UNC’s Gillings School named national program office for Kresge Foundation initiative

December 15, 2016

The Kresge Foundation has selected the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health (UNC) as the national program office for Kresge’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health (ELPH) initiative. The initiative will grow to support more public health leaders and deliver more robust leadership development following the success of its first cohort.

Kresge’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health initiative was built to help local public health leaders transform the role of public health in their communities. As the national program office, UNC’s Gillings School will work in partnership with members of Kresge’s Health Program to recruit, promote, develop and support public health leaders in pairs. Each “dyad” will work on their own innovative concept for transforming their agency and community.

“The team at UNC was selected due to their capabilities and experiences in developing and providing training for public health leaders,” said Dr. Phyllis Meadows, senior fellow with Kresge’s Health Program. “With support from the team at UNC, we look forward to bringing even more leaders to ELPH and providing the right tools and resources to help our leaders transform public health services in their community.”

Dr. Stephen N. Orton

Dr. Stephen N. Orton

In 2015, Kresge selected 12 teams that each comprised a senior public health official along with an individual identified as an emerging leader from the same department to participate in the 16-month program. As part of the first cohort of ELPH, the 24 participants worked on projects designed to enhance organizational and leadership competencies in business, planning and public health systems development.

“We look forward to working with entrepreneurial leaders in public health and helping them transform,” said Stephen N. Orton, PhD, senior investigator at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, adjunct assistant professor of health policy and management in the Gillings School, and co-lead for the ELPH national program office. “We love the model that Kresge Foundation has developed, linking leaders with resources to move from concept to action.”

Dr. Anna Schenck

Dr. Anna Schenck

Orton co-leads the national program office for Kresge’s ELPH initiative along with Anna Schenck, PhD, Professor of the Practice in public health leadership, director of the Gillings School’s Public Health Leadership Program and the N.C. Institute for Public Health, and the UNC Gillings associate dean for practice. Joining the design team is Lori Carter-Edwards, PhD, research associate professor in the Gillings School’s Public Health Leadership Program and Department of Health Behavior.

This year, Emerging Leaders in Public Health will build on the success of the first cohort by selecting 20 additional leadership teams from local health departments to learn from experts and innovators in health, business, policy and finance. The leaders will be able to apply these skills toward transforming the role and operations of public health.

The application period for the second cohort of Emerging Leaders in Public Health opens on Jan. 4 and closes on Feb. 6, 2017. In order to apply, senior public health officials and emerging leaders will need to complete a statement of interest form to receive their online application. For more information, visit kresge.org/ELPH.

Dr. Lori Carter-Edwards

Dr. Lori Carter-Edwards

As a national program office, UNC’s Gillings School will work in partnership with members of Kresge’s Health Program to promote, recruit, provide technical assistance and support action-based resource grants for two 18-month cohorts of the initiative.

Joining the UNC Gillings design team in supporting the initiative is the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO) and Burness Communications. The members of the design team will work together to develop and coordinate learning sessions for participants, support participants as they develop their transformative concepts, engage with the initiative’s national advisory committee and work collaboratively to facilitate program level evaluation.


About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 370 grants totaling $125.2 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million. For more information, visit kresge.org.

About the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health

The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health improves public health, promotes individual well-being and eliminates health inequities across North Carolina and around the world. The Gillings School is constantly moving forward to anticipate future health threats and accelerate public health solutions. Their commitment to excellence is part of everything they do from teaching, research and scholarship to practice and service.


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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu

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