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Public Health Competencies 



Capstone Project: Public Health Competencies Paper

Signature Assignment



COH 499 Capstone

The capstone paper will serve as a valuable tool for your self-assessment of your competency level across the eight domains of the core competencies for Public Health Professionals. The Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals1 (i.e., Core Competencies) are a consensus set of foundational skills for the broad practice of public health, as defined by the 10 Essential Public Health Services. The Core Competencies are organized into eight skill areas or domains that cut across public health disciplines. The purpose of this assessment is to help you explore your level of competence within these eight domains. Please note that the signature assignment instructions include content directly from the competencies document.

By assessing your level of knowledge or skill for each competency statement described, you will be able to prioritize your learning time to focus on the most critical areas and concentrate where the need for training and learning may be greatest.

The competency assessment is divided into the following eight domains:

• Analytical/Assessment Skills

• Policy Development/Program Planning Skills

• Communication Skills

• Cultural Competency Skills

• Community Dimensions of Practice Skills

• Public Health Sciences Skills

• Financial Planning and Management Skills

• Leadership and Systems Thinking Skills

Tier 1 – Entry Level: Tier 1 competencies apply to public health professionals who carry out the day-to-day tasks of public health organizations and are not in management positions. Responsibilities of these professionals may include data collection and analysis, fieldwork, program planning, outreach, communications, customer service, and program support.

Instructions: Complete steps 1-3 for each domain.

1) Self-Perceived Proficiency: Read each competency statement listed within a domain. In each domain, and for each competency statement, think about the level at which you can perform the skill. Then rate your level of proficiency on each domain by selecting or highlighting the number on the domain from “None” (1) to “Proficient” (4) that best describes your self-reported level of expertise for that statement. Note: The competency statements listed in each domain should be interpreted as broadly as possible to apply to your position and principal employment setting. In the example below, you would select number “4” for “Proficient” if you think you are excelling at this domain or select “1” for “None” if you feel you need a great deal of improvement.

2) Evidence of Proficiency: At the end of each domain, please provide a detailed explanation of the required BSPH courses and/or approved public health experiences that helped you achieve the above-mentioned competency. Provide at least two examples of evidence and describe in detail how the assignments and/or projects helped you reach your perceived proficiency. The evidence of proficiency could include your assignments, papers, presentations, and/or projects (e.g., brochures, newsletters, fact sheets, flyers, pictures) from your volunteer hours.

3) Proficiency Improvement: Discuss at least two opportunities for improvement in a particular skill or content area.

4) Plan for Lifelong Learning: Discussion/Conclusion: Write at least one paragraph discussing a plan for lifelong learning that incorporates high professional and ethical standards, leadership, and cultural competencies and their evolving role in society. The plan may include, but is not limited to, the following: a) participating in continuing education workshops (e.g., at work, online); b) obtaining professional certifications, and c) seeking an additional degree.

Application of this Paper:

Once you have identified your priorities, you can use this information to guide you in developing a learning plan with one or more personal, professional goals for the next year; in engaging in discussion with your supervisor, mentor, or coach; and in choosing learning opportunities that will help you reach your goals and meet the requirements for continuing competence in your occupation or discipline.

Analytical/Assessment Skills (Domain 1)

Self-Perceived Proficiency

1 = None I am unaware or have very little knowledge of the skill

2 = Aware I have heard of, but have limited knowledge or ability to apply the skill

3 = Knowledgeable I am comfortable with my knowledge or ability to apply the skill

4 = Proficient I am very comfortable, am an expert or could teach this skill to others

Tier 1 Competencies: To what degree are you able to effectively

1. Describe factors affecting the health of a community (e.g., equity, income, education, environment)

2. Identify quantitative and qualitative data and information (e.g., vital statistics, electronic health records, transportation patterns, unemployment rates, community input, health equity impact assessments) that can be used for assessing the health of a community

3. Apply ethical principles in accessing, collecting, analyzing, using, maintaining, and disseminating data and information

4. Use information technology in accessing, collecting, analyzing, using, maintaining, and disseminating data and information

5. Select valid and reliable data

6. Select comparable data (e.g., data being age-adjusted to the same year, data variables across datasets having similar definitions).

