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PUBH6004 Leadership and Effecting Change in Public Health: Case Study on Helen Assessment 2 Answer

Subject Code and TitlePUBH6004: Leadership and Effecting Change in Public Health
AssessmentAssessment 2: Report – Public Health Professionals
Length2,000 words
Learning OutcomesThis assessment addresses the following learning outcomes:
  1. Critique theories, styles, approaches and strategies of leadership in public health
  2. Analyse the influence of diversity on leadership (gender, culture, professional discipline and community)
  3. Evaluate personal leadership strengths and areas for
improvement through analysis of public health leadership frameworks
Total Marks100 marks


In this assignment, you will be provided a scenario (problem) involving a public health leader that you will need to analyse using the knowledge gained from this subject for 3 modules. Subsequently, immersing yourself in the scenario, you will evaluate yourself as a public health leader.

Assignment 1 Scenario

Helen is a 35-year-old General practitioner, who has been practicing in Warnambool in the State of Victoria (Australia) for 5 years. As a general practitioner, she has focused on primary care of individuals in the country town after moving from Melbourne. In January 2018, she was accoladed by the council in Warnambool, for her services in helping increase child immunization rates and increasing awareness on cancer screening programs. In the same meeting, the board recognized that there is a need for a new public health officer in the area, and Helen was nominated.

Helen’s mandate included promoting healthy communities, focusing on the health of the population rather than focusing only on primary care of individuals. The new mandate includes a range of services from sanitation, housing, infection control and immunization programs. She was confronted with the fact that there is a need to engage the close-knit community, empowering them to take control of their own environments and involve themselves in policy making. She is aware that this is a diverse, multi-ethnic, ageing community, where traditionally town planners, architects and policy makers have driven the agenda for public health initiatives. In addition, the community is not open to younger female leaders, although she is a popular GP.

At this juncture, Helen has to become an influential public health leader, engaging the community, advocating for equitable access to services, health promotion, environmental health issues, disease prevention, finding sustainable food sources (Community gardens), accessible exercise (running tracks) etc – to name a few. The remote area lacks specialist services, for which patients are often sent to the nearest city that is 300 kilometers away from the town. As a GP, Helen has been deeply concerned about this issue as there has been many deaths that occurred due to lack of specialist care. She had been exploring the options of teleconsultations and telesurgery, with her colleagues. As a GP, she wanted to initiate these services for better care of the majority of senior citizenry in the area.

However, with a small GP practice, and as a young single woman, her leadership is viewed with skepticism by policy makers, senior government stakeholders, senior citizens in the community, and town planners. Whilst Helen is a trusted GP, the stakeholders in the community are uncertain of her new senior leadership role as Public Health Officer representing the community. Helen is a kind, optimistic and qualified medical practitioner, but also introverted and never worked with many stakeholders nor managed many subordinates. In her new role, the town planning office has also provided her with an office and 10 staff reporting directly to her, chosen from different areas including, environment officers, nurses, bio-statisticians, IT support, and administrators.

Helen has to report on significant changes by end of the year and has also been provided with seeding funds to kickstart some initiatives.

You will be writing a 2000‐word report in three parts, as follows:

Part 1: Analyse the scenario of the public health leader, presented in the Australian public health context using the Australian Health Leadership Framework [ 1000 words ]

Part 2: Undertake a self‐assessment using the Leadership self‐assessment tool [ 500 words ]

Apply the tool to obtain your results. (The tool is not automatic – you need to apply it honestly)

Part 3: Imagine yourself to be in the situation. Reflect on your leadership style, its strengths, and apply them to this scenario. How would you have responded to the situation based on the self‐evaluation in part 2? Where do you see the gaps in your profile? Prepare an action plan. [500 words]

Assessment Criteria:

Your graded assignment will be assessed against the following specific criteria:

  • Demonstrated ability to analyse public health leadership scenario in the context, applying the Australian Health Leadership Framework to the scenario presented (40%)
  • Demonstrated ability to self‐assess leadership style, summarise and critique (10%)
  • Demonstrated ability to contextualise, reflect on leadership style, assess gaps and prepare an action plan for improvement (30%)
  • General assessment criteria (20%):
    • Provides a lucid introduction
    • Shows a sophisticated understanding of the key issues
    • Shows ability to interpret relevant information and literature in relation to chosen topic
    • Demonstrates a capacity to explain and apply relevant concepts
    • Shows evidence of reading beyond the required readings
    • Justifies any conclusions reached with well‐formed arguments and not merely assertions
    • Provides a conclusion or summary
    • Correctly uses academic writing, presentation and grammar:
      • Complies with academic standards of legibility, referencing and bibliographical details (including reference list)
      • Writes clearly, with accurate spelling and grammar as well as proper sentence and paragraph construction
      • Uses appropriate APA style for citing and referencing research



Leadership is the process by which the activities of a group of members are directed and managed. The purpose of leadership in the healthcare system is to achieve better service for the patients and ensure their safety and health. The current research rests on the case study provided on Helen who is a healthcare leader and has initiated certain Healthcare practices lately. There will be analysis of her activities in accordance with the Australian Healthcare Leadership Framework.  

