Building Strategic Skills for Better Health: A Guide for the Skills Needed for the Modern Public Health Workforce

New book offers insights on how leadership, management, and advocacy skills can transform public health work

BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The de Beaumont Foundation today announced the release of Building Strategic Skills for Better Health: A Primer for Public Health Professionals. Edited by Michael R. Fraser, PhD, CEO of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; and Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation; and published by Oxford University Press, the book defines and explains nine essential strategic skills for effective public health practice.

Through chapters authored by thought leaders in each of the skill areas, Building Strategic Skills for Better Health offers a dynamic guide for implementing and developing leadership, management, and advocacy expertise to transform the work of public health professionals.

"To improve health and respond to public health emergencies in the future, we need a lot more than technical acumen," Fraser said. "Public health professionals need to be able to thrive in their area of technical specialty and lead and manage strategically across their organizations to help their organizations grow and the communities they serve be healthier."

The book builds upon the Strategic Skills framework and core competencies developed by de Beaumont and the National Consortium for Public Health Workforce Development in 2017. The nine strategic skills are: 

  • Change Management 
  • Community Engagement 
  • Cross-Sectoral Partnerships  
  • Data-Based Decision-Making  
  • Effective Communication  
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 
  • Policy Engagement  
  • Resource Management 
  • Systems and Strategic Thinking

"This book will help public health professionals at all levels mobilize their knowledge to transform outcomes," Castrucci said. "It covers skills like how to lead a team, how to manage change, and how to work within systems and communities, which are essential for anyone who wants to be an effective public health practitioner."

What people are saying about Building Strategic Skills for Better Health: A Primer for Public Health Professionals: 

"This must-have book empowers professionals to drive health equity, evidence-based programs, and policymaking toward a healthier, brighter, and more just future. Advance your public health practice by exploring the strategic skills required for success in innovation, leadership, and diversity with insights into informatics, big data, and technology."

—Laura Magaña, MS, PhD, President and CEO, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)

"With the increasing national focus on foundational public health capabilities, this primer is arriving just at the right time. It's a highly useful overview of critical skills for the practical work of helping communities become healthier."

—Joshua M. Sharfstein, Vice Dean of Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

"Building Strategic Skills for Better Health provides a shortcut to accelerate the development of critically needed skills among our already dedicated public health professionals. This resource will also help me as a professor to prepare job-ready graduates to safeguard the public's health."

—Donna Petersen, Chief Health Officer, University of South Florida

"Building Strategic Skills for Better Health is an evidence- and experience-based primer that will help public health practitioners across disciplines to become more adept and confident in their work."  

—Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, MBA, Dean, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center

"This is an invaluable, practical resource for public health professionals looking to tackle complex issues and improve health outcomes. It's a must-read for anyone committed to advancing the health and well-being of our communities."

—Bechara Choucair, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Health Officer, Kaiser Permanente

"Finding a way to address cross-cutting leadership, management, and strategic challenges — not just the scientific or technical challenges of specific diseases — is a major issue facing the contemporary public health workforce. This volume will help prepare the workforce to lead through these issues and support their continued professional development in new ways, with new skills."  

—Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, FASA, 20th U.S. Surgeon General and Executive Director of Health Equity Initiatives, Purdue University 

About Oxford University Press 

Oxford University Press (OUP) is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence.

It currently publishes thousands of new publications a year, has offices in around fifty countries, and employs approximately 6,000 people worldwide. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing program that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and academic journals. For more information, visit  

About the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)

ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice. For more information, visit  

About the de Beaumont Foundation

The de Beaumont Foundation creates and invests in bold solutions that improve the health of communities across the country. Its mission is to advance policy, build partnerships, and strengthen public health to create communities where everyone can achieve their best possible health. As part of its mission, the foundation partners with leading publishers to produce books with insights and practical guidance for public health professionals and advocates. For more information, visit


Building Strategic Skills for Better Health: A Primer for Public Health Professionals

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