7. Identify gaps in data

8. Collect valid and reliable quantitative and qualitative data

9. Describe public health applications of quantitative and qualitative data

10. Use quantitative and qualitative data

11. Describe assets and resources that can be used for improving the health of a community (e.g., Boys & Girls Clubs, public libraries, hospitals, faith-based organizations, academic institutions, federal grants, fellowship programs)

12. Contribute to assessments of community health status and factors influencing health in a community (e.g., quality, availability, accessibility, and use of health services; access to affordable housing)

13. Explain how community health assessments use information about health status, factors influencing health, and assets and resources

14. Describe how evidence (e.g., data, findings reported in peer-reviewed literature) is used in decision making

Evidence of Proficiency:

A course that added to the domain proficiency was enrolling for a study in community health. We studied concepts like health challenge identification, implementation of educational activities, and the creation of resources that improved the living standards in communities under the program(Pre-professional Health Experience Guide, 2021). The concepts enabled me to learn about some resources that could improve community health in different areas. Also, through undertaking the course, I gained diverse knowledge on how to use information technology to access and assess information from communities in remote areas. Electronic health records and telemedicine are concepts I encountered during the study that enabled me to learn the various public health issues.

Besides taking the course on public community health, I also did a project on community health risk factors. The assessment aimed at helping me to identify community-specific factors that made people susceptible to diseases. Through the research, I identified poverty, illiteracy rates, cultural and religious beliefs as factors that influenced community health (Pre-professional Health Experience Guide, 2021). For instance, some cultures have vaccine-related myths and, thus, their communities are more vulnerable to diseases than others. The research was helpful because it enabled me to incorporate different skills into the research process. For instance, I used qualitative assessment methods to interpret how different perceptions affected people’s vulnerability. I interacted with locals in various communities and gained more knowledge on data collection practices while on the field. All these experiences make me believe that I have the requisite knowledge to apply my skills as far as public health is concerned.

Proficiency Improvement:

I still see some opportunities to improve my skills and become an expert in the future. One of the areas that would help me grow into a professional is mastery of qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods. I had some challenges in analyzing the data and, that forced me to seek help from my colleagues after data collection during my research on community health risk factors. Also, I had to postpone working on the research projects several times because of that gap. Thus, if I dedicate time working on data analysis, I will be well equipped for more roles in public health. Another opportunity that I could capitalize on to improve my skills is attention to detail which refers to keenness when recording, observing, or analyzing data. Any mistake in any process dealing with data could lead to detrimental outcomes and, that is why this skill needs improvement. While working on my research project, I often missed some information due to a lack of attentiveness.

Plan for Lifelong Improvement

To further improve my skills, I plan to enroll in an online research methods course. By enrolling in the program, I intend to learn all concepts relating to quantitative and qualitative research methods. I will learn how to conduct qualitative studies, data analysis, interpretation, and presentation through the course. Afterwards I will undertake different research studies on community health or any other public health-related issue with ease.

Policy Development/Program Planning Skills (Domain 2)

Self-Perceived Proficiency

1 = None I am unaware or have very little knowledge of the skill

2 = Aware I have heard of, but have limited knowledge or ability to apply the skill

3 = Knowledgeable I am comfortable with my knowledge or ability to apply the skill

4 = Proficient I am very comfortable, am an expert or could teach this skill to others

Tier 1 Competencies: To what degree are you able to effectively…

1. Contribute to state/Tribal/community health improvement planning (e.g., providing data to supplement community health assessments, communicating observations from work in the field)

2. Contribute to the development of program goals and objectives

3. Describe organizational strategic plan (e.g., includes measurable objectives and targets; relationship to community health improvement plan, workforce development plan, quality improvement plan, and other plans)

4. Contribute to the implementation of the organizational strategic plan

5. Identify current trends (e.g., health, fiscal, social, political, environmental) affecting the health of a community

6. Gather information that can inform options for policies, programs, and services (e.g., secondhand smoking policies, data use policies, HR policies, immunization programs, food safety programs)

7. Describe implications of policies, programs, and services

8. Implement policies, programs, and services

9. Explain the importance of evaluations for improving policies, programs, and services

10. Gather information for evaluating policies, programs, and services (e.g., outputs, outcomes, processes, procedures, return on investment)

11. Apply strategies for continuous quality improvement

12. Describe how public health informatics is used in developing, implementing, evaluating, and improving policies, programs, and services (e.g., integrated data systems, electronic reporting, knowledge management systems, geographic information systems)

Evidence of Proficiency:

I gained a higher level of proficiency in the domain by undertaking a six-month online course on health administration. The training focused on running different human and service departments both within public and private organizations. We reviewed multiple coordination tactics in healthcare and the policy formation processes. Through the course, I learned how social, economic and political factors link to influence health delivery (Friedman, & Banegas, 2018). Also, I was able to learn about different policies, how policy analysts formulate them, and their impacts on the healthcare delivery system. Essentially, this course enabled me to learn about issues that were at the center of healthcare. Lastly, I learned how data is critical in making health policies through the rational method.