Part 1: Analysis of the scenario of public health leader in Australia 

Healthcare is highly complex and purposeful. Therefore, in terms of other industries, leadership is considered to be even more important for the healthcare sector for the complexities associated with it. In the opinion of (2020), the aim of health leaders is to improve the quality of life of the people and incorporate into overall well being of the healthcare system. The factors in healthcare that are impacted by the healthcare leaders are satisfaction, trust, commitment and team effectiveness. The Australian Health Leadership framework is an essential element in the commerce of the country. The role of each of the individuals in the healthcare sector is equally important in creating betterment and well being of the healthcare sector. As stated by Pizzirani et al. (2019), patient care delivery is impacted by the service provided by the physicians and the administrators. Thus, the betterment of the sector shall be possible with the help of better understanding of the change management leadership, which shall create more resistance of the sector.

As mentioned by Clay-Williams et al. (2017), the role of leadership in every field is somewhat similar and all the leaders have a common role to play which is to create betterment of the services. Taking the case of Helen into consideration, it can be stated that she focused on the health of the population as a whole and not only on the primary care of the individuals. Thus, it is essential that there is well being of health of variety of people in a society which creates effectiveness of the healthcare system in Australia. That is why a new mandate has been initiated which focuses on a whole lot of new aspects such as control of infection, sanitation and immunization program. On the basis of this, it can be estimated that as a healthcare leader, the purpose of Helen is to create mass well being, rather than just to focus on the individual health of the people. As influenced by Offner et al. (2020), one significant factor that can be witnessed in the provided scenario is the implementation of change by Helen. This is because the workforce comprise of aged practitioners who are primarily well inclined towards policy making, architect and related areas and thus, lack huge knowledge on the newly initiated mandates, such as sanitation, infection control and health well being of the population. However, in the course, Helen failed to pay attention to the implementation of the necessary change management steps to make the workforce familiar with the newly implemented practices.

Challenges of Health Leadership Framework 

As witnessed lately, a number of issues are there addressed lately in the Australian healthcare system, which are:

  • There have been a number of challenges faced in improving the living conditions for the ethnic people of Australia including the Aboriginal people and Torres Straits Islander. 
  • There is also a huge lack of safety and quality of care at all the levels of the healthcare system 
  • The occurrence of the chronic diseases has not been fully met, owing to the lack of implementation of primary health care. As witnessed in the provided case scenario, Helen has implemented an approach for the better health and well being of the population and thus, has refrained from implementing primary healthcare. As a result of this, there are higher chances that the risks of occurrence of chronic diseases are high.

The primary step through which health leadership capacity can have betterment is through development of proficiency of the leaders. According to Misso et al. (2016), the constant betterment and development of leadership shall result in the future development of the healthcare system which would help in increasing the efficiency of each of the operational procedures. Therefore, on the basis of this, it can be stated that the way in which Helen is to create betterment in her leadership is by making herself an influential leader. This shall help in curbing out the issue of lack of primary health care and thus, the outcomes achieved for the patients shall be better.

However, it must be noted that healthcare leadership is impacted by a number of factors including patient care, management, and changing process. For instance, in the provided scenario, the leadership is Helen is likely to be impacted by the environmental factors which create issue for the population. As reported by Sharplin et al. (2019), the scanning of the environment in which the Torres Straits Islander and Aboriginal people shows that they live in extremely unhygienic conditions which poses a number of threats to their health and safety. In addition to that, according to Enticott et al. (2020), their economic condition also shows deprivation from financial benefits owing to extremely low income. Thus, based on this, the leadership of Helen is much likely to change because she needs to take into consideration the background of the people before providing them with the necessary healthcare benefits.

Leadership Framework 

The Australian Leadership Framework rests on five factors which are leading self, engaging others, achieving outcomes, driving innovation and shaping systems. 

Leading self 

As commented by Dunbar, Reddy and Zwanenberg (2017), the leaders should be well aware of the background, values and attitude of theirs as well as others. Furthermore, the leader should also be honest and be accountable for the outcomes of the tasks he undertakes. 

