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President's Corner

Meet President Dr. Georgia Heise

Georgia Heise DrPH, is the Director for Three Rivers District Health Department, one of the health departments in the first cohort to achieve national accreditation. Dr. Heise is involved in many initiatives across the Commonwealth. She serves on the Executive Committee for the Kentucky Health Department Association and chairs both its strategic Planning Committee and Foundational Capabilities Workgroup. Dr. Heise has been a mentor for a Balderson Award winning Kentucky Public Health Leadership Institute Project and is a fellow of the institute. She serves on the Board of Directors and the Legislative Committee for the Kentucky Public Health Association. Dr. Heise is Co-director for the newly established Kentucky Population Health Institute. She is an adjunct faculty member for the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health, where she is a member of Delta Omega National Public Health Honor Society, Beta Gamma Chapter, and very active with many of the College’s other projects.

Beyond Kentucky, Dr. Heise is the President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). She serves on the CDC’s subcommittee for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. Dr. Heise is a National Public Health Leadership Institute Fellow, a member of the Southern Health Association and the American Public Health Association. Dr. Heise is passionate about advancing public health through accreditation, governance, and policy development. She speaks and trains nationally on those topics and others.

Succession Planning: Tools for Local Health Department Leaders

Strong organizational leaders need to make it a priority for LHDs to grow their future leaders so those leaders are prepared to lead the challenges of tomorrow, not today or yesterday. Creating good leaders does not happen most effectively by itself. Where does one start to grow successful leaders? Most important, develop a retirement profile of the LHD and find out the positions most likely to become vacant soonest. This Excel spreadsheet can help you quickly create a retirement profile for your workforce. This profile will tell you the number and percent of employees that are eligible for full Social Security retirement within one, two, three, four, five, five to 10, 10 to 15, or 15+ years. All you will need is an electronic file with the names of the employees, their birthdates, and their job title (optional), that you can load into the Excel template. Certainly some staff will retire before their full Social Security age, and others after, but the profile will give you a rough idea of what is ahead.

Research I have just completed for my doctoral dissertation identified 25 best practices from the literature that could be incorporated into a succession planning plan. Those best practices nicely group into five areas: Pre-employment; Competency and leadership development of individuals with high potential; Coaching and mentoring activities; Goal setting and performance measurement; and Retention activities. To read more about my succession planning and best practices research, click here.