I also gained knowledge in the domain through the course assignments that were related to healthcare organizations. The tasks were comprehensive and covered numerous concepts related to organizational management. Some concepts covered included the organization’s culture, objectives, strategic management, human resource management, and business purpose (Bratton, 2020). The assignments prompted me to conduct extensive research related to organizational administration. Therefore, I understood how different organizations could use a strategic approach to enhance their operation and meet the current healthcare demands. The course assignments also enabled me to learn effective human resource management at healthcare organizations (Bratton, 2020). That includes promoting a safer workplace environment, embracing diversity, and providing competitive compensation benefits. The strategic management assignments ensured that I learned contemporary patterns in healthcare delivery and how they affected the management. Lastly, organizational management assignments prompted me to learn about employee job satisfaction, motivation, and performance. Practically, the knowledge could help in achieving my managerial dreams.

Proficiency Improvement:

One of the opportunities that would be helpful in my career journey in public health is learning how to use data for quality improvement. Quality improvement is a framework that social workers in healthcare use to improve healthcare outcomes. Quality improvement is essential in healthcare for many reasons. It enables healthcare organizations to provide cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable healthcare services. Therefore, while knowing healthcare organizations and strategic planning, additional knowledge on quality improvement will be fundamental in ensuring that my organization continuously improves its services. Another opportunity that I have is to learn policy implementation. The focus was on policy formulation and how social, economic and political factors impact healthcare policies in the online course I did before. The instructors covered nothing concerning policy implementation that is a critical process in the policy process. Thus, learning how to execute policies will be an added advantage in my career. I will contribute to policymaking and implementation with the new knowledge.

Plan for Lifelong Improvement

I will work with my colleagues who have been successful in policymaking and implementation to improve domain proficiency. The interaction will acquaint me with more skills on how to approach the policymaking process. Secondly, I will attend different workshops and training on quality improvement to learn more about using quality improvement tools in management.

Communication Skills (Domain 3)

Self-Perceived Proficiency

1 = None I am unaware or have very little knowledge of the skill

2 = Aware I have heard of, but have limited knowledge or ability to apply the skill

3 = Knowledgeable I am comfortable with my knowledge or ability to apply the skill

4 = Proficient I am very comfortable, am an expert or could teach this skill to others

Tier 1 Competencies: To what degree are you able to effectively…

1. Identify the literacy of populations served (e.g., ability to obtain, interpret, and use health and other information; social media literacy)

2. Communicate in writing and orally with linguistic and cultural proficiency (e.g., using age-appropriate materials, incorporating images)

3. Solicit input from individuals and organizations (e.g., chambers of commerce, religious organizations, schools, social service organizations, hospitals, government, community-based organizations, various populations served) for improving the health of a community

4. Suggest approaches for disseminating public health data and information (e.g., social media, newspapers, newsletters, journals, town hall meetings, libraries, neighborhood gatherings)

5. Convey data and information to professionals and the public using a variety of approaches (e.g., reports, presentations, email, letters)

6. Communicate information to influence behavior and improve health (e.g., use social marketing methods, consider behavioral theories such as the Health Belief Model or Stages of Change Model)

7. Facilitate communication among individuals, groups, and organizations

8. Describe the roles of governmental public health, health care, and other partners in improving the health of a community

Evidence of Proficiency:

Communication is crucial in the public health sector and within healthcare organizations. It is only through communication that stakeholders can achieve the goals of public health. I am proficient in communication skills and, several things prove that fact. Firstly, I presented my research proposal on community health risks to my faculty. In the presentation, I used different strategies including tables, graphs, and images to present my findings . Besides, my slides used different design features to keep the audience in touch with the presentation. The presentation would be boring if the authors write poorly hence, I used a well-written standard language to communicate my findings to the faculty. From then, I have mastered the art of presenting evidence to different audiences at my workplace or in any other area when the need arises. I also gained the confidence of talking before a crowd and presently, I can share information with any number of people in a relaxed manner.

