National Leadership Academy for the Public's Health


CDC strives to empower public health professionals with tools to improve public health practice within their jurisdictions. To further this mission, CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support has provided support and partnership to the Public Health Institute’s Center for Health Leadership and Practiceexternal icon to launch and maintain the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH)external icon.

NLAPH offers an innovative style of leadership development by bringing together teams of leaders from multiple sectors who actively engage their communities to improve population health and achieve health equity. This one-year program uses blended learning modalities and an action learning process that includes a webinar series, leadership retreat, coaching support, peer networking, an applied health leadership project, and web-based resources. Competencies are embedded within the program curriculum to encourage the advancement of leadership knowledge, attitudes, and practices.

On the map below, select a state to see a list of NLAPH projects for that state (links to

Program Goals

The goals of NLAPH are to

  • Educate stakeholders about evidence-based policy options
  • Drive the adoption of evidence-based practices in communities
  • Better align medicine and public health
  • Improve health outcomes in our nation through sustainable systems change

Program Objectives

The objectives of NLAPH are to

  • Provide ongoing leadership training and support to leaders that work across sectors to address community health issues.
  • Improve leadership teams’ capacities to apply continuous quality improvement methodologies, measure progress of the projects, and document the impact of leadership development
  • Build and support the development of communities with multi-sector leadership learners using online technology and social media tools that will contribute to community health improvement goals and inform policy change


The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans, has regional offices across the country which communities and individual citizens can interact with the department.

Teams were selected through a competitive process that resulted in the selection of 20 teams of four people for each of Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 (80 participants per year). The 2012 and 2013 cohorts are geographically and culturally diverse, with representation from tribal communities, rural areas, and urban areas. Participating states include Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Nebraska, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Vermont, California, and Idaho.

Teams address a variety of topics, including

  • Health Literacy
  • Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Immunizations and Preventative Services
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Social and Emotional Wellness
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Mental Health
  • Built Environment
  • Health-related Policy Work
  • Nutrition and Fitness
  • Culturally Specific Intervention


Each community-based team receives leadership training and coaching from national experts and through collaboration with other teams via retreats, webinars, networking, an applied health leadership project, and web-based resources.

Competencies: Advance the leadership knowledge, attitude, and practice of individuals and teams to lead systems change efforts including the following components

  • Individual leadership mastery
  • Ability to work effectively across sectors & with diverse stakeholders
  • Community organizing and advocacy
  • Leveraging resources for collective impact
  • Policy analysis and development
  • Commitment to health in all policies, social determinants of health, and advancing equity.

Four work phases of the NLAPH year:

  • Inspiration
  • Ideation
  • Implementation
  • Growing, sustaining, and transition
Page last reviewed: October 4, 2018