monetary compensation. There will not be any personal identifiable information linked to your feedback, and personal information will not be shared and will only be used for demographic purposes. Please contact Aline Lin at or Lisa Sedlar at with any questions. Your opinion and feedback on the redesign before the new website is live will help to create a successful user experience and make an essential resource for the public health workforce.

In Other Business…
  • The Core Competencies continue to be widely used for public health workforce development. Since release of the 2014 version, the Core Competencies have been accessed online more than 180,000 times, and resources and tools designed to support implementation of the Core Competencies have been accessed online more than 510,000 times.
  • Work on resources and tools to support use of the Core Competencies continues, with a competency assessment based on the modified version of the Core Competencies currently under development and a redesign of a section of the Council on Linkages website that highlights how organizations are using the Core Competencies underway.
  • Stories and examples of how organizations are using the Core Competencies to support workforce development that can be featured online are welcome and can be sent to Kathleen Amos at
  • Planning is currently underway for Healthy People 2030, and Council on Linkages staff has provided input into objectives related to the Core Competencies. A public comment period that will offer an opportunity to provide additional input into objectives is anticipated later this year.
  • The AHD Learning Community offers a quarterly AHD Webinar Series that highlights successful AHD partnerships and other AHD-related topics. The first two webinars of 2018 focused on how AHD partnerships can support PHAB and CEPH accreditation and building AHD partnerships in rural areas. All webinars are archived and publicly available online for viewing.
  • The quarterly Ask the AHD Expert column, created to provide guidance on AHD development or operation in response to questions from AHD Learning Community members, recently published its sixth column. The latest columns in this series focus on communicating the value of AHD partnerships and how AHDs are engaging a variety of partners to impact community health. All columns in this series are publicly available on the PHF Pulse blog.
  • Revisions are being made to the draft staged model of AHD development that illustrates how such partnerships may develop based on feedback from the public health community, and version 1 of the model is anticipated to be available in the near future.
  • Stories and examples of successful AHD partnerships are welcome and can be shared with Kathleen Amos at
  • The American Public Health Association is planning to feature an article about AHD partnerships and the AHD Learning Community in the August issue of The Nation’s Health newspaper. This article will be a cover story, meaning it will be freely available online without a subscription to the publication.
  • The next meeting of the Council on Linkages will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 2-4pm EST and will occur virtually.
Additional information about the meeting, including the agenda and other meeting materials, is available on the meeting webpage.

Activities of the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice are supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Questions and comments may be emailed to Academic/Practice Linkages Assistant Director Kathleen Amos at

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Council on Linkages Meeting Summary - July 2018