The second prove of my proficiency in the field is the ability to influence other people’s decisions towards a common goal that I believe in. In my community, I influenced locals to push for the construction of additional healthcare facilities through the use of my Twitter and Facebook accounts (McNab, 2009). The county government had isolated my community in the expansion of healthcare facilities. I thought the decision was discriminatory and started to persuade the locals to push for the construction of more facilities. Within a month, my idea became popular and everybody agreed with my decision. I also managed to influence the local government to reconsider its decisions of eliminating the community in similar projects. This ability to influence the direction of the entire community convinces me of my adept communication abilities in public health. I feel I can succeed in that regard and I could also train other people.

Proficiency Improvement:

Despite what I have achieved and all my expertise, I still believe that I have an opportunity to further improve my skills. Currently, I have never solicited information from entities such as schools, the chamber of commerce, or any other institution of relevance to public health. The organizations have crucial information to help in improving health outcomes in healthcare organizations. This is an area I could focus on to better my proficiency. I need to be able to work with large institutions, obtain information and data for the improvement of healthcare organizations. Another opportunity is learning how to distribute information through various approaches. Information sharing is important in the improvement of healthcare systems. While I am excellent at presenting information to a physical audience, this method could not reach a large audience. Therefore, I need to learn about information sharing through mass media platforms like newspapers and TV channels. This is an area that could see me communicate with a large audience nationally and globally.

Plan for Lifelong Improvement

I am planning to take a three months short course on public communication. The course will help me to improve my ability to communicate to a large audience through newspapers, radio stations, and television channels. Also, the course will assist me in identifying the relevant skills needed to excel in public speaking and how to further influence public opinions through words.

Cultural Competency Skills (Domain 4)

Self-Perceived Proficiency

1 = None I am unaware or have very little knowledge of the skill

2 = Aware I have heard of, but have limited knowledge or ability to apply the skill

3 = Knowledgeable I am comfortable with my knowledge or ability to apply the skill

4 = Proficient I am very comfortable, am an expert or could teach this skill to others

Tier 1 Competencies: To what degree are you able to effectively…

1. Describe the concept of diversity as it applies to individuals and populations (e.g., language, culture, values, socioeconomic status, geography, education, race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, profession, religious affiliation, mental and physical abilities, historical experiences)

2. Describe the diversity of individuals and populations in a community

3. Describe the ways diversity may influence policies, programs, services, and the health of a community

4. Recognize the contribution of diverse perspectives in developing, implementing, and evaluating policies, programs, and services that affect the health of a community

5. Address the diversity of individuals and populations when implementing policies, programs, and services that affect the health of a community

6. Describe the effects of policies, programs, and services on different populations in a community

7. Describe the value of a diverse public health workforce

Evidence of Proficiency:

Culture carries a lot of significance in public health. Culture goes on to influence healthcare outcomes among patients and the healthcare delivery among healthcare providers. Diversity is another issue that is affected by culture with the public and employees expecting culturally neutral healthcare organizations (Ely & Thomas, 2001). In terms of cultural proficiency, I have a lot to do because I have limited knowledge of my perceived self-efficiency. I gained cultural knowledge during benchmarking on one of the healthcare organizations in California on issues relating to diversity. During the benchmarking period, I learned that cultural diversity was a result of many factors. Firstly, the organization was considered culturally diverse because it employed members from different religions, sexual orientations, ethnicity, geography, race, and gender. Hence, I understand that culturally diverse communities have a mix of employees from different backgrounds.

Secondly, I have worked with different people from different ethnicities, cultures, and religions. During my interaction with these groups, I have been able to appreciate their contributions towards our collaborative success in the past. A person who embraces different people and different perspectives has some knowledge on cultural diversity and that makes me believe that at least I know cultural efficiency (Ely & Thomas, 2001). Also, I have worked in different areas with different cultures in my journey as a professional. In all my adventures, I have come across a diverse client pool that I managed to serve to the best of my knowledge. Thus, my achievements with different populations in the past account for my current knowledge of cultural diversity. I can work with different people in different places.

