Richmond City Leaders to Participate in Public Health Leadership Program

The Richmond City Health in all Policies Team (HiAP) has been selected to participate in the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH), which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NLAPH is a national program focused on improving population health by working with multi-sector leadership teams and training the teams through an applied, team-based collaborative leadership development model.  The program is implemented by the Center for Health Leadership and Practice (CHLP), a center of the Public Health Institute, and will provide training and support for a period of one year.

“This program will impart population health teams with the skills to lead across sectors and collaboratively solve complex population health problems in innovative ways,” said Carmen Rita Nevarez MD, MPH, Vice President for External Relations and CHLP's Director. “These are the types of leaders who will ultimately be able to drive critical efforts, such as the adoption of evidence-based policies and practices at the community level, which can have a tangible impact on health outcomes.”

The HiAP team will work on an applied health leadership project that tackles an important population health issue with the goal of improving community health outcomes.  The city of Richmond’s health outcomes currently rank 121 out of 134 counties and independent cities in the Commonwealth, according to the Robert Wood Johnson County Health Ranking & Roadmaps program, which is designed to help communities create solutions addressing specific factors that are known to affect health.   Richmond ranked 125 in factors that predict health outcomes, including health behaviors, health care access and the built environment.  The city’s lowest ranking (130th) occurred in social and economic factors that shape opportunities to be healthy, including high school graduation rates and child poverty. HiAP will focus on building partnerships within City government and the public school system to incorporate health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas.   The team assembled to undertake this critical issue includes Dr. Danny Avula, Deputy Director of the Richmond City Health District; Kimberly Gray, Richmond City School Board- 2nd District; Keisha Smith, Assistant to the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Richmond City; and Dr. Mike Royster, Vice President of the Institute for Public Health Innovation.

“We look forward to sharing our learning with policy makers across the city, and to seeing future policy development that positively impacts the health of our residents,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Deputy Director of the Richmond City Health District.

NLAPH will provide training and support to assist the team in successfully developing a health in all policies approach in the city of Richmond.  Training and support will focus on two tracks.  The first is the development of leadership skills, including personal and collaborative leadership in a multi-sector environment.  The second emphasizes growth from team-based collaborative work to policy and systems change.  NLAPH is provided at no cost to the participants or the community.

“The participation of this cross-sector representation of city of Richmond leaders reflects our commitment to advancing the health in all policies approach and builds on the recommendations from the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy and Healthy Richmond Campaign,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I am pleased to support this team as they work collaboratively to identify creative ways to incorporate health into all of our organizational and public policy decisions. It is imperative that we continue to work to ensure all city residents have the opportunity to achieve better health outcomes.”