Hobbs’ commentary calls for improved health leadership

Nov. 14, 2013

A commentary in the Nov. 2 issue of The Lancet calls for public health leadership in problem-solving and implementation capacity. Only through such leadership will “health systems and the people they serve enjoy sustainable positive outcomes.”

Dr. Sue Hobbs

Dr. Sue Hobbs

The commentary, a response to a Sept. 14 article in The Lancet titled “Clinical Leadership Improves Health Outcomes,” by Richard Horton, was co-written by Suzanne Hobbs, DrPH.

Hobbs is clinical associate professor of health policy and management and of nutrition at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and is director of health policy and management’s doctoral program in health leadership.

Hobbs suggests that recommendations Horton made for “collaborative, coordinated and patient-centered care” in British hospitals are relevant in other countries, such as the U.S., as well.

“Evidence suggests that the health profession falls short of providing leaders with the full complement of competencies so urgently needed for finding sustainable solutions to the wicket problems endemic in our health systems,” Hobbs wrote. “Clinical leaders must be trained to recognize ailments in the organizational systems they rely on to deliver effective preventive and therefore therapeutic services.”

Co-authors of the commentary were Mindaugas Stankunas, PhD, of the Department of Health Management at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, in Kaunas, Lithuania; Kenneth Rethmeier, DrPH, adjunct faculty in the UNC Gillings School’s Department of Health Policy and Management and president of The Rethmeier Group in Bermuda Run, N.C.; Mark Avery, MBus, lecturer, School of Public Health, Griffith University, in Southport, Queensland, Australia; and Katarzyna Czabanowska, assistant professor, Department of International Health in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, at Maastricht University, in Maastricht, The Netherlands.

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