Proficiency Improvement:

I have the lowest self-perceived proficiency in this domain and need to utilize any improvement opportunity to grow. One of the areas I believe need focus is studying how different cultures influence policies, programs, services, and community health. I am convinced that understanding or appreciating different cultures and perspectives is not enough in improving healthcare outcomes. I must move a step ahead and understand how the different perspectives affect health outcomes. Fathoming the relationship between cultures and programs or policies will be useful in determining some barriers to achieving better health healthcare outcomes. Also, understanding the relationship between cultures and policies will allow the healthcare personnel to identify culture-specific policies that could meet certain objectives. Secondly, I have an opportunity to study the impacts of diversity in healthcare. While I appreciate cultural consideration, analyzing the benefit of diversity on healthcare delivery, innovation, and health accessibility can be instrumental in designing a healthcare system. Besides understanding diversity’s impact on health delivery, I also have a chance to assess whether healthcare organizations can meet the diverse demand fully. For years, there has been an increased clamor for a diverse population, but healthcare organizations are yet to achieve the objective. Therefore, I will identify the difficulties in achieving diversity in public health.

Plan for Lifelong Improvement

To develop my proficiency in this domain, I look forward to working in organizations that embrace cultural diversity. I believe that being in such environments will enable me to learn the power of diversity and how to achieve it through collaborative efforts.

Community Dimensions of Practice Skills (Domain 5)

Self-Perceived Proficiency

1 = None I am unaware or have very little knowledge of the skill

2 = Aware I have heard of, but have limited knowledge or ability to apply the skill

3 = Knowledgeable I am comfortable with my knowledge or ability to apply the skill

4 = Proficient I am very comfortable, am an expert or could teach this skill to others

Tier 1 Competencies: To what degree are you able to effectively…

1. Describe the programs and services provided by governmental and non-governmental organizations to improve the health of a community

2. Recognize relationships that are affecting health in a community (e.g., relationships among health departments, hospitals, community health centers, primary care providers, schools, community-based organizations, and other types of organizations)

3. Suggest relationships that may be needed to improve health in a community

4. Support relationships that improve health in a community

5. Collaborate with community partners to improve health in a community (e.g., participate in committees, share data and information, connect people to resources)

6. Engage community members (e.g., focus groups, talking circles, formal meetings, key informant interviews) to improve health in a community

7. Provide input for developing, implementing, evaluating, and improving policies, programs, and services

8. Use assets and resources (e.g., Boys & Girls Clubs, public libraries, hospitals, faith-based organizations, academic institutions, federal grants, fellowship programs) to improve health in a community

9. Inform the public about policies, programs, and resources that improve health in a community

10. Describe the importance of community-based participatory research

Evidence of Proficiency:

I am comfortable with the knowledge and skills I have concerning community dimensions in healthcare. I obtained this knowledge through different means. First, I served at a community clinic as a volunteer while undertaking my degree studies (Pre-professional Health Experience Guide, 2021). At the community clinic, we were responsible for providing affordable healthcare services to many locals at affordable costs. Most of the clients came from low-income families, were uninsured, and had the lowest academic attainment rates. During this time, I learned many public-health-related issues including how to engage the community and use community resources to promote healthcare outcomes. I interacted with families and schools to discuss collaborative efforts to promote healthcare outcomes. I also organized focus groups where I could meet locals and engage them on several health issues that affected community health. The clinic worked with different community organizations and support groups to offer assistance to the patients. At times, I linked the patients to various groups for help. All these activities during my time at the community clinic enabled me to have a glance at different public health dimensions.

Also, I have worked with my local church at one time to raise money to purchase medical equipment at a church-based healthcare facility. The program was headed by the top church’s leadership while I was given the role of popularizing the initiative to church members and other residents. These roles gave me an opportunity to examine how local resources including human resources could be a critical factor in promoting community health centers. The church managed to collect adequate funds and bought the medical equipment. My interaction with the stakeholders during the period advanced my ability to organize resources for a common goal.

