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President's Corner

Meet President Terry Allan
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Terry Allan has been the health commissioner at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health since 2004, which serves as the local public health authority for 885,000 citizens in 57 Greater Cleveland communities. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Hawaii. Terry is an adjunct faculty member at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and was a Year 13 Scholar of the National Public Health Leadership Institute. Terry is the Immediate Past President of Ohio’s SACCHO, the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, and has served as an At-Large member of the NACCHO Board of Directors since 2007.

In 2009, Terry was a member of NACCHO’s Structure and Governance Workgroup, charged with reviewing the Association By-Laws and making recommendations for improvement to the Board of Directors. Terry currently serves as a Member of NACCHO’s Marketing Committee and is an active member of NACCHO’s Congressional Action Network (CAN). Terry had the fortunate opportunity to serve as a representative of NACCHO on the Standards Development Workgroup for the National Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and chaired a local health department Site Visit Team during the Beta Test of the PHAB standards.

In May of 2009, Terry had the honor of testifying before the United States House of Representatives Government Oversight and Reform Committee, concerning public health pandemic influenza preparedness and resource needs and he participated in a White House meeting on the national response to Novel H1N1 Influenza in September of 2009. In June of 2010, Terry participated on behalf of NACCHO in a Congressional briefing on local public health job losses. Terry presented in May of 2010 before the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Public Health Strategies to Improve Health on funding state and local public health systems.

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.