Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 343–352 | Cite as

Moving the Needle: A Retrospective Pre- and Post-analysis of Improving Perceived Abilities Across 20 Leadership Skills

  • Claudia S. P. Fernandez
  • Cheryl C. NobleEmail author
  • Elizabeth Jensen
  • David Steffen


To assess the influence of intensive focused leadership training on self-evaluation of leadership skills among Maternal and Child Health (MCH) professionals enrolled in the Maternal and Child Health Public Health Leadership Institute (MCH PHLI). Senior-level MCH leaders (n = 54) participated in the first two cohorts of the MCH PHLI, a senior-level training program funded through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Participants were asked to complete a retrospective pre- and post-test rating inventory at program completion. Participants self-identified their skill level across 20 leadership skills that were the focus of the training program. These skills were derived from the MCH Leadership Competencies, 3.0 and literature reviews, and then divided into two domains: Core leadership skills and Organizational/Institutional leadership skills. Data were analyzed to determine whether participants perceived skill level increased by the end of their training year. A one-sided (upper) paired T Test and a Wilcoxen Signed Rank Sum Test were used to determine statistical significance. Increases in perceived skill levels were found to be statistically significant at the alpha = .01 level for all 20 target skills. The MCH PHLI model of intensive leadership development, incorporating a hybrid approach of onsite and distance-based learning, was broadly effective in building targeted leadership skills as perceived by participants.


Leadership Workforce development MCH leadership competencies Skill development MCH PHLI 



MCH-PHLI is supported in full by a Project T04 MC12783 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services.

Conflict of interest

Mr. Ruben Fernandez, JD, serves as a faculty in the MCH PHLI program and is related to the project Principal Investigator. The UNC conflict of interest management plan requires that all papers and presentations offer this acknowledgement, which can be included with the publication or not at the discretion of the editor.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia S. P. Fernandez
    • 1
  • Cheryl C. Noble
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elizabeth Jensen
    • 1
  • David Steffen
    • 1
  1. 1.Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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