Proficiency Improvement:

Amid the progress I have made currently, I see numerous opportunities to excel. There are many things connected to community health but my exposure enabled me to learn but a few. I feel the urge to bolster my knowledge on different competencies related to dimensions of practice skills. While I was able to study, see and interact with different healthcare organizations and stakeholders, I was less focused on how relationships in communities negatively affect healthcare outcomes. I strongly believe that this is an area that could be instrumental in improving my skills to unravel all the conditions related to healthcare outcomes. Learning relationships that threaten community’s health help public health workers to prepare their patient in advance. Also, I have a chance to study the role non-governmental organizations and government play in improving healthcare at community levels. While practicing as a volunteer, I realized that almost all projects at the community clinic were undertaken by non-government organizations while the national and state government was more focused on healthcare policies and large health organizations. Thus, there is an opportunity to study the role of government in community health.

Plan for Lifelong Improvement

I plan to enroll in another volunteer program in a community clinic in a different place. Another volunteer program will enable me to learn more about the varying community factors that influence health in communities. Also, I intend to help work with community groups that play a critical role in public health. Cooperation with these groups will help my patients.

Public Health Sciences Skills (Domain 6)

Self-Perceived Proficiency

1 = None I am unaware or have very little knowledge of the skill

2 = Aware I have heard of, but have limited knowledge or ability to apply the skill

3 = Knowledgeable I am comfortable with my knowledge or ability to apply the skill

4 = Proficient I am very comfortable, am an expert or could teach this skill to others

Tier 1 Competencies: To what degree are you able to effectively…

1. Describe the scientific foundation of the field of public health

2. Identify prominent events in the history of public health (e.g., smallpox eradication, development of vaccinations, infectious disease control, safe drinking water, emphasis on hygiene and handwashing, access to health care for people with disabilities)

3. Describe how public health sciences (e.g., biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health services administration, social and behavioral sciences, and public health informatics) are used in the delivery of the 10 Essential Public Health Services

4. Retrieve evidence (e.g., research findings, case reports, community surveys) from print and electronic sources (e.g., PubMed, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, The World Health Report) to support decision making

5. Recognize limitations of evidence (e.g., validity, reliability, sample size, bias, generalizability)

6. Describe evidence used in developing, implementing, evaluating, and improving policies, programs, and services

7. Describe the laws, regulations, policies, and procedures for the ethical conduct of research (e.g., patient confidentiality, protection of human subjects, Americans with Disabilities Act)

8. Contribute to the public health evidence base (e.g., participating in Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks, community-based participatory research, and academic health departments; authoring articles; making data available to researchers)

9. Suggest partnerships that may increase the use of evidence in public health practice (e.g., between practice and academic organizations, with health sciences libraries)

Evidence of Proficiency:

Public health sciences skills are a prerequisite for any public worker. I am comfortable with applying public health science skills currently. The knowledge in public health skills is partly contributed by my research on vaccination. While conducting the research, I learned many concepts related to the origin of vaccines, the types of vaccines, how they boost immunity and why some cultures or communities are reluctant to use vaccines (Shen, 2019). Through the research, I discovered that Edward Jenner was the person behind the development of vaccines after realizing that the cowpox virus would be used against smallpox. Through the assignment, I learned that vaccines fight viral illnesses by producing more antibodies that fight antigens. Regarding vaccine use, I discovered that some communities do not use them because of the myths that are often associated with vaccine use. Some people believe that the use of vaccines weakens the body’s immunity rather than bolstering it. Illiteracy and religious beliefs are other factors that lead to the rejection of vaccines in some communities. The research was helpful because it enabled me to fathom how scientific knowledge is incorporated into public health. Also, I learned how cultural beliefs threaten scientific achievement in healthcare.

I am also confident of my public health science skills because during all the periods of research on the topic and other assignments done during the course, I have used different articles. The articles range from textbooks, peer-reviewed journals, online sources, government, and organizational publications. The sources were retrieved from academic databases such as Google Scholar, ProQuest, institution library, and PubMed. The entire process of retrieving information and integrating the knowledge into my work equipped me with research skills that are defining in my career. These skills shall be critical in my career growth.

Proficiency Improvement:

Despite my achievement in accumulating public health science skills, I see opportunities to improve my proficiency in the domain. I must acknowledge that research skills are not enough to enable a public health worker to succeed. The skills must be complemented with collaborative efforts to have a significant impact. Therefore, I see an opportunity to form partnerships with other stakeholders in the public health sector. These stakeholders will include academic organizations, other researchers, and policymakers in the field. The partnerships will ensure that research findings are put into practical use. Also, the collaboration will allow me to access research sources from other libraries. Another opportunity to improve my proficiency is focusing on legislation and regulations concerning public health. Government laws and regulations immensely affect healthcare services and therefore, public health workers must familiarize themselves with these laws. Also, conducting researchers require conformity to regulations and laws. A full understanding of the legislation will allow me to improve my research skills. Thus, I need to direct my efforts into regulatory practices in public health.

