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A team of local health and community leaders has been selected to participate in the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health. Team members are Dr. Jeanette Deas Calhoun, seated at the left, Dr. Harrison Ndetan, also seated, George Roberts, standing at right, and the Rev. Ralph Caraway. (Augusta Robinson/Staff)

A team of local health and community leaders has been selected to participate in the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health, a national program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The team is composed of Dr. Harrison Ndetan, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler; George Roberts, of the Northeast Texas Public Health District; Dr. Jeanette Deas Calhoun, of the East Texas Cares Resource Center; and the Rev. Ralph Caraway, of St. Louis Baptist Church.

Team members will work on a leadership project that seeks to improve the overall health of East Texans. According to “The Health Status of Northeast Texas 2016” report generated by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, Northeast Texas ranks worse than the rest of Texas in health outcomes, including all causes of death, stroke, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, cancer and unintentional injuries.

“Being accepted into this program is an amazing opportunity for not only the representing organizations but the entire community of East Texas,” Ndetan, the team leader, said. “This experience will allow us to further develop our leadership skills, learn news tools and network with other teams so that we can implement successful interventions that improve the health outcomes of our community.”

The one-year training and support will focus on two tracks. The first track is development of leadership skills, including personal and collaborative leadership, in a multi-sector environment. The second track will emphasize growth from team-based collaborative work to policy and systems change.

NLAPH is provided at no cost to the participants or the community. 

Recognizing existing efforts in the region, the four-member Northeast Texas team will work on developing cross-sector collaborative leadership focused on creating conditions for collective impact initiatives to help improve the health status of the region.

“This program will impart population health teams with the skills to lead across,” said Dr. Carmen Rita Nevarez, vice president for external relations and Center for Health Leadership & Practice director. “These are the types of leaders who will ultimately be able to drive critical efforts, such as the adoption of evidence-based policies and practices at the community level.”

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