Engaging others 

As a healthcare leader, he should always recognize the Australians and look forward to provide them the healthcare benefits at first. Moreover, he should not make disparity between the patients in terms of providing them Healthcare services. 

Task 2: Self assessment 

In terms of assessing my own leadership skill, the factors that I have taken into consideration are self assessment, managing my behavior, constituting into personal development, and acting with integrity. The first factor that I have witnessed in me is the understanding of values and attitudes. As influenced by Lane et al. (2017), at the onset of my academic career, I have made a thorough analysis of the values that I consider to be important in my professional field. When it comes to Healthcare system, certain values are there which are extremely important such as ethics, accountability, Code of conduct. Thus, on the basis of that I have made an analysis of the impact of those values on my behavior as well as behavior of others. 

The second factor in compliance with which I have analyzed my behavior is teamwork. As observed by Sfantou et al. (2017), teamwork holds an extremely important role in Healthcare system in making a conform decision to constitute into better outcome of patients. The strength that I have is strong communication skill in terms of verbally communicating with others. However, one issue has also been identified in my behavior which is lack of listening skill. I usually do not pay heed to when someone identifies any behavioral issue in me. However, in the future I am looking forward to listen to other people when they point out the behavioral issues in me. Additionally, it can also be stated that I might take the role of a leader within teams to better manage the teams and the conflicts. As influenced by Maltarich et al. (2018), another issue that I have in my leadership behavior is the lack of conflict management skill. In order to be well efficient in teamwork and as a team leader, it is extremely crucial to have knowledge of skill and expertise of each of the members so that the job roles could be allocated to them accordingly. However, the lack of such skill shall result in occurrence of conflicts whenever I assume the role of a leader in the future. 

The third factor of leadership framework tool is managing services for which it is important to take feedback from the patients and patient party to understand the relevant issues, on the basis of which there could be betterment of the services. Since the issue of lack of conflict management skill has been identified, it can also be analyzed that there lacks a people management skill in me as well (Sousa et al. 2020). However, on the other hand, my strength includes providing value to the patients and maintaining clarity with them at every level. I always ensure to take feedback verbally or through written communication to understand the loopholes in the services that are being catered to them. Alongside that, I also pay attention to conduction of performance management initiatives for analyzing the performance of the Healthcare practitioners so that better outcomes of the healthcare system could be achieved. 

Task 3: Reflection on leadership style 

On the basis of the strengths and weaknesses identified in me in the previous section, it can be summarized that my strengths include understanding of values and attitudes, verbal communication skill, and enhancing service and performance through feedback and performance management initiatives. On the contrary, the weaknesses in me are lack of listening skill, lack of conflict resolution and lack of people management skill. 

The application of my leadership skill in the provided scenario shows that I shall constitute into effective change management practices which has been one of the major issues in the provided case study. As opined by Van Rossum et al. (2016), Helen has tried to implement change in the sector. Thus, my strong verbal communication skill shall help in implementing the change in better ways. This shall also make the employees of the Healthcare sector more resistant to change. However, the issue that shall hinder the efficient implementation of change management process is lack of listening skill in me. As stated by Obrien et al. (2019), if I have strong listening skill, I shall be able to understand the issues and the opinions the members have to provide. Thus, the lack of it would result in their dissatisfaction as they are not able to provide their opinions. 

On the other hand, my performance management technique would help me in bringing better service through ehnhancing performance of the members. Therefore, the services that have been initiated such as sanitation, infection control and immunization shall be implemented better because of the better performance of workers. The outcomes achieved shall also get better with the help of performance management initiatives. However, the lack of conflict management skill shall play as a major hindrance to the proper implication of the plan. Thus, as part of the action plan, the aim that I have is to develop my listening communication skill. 

Success measure 
Time bound 
To further develop my listening communication skill
In order to develop my communication skill, I would ensure to ask for feedback from people. I would also pay attention to ask others to share their opinions so that I could listen to those carefully and come to a conclusion. 
The success of this objective fulfillment shall be measured when I will be able to make firm decisions with the decisions and opinions shared by others. 
A time period of 3 to 4 months shall be required. 

Table 1: Action plan 

(Source: created by the author) 


Based on the current research, it can be concluded that leadership is essential in healthcare. The role of leadership is similar to the role of leadership in other fields and as such, some of the most important roles of leaders are communication, self analysis, performance management and patient feedback to make informed decisions. The leader should have an objective of working for the whole of communities and not just keep confined to primary healthcare only. It is extremely crucial to work for the ethnic people such as Torret Straight Islander and Aboriginal people for the deprived environmental and financial condition they stay in. 

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