Plan for Lifelong Improvement

As part of my lifelong improvement, I intend to find a personal lawyer whose purpose will be informing me about all public health laws and regulations. Also, the lawyer will have a duty of interpreting some laws and regulations to ensure that I am well-off in this domain. I will also acquire a copy of all laws and regulations concerning public health for reference whenever there is a need.

Financial Planning and Management Skills (Domain 7)

Self-Perceived Proficiency

1 = None I am unaware or have very little knowledge of the skill

2 = Aware I have heard of, but have limited knowledge or ability to apply the skill

3 = Knowledgeable I am comfortable with my knowledge or ability to apply the skill

4 = Proficient I am very comfortable, am an expert or could teach this skill to others

Tier 1 Competencies: To what degree are you able to effectively…

1. Describe the structures, functions, and authorizations of governmental public health programs and organizations

2. Describe government agencies with authority to impact the health of a community

3. Adhere to organizational policies and procedures

4. Describe public health funding mechanisms (e.g., categorical grants, fees, third-party reimbursement, tobacco taxes)

5. Contribute to the development of program budgets

6. Provide information for proposals for funding (e.g., foundations, government agencies, corporations)

7. Provide information for the development of contracts and other agreements for programs and services

8. Describe financial analysis methods used in making decisions about policies, programs, and services (e.g., cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, cost-utility analysis, return on investment)

9. Operate programs within budget

10. Describe how teams help achieve program and organizational goals (e.g., the value of different disciplines, sectors, skills, experiences, and perspectives; scope of work and timeline)

11. Motivate colleagues to achieve program and organizational goals (e.g., participating in teams, encouraging sharing of ideas, respecting different points of view)

12. Use evaluation results to improve the program and organizational performance

13. Describe program performance standards and measures

14. Use performance management systems for the program and organizational improvement (e.g., achieving performance objectives and targets, increasing efficiency, refining processes, meeting Healthy People objectives, sustaining accreditation)

Evidence of Proficiency:

Financial management is an important component of public health. While the focus of most healthcare organizations is to deliver services to the customers, it is almost impossible to achieve the goal without factoring in financial parameters. Financial management helps organizations to increase their revenues that in turn lead to the expansion of healthcare services (Cleverly, 2017). Besides, financial objectives empower public health organizations to be competitive and allocate resources based on their usefulness (Cleverly, 2017). In this domain, I perceive myself as having immense knowledge and I could help other people to improve in the area.

One source of my proficiency comes partly from the assignment I did on a healthcare organization’s financial objectives. In the assignment, my goal was to define the financial objective and why it was necessary within healthcare organizations. Also, I explained why organizations must create a financial objective despite having a purpose. Through the assignment, I discovered that financial management is the mainstay of healthcare organizations (Cleverly, 2017). Expansion of services, acquisition of new medical equipment, and human resources are all dependent on healthcare organizations. Therefore, the assignment helped me to learn how to help an organization work within its budget. As at present, I could help any healthcare organization to work with their finances.

Besides conducting assignments of financial objectives, I have also done projects on employee motivation, organizational performance, and job satisfaction. These assignments give me the courage to believe that I could lead a motivated group towards achieving organizational goals (Fiaz et al., 2017). In the research, I covered different factors that motivate employees towards achieving organizational goals. Some factors that manifested were that employees were more likely to be motivated with a better compensation plan (Fiaz et al., 2017). Also, a collaborative work environment and leadership approaches are other factors that influence motivation in organizations. Since the financial planning and management domain involves using a motivation to achieve organizational goals, I believe I am excellent in this skill due to my previous assignments.

Proficiency Improvement:

The assignments on financial management and employee motivation were not exhaustive and did not cover all the issues related to financial management. The gap gives me a prospect about learning financial analysis methods that are in demand in current healthcare organizations. Some financial assessment methods identified in public health include cost-benefit analysis, return on investment, and cost-effectiveness. Public health workers must analyze the cost and benefits of different projects before undertaking them. The cost-benefit analysis also applies in policymaking where all considerations are factored in before decision-making. Return on investment will help evaluate departmental performance. Another opportunity is learning how to design program performance standards and measures. These skills will assist me to identify how each activity should be done to have the best outcomes.

