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 National Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Public Health Infrastructure and Workforce has provided support and partnership to the Public Health Institute to launch and maintain the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH).

Since 2011 NLAPH has offered 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—

  • Applied health leadership project focused on an issue that is already a priority in your community
  • Web-based resources on multi-sector leadership development and continuous quality improvement
  • A webinar series
  • Leadership retreat
  • Coaching support
  • Peer networking

Competencies are embedded within the program curriculum to encourage the advancement of leadership knowledge, attitudes, and practices.

Program Goals

  • 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

  • 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


Teams are selected through a competitive process that results in a cohort made up of multi-sector teams of four or more professionals.

Issue Areas
NLAPH helps teams address the most pressing public health issues in their communities to create long-lasting change. Teams address a variety of public health topics, including

  • Overdose prevention
  • School readiness
  • Food security & other chronic disease prevention
  • Complete streets & other environmental health
  • HIV/AIDS & other communicable disease
  • Behavioral health, ACES, & trauma-informed work
  • Coordinated re-entry & other housing access
  • Coalition building
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Breastfeeding & other maternal/childhood health


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.