Pledge for Life Partnership to participate in national program

March 12, 2019 GMT

A team of representatives from Kankakee County was selected to participate in the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health program, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NLAPH is a national program focused on improving population health by working with multi-sector leadership teams and training the teams through an applied, team-based collaborative leadership development model. The program is implemented by the Center for Health Leadership and Practice, a center of the Public Health Institute and will provide training and support for one year.

“This program will impart population health teams with the skills to lead across sectors and collaboratively solve complex population health problems in innovative ways,” said Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH, vice-president for external relations and CHLP’s director.


The team’s applied health leadership project focuses on building a trauma-informed community with the goal of improving public health outcomes. Representing Kankakee County on this team will be Kate Reed, Drug-Free Communities coordinator with Pledge for Life Partnership; Dr. Laura Sztuba, Kankakee County Health Department director of community outreach and planning; Juanita Redd, Garden of Prayer Youth Center organizational development specialist; and Jackie Haas, The Helen Wheeler Center for Community Mental Health chief executive officer.

“Participating in this national public health leadership program is a significant win for our community,” Reed said. “NLAPH will be catalytic in helping Kankakee County accomplish next steps in our journey to become a trauma-informed community. The overall vision for this project is that our families can flourish, community members and staff feel cared for by supportive and healing systems of care and a reduced stigma related to trauma.”

NLAPH will provide training and support to assist the team in successfully addressing the need to build a more trauma-informed community. Training and support will focus on two tracks, the development of leadership skills, including personal and collaborative leadership in a multi-sector environment; and team-based collaborative work on policy and system changes.

NLAPH is provided at no cost to participants or the community.