Plan for Lifelong Improvement

To improve in this domain, I plan to work in the accounting department for some time. The move will allow me to interact with accounting processes and obtain more information on the subject. Moreover, I will have an opportunity to interact with financial officers and learn more from them through dialogues and questioning.

Leadership and Systems Thinking Skills (Domain 8)

Self-Perceived Proficiency

1 = None I am unaware or have very little knowledge of the skill

2 = Aware I have heard of, but have limited knowledge or ability to apply the skill

3 = Knowledgeable I am comfortable with my knowledge or ability to apply the skill

4 = Proficient I am very comfortable, am an expert or could teach this skill to others

To what degree are you able to effectively…

1. Incorporate ethical standards of practice (e.g., Public Health Code of Ethics) into all interactions with individuals, organizations, and communities

2. Describe public health as part of a larger inter-related system of organizations that influence the health of populations at local, national, and global levels

3. Describe the ways public health, health care, and other organizations can work together or individually to impact the health of a community

4. Contribute to the development of a vision for a healthy community (e.g., emphasis on prevention, health equity for all, excellence, and innovation)

5. Identify internal and external facilitators and barriers that may affect the delivery of the 10 Essential Public Health Services (e.g., using root cause analysis and other quality improvement methods and tools, problem-solving)

6. Describe needs for professional development (e.g., training, mentoring, peer advising, coaching)

7. Participate in professional development opportunities

8. Describe the impact of changes (e.g., social, political, economic, scientific) on organizational practices

9. Describe ways to improve individual and program performance

Evidence of Proficiency:

Leadership and system thinking skills are integral to public health. Healthcare leaders have the mandate of creating a shared vision for their followers. These visions must align with the public demands. Also, the leader inspires the healthcare workers through influencing opinions and the decision-making process. I have mastered leadership skills through different approaches and currently, I feel confident that I can undertake some leadership roles.

One of the activities that enhanced my leadership abilities was doing an assignment related to coaching methods, coaching skills, and assessment. In this assignment, I was required to identify different coaching models. There are different coaching models such as GROW, TGROW, and CLEAR. Each model is unique though the primary target is to promote the employees’ skills among the labor force (Professional coaching practice, n.d). Healthcare leaders have the mandate of recommending employee training so that they could be more productive and help organizations meet their goals. Another part I covered on coaching was the necessary skills that the coach must have to conduct a successful coaching process. Through the research, I noted that the coaches must have questioning skills and should possess proficient communication skills (Professional coaching practice, n.d). Regarding coaching assessment, I established that a successful coaching session must change employees positively. Also, the training must motivate employees and promote different interpersonal skills.

Besides the coaching assignment, I advanced my leadership and system thinking skills by doing an assignment related to disaster management. I was considering wildfires in California because the state is the most affected by cases of wildfires (Lock et al., 2016). Disasters have far-reaching consequences on public health when they occur because the victims must be treated by healthcare practitioners. Through the assignment, I learned how collaboration between public health workers and other organizations improves healthcare outcomes in communities. For the California case, public health workers had to work with other disaster response teams to reduce casualties when disasters occurred. Public health organizations can work with other entities in developing practical strategies to handle emergency cases and other critical issues.

Proficiency Improvement:

These assignments were not enough to earn me proficiency in this domain and there are still some opportunities to bolster my leadership competencies. One of the opportunities for me to grow my leadership skills is enrolling in a one-month course on skill-based training. This short training will equip me with the requisite interpersonal skills that will reinforce my leadership abilities. Also, the course will provide a chance to learn how to handle different situations that happen within organizations and that often result in poor performance or conflicts. I also stand an opportunity to contribute to vision development as part of my leadership skills. Attaining these goals requires that I learn about the different problems that act as barriers to community health. Consequently, I have to embrace research as one way to advance my career and identify broader visions for community health. Hence, research is another development opportunity for me.

Plan for Lifelong Improvement

As part of lifelong improvement, I look forward to working in public health teams without leaders. Such moves will grant me an opportunity to exercise my skills in this domain. Also, I intend to work with colleagues on various public health projects in the future. Working in teams will allow me to learn about the necessary leadership skills.


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