By Maile Richardson
“Wandering around in the wilderness.” That’s how Teresa Simms, regional director of operations at North County Health Services, described her early experiences as a health care leader before she joined Clinic Leadership Institute (CLI) Emerging Leaders, a leadership training in healthcare program.
Since its launch in 2008, CLI has driven efforts to cultivate the leadership pipeline in California’s community health centers.
Lynnette Warden of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, another alumnus of CLI, said that going through the program “opened her eyes to what a leader [could] be.” She did not see herself as the cookie cutter idea of what a leader is, but was able to adapt what she learned and build on her existing expertise to address the needs of her organization.
The 18-month program prepares emerging leaders to take on executive health center positions within five to eight years. Like all of Healthforce’s leadership programs, CLI follows a model centered around four key areas: Purpose, Process, Personal & People. Each domain encompasses a set of specific competencies that are part of the leadership journey. Ultimately, participants are transformed into informed leaders who drive change locally and nationally.
According to a 2015 study that examined the program’s impact over time, alumni reported significant career growth since beginning CLI:
- 77 percent of participants advanced to a more senior role or position
- 60 percent received a salary increase of 10% or more
- 46 percent experienced significant growth in responsibilities
- 44 percent experienced much greater satisfaction
Not only did the program accelerate individuals’ leadership journeys, but stakeholders indicated a positive impact on the community health centers and safety net fields in California.
“[CLI] has created a pool of candidates that are committed to community health centers and are eager to serve. Their thinking has been refined, and they have learned key executive skills,” said one community health center CEO.
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Maile Richardson is an assistant with Healthforce Center. She supports multiple leadership programs and is interested in diversity and equality in the health care industry.