Knowledge Sharing and Networking among
State Health Officials
The goal of the project is to evaluate
a) the current state of knowledge aggregation and exchange
among state health officials (SHOs), and b) the impact of
SHLI and its program partners on that process.
Health Leadership Initiative (SHLI) is a program administered
by the National
Governors Association (NGA) and funded with the help of
a grant from the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation. The purpose of SHLI is to accelerate
the development of the leadership capacity of Chief State
Health Officials who are newly appointed to build their personal
skills and provide them with adequate knowledge to be able
to ensure the effectiveness of the public health system in
a rapidly changing health care and political environment.
Part of the genius of the federal
system, as Brandeis noted long ago, is that states may serve
as "laboratories of democracy." However, a potential
downfall of a federal system is that experimentation in one
corner of the system is not taken advantage of in other corners.
This is a particular challenge in domains that are knowledge
intensive, because there may be economies of scale in such
arenas. That is, it may be that a certain minimum volume of
experiences is necessary to efficient, where many states may
not experience that volume, nor have the requisite concentration
of talent to manage certain problems. It is plausible that
public health is one such domain, and it is for this reason
that a program such as SHLI, offers enormous potential value.