Transforming Public Health for the 21st Century: Bridging Theory to Practice

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This blog series will explore the challenges and opportunities faced by the public health sector and will introduce a roadmap for transformation.



Sept. 5, 2023

Reshaping the Quadruple Aim for Public Health Transformation

By Kevin Kovach, Dr.P.H., M.Sc.

Public Health 3.0 and the role of the Community Chief Health Strategist provide a dynamic vision for how public health will evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century. While these paradigms resonate with public health professionals, their impact on broader stakeholders remains ambiguous. Surveys indicate that only a third of Americans give the public health system a positive rating for protecting the public from health threats and preventing illness. Furthermore, conflicts between public health entities and elected officials are not uncommon. Thus, public health leaders are tasked with the challenge of articulating a vision for change that aligns with and engages key stakeholders. In this post, we look at insights public health could glean from other sectors to effectively convey a transformative vision.

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Aug. 2, 2023

Building a Sense of Urgency for Public Health Transformation

By Kevin Kovach, Dr.P.H., M.Sc.

Prior posts in the Transforming Public Health blog series have underscored the need for change and strategic routes for public health transformation. Considering that change is critical, and yet most change initiatives fall short or fail outright, how can public health professionals guide successful strategic change initiatives? In this post, we will delve into the change management model shared by John Kotter, Ph.D., specifically his insights on fostering a sense of urgency, to understand how to cultivate a climate ripe for change. Future entries will explore additional facets of Kotter’s model for change.

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July 3, 2023

Public Health Transformation: Crafting a Winning Strategy for Public Health

By Kevin Kovach, Dr.P.H., M.Sc.

What would it mean for public health to adopt a more strategic approach? Understanding the true essence of being strategic goes beyond running effective programs or having a strategic plan. In this blog post, we will explore different perspectives on what constitutes a winning strategy, how to create one and its implications for public health.

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June 2, 2023

Public Health Transformation: A Roadmap and Call to Action

By Kevin Kovach, Dr.P.H., M.Sc.

With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Public Health Infrastructure Grant, public health leaders have a tremendous opportunity to transform the public health system. Urgent change is needed to address the mounting threats to America’s health and create a public health system that meets the needs of its people. This blog from the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) will explore the challenges and opportunities faced by the public health sector and will introduce a roadmap for transformation.

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Learn more about this blog series.


About the Author

Dr. Kevin A. Kovach is a passionate social epidemiologist and public health change agent with over 20 years of experience in the field. With a strong track record of leading strategic change initiatives, he has worked at the local, state, and national levels. Currently serving as a Senior Analyst at the Kansas Health Institute (KHI), Dr. Kovach focuses on promoting population health, upstream solutions, strategic change, and evidence-based practice. Prior to joining KHI, he led the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Population and Community Health Department and played a key role in launching their Center for Diversity and Health Equity. Dr. Kovach’s extensive background includes working in state and local health departments in Michigan, Missouri, and Kansas. Holding a master’s degree in Epidemiology and a Doctor of Public Health Degree in Leadership, he is uniquely equipped to bridge the gap between the evidence and practice for transformative public health change.

About this Blog Series

The blog series Transforming Public Health presents a compelling argument for the critical need for public health systems change in advancing our nation’s health. Its primary objective is to distill complex change management theories into actionable solutions tailored specifically for public health leaders and change agents. Through an extensive array of essays, insights, and diverse perspectives, Transforming Public Health showcases how leadership, strategy, and change management principles can be applied to public health issues. Our goal is to unleash the imagination of public health professionals and to inspire courageous action towards creating the public health system that we need in Kansas and beyond.

Transforming Public Health for the 21st Century is a monthly series about public health transformation. Sign up here to receive these summaries and more, and also follow KHI on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Previous editions of this blog can be found on our ARCHIVE PAGE.