Desired attributes and skills of program managers in translation of evidence-based interventions
Successful chronic disease project management, especially of multiyear initiatives using evidence-based interventions (EBIs), is of great importance to funders, health care decision makers, and researchers, particularly in light of limited funding. However, a gap in knowledge may exist regarding which attributes and skills are most desirable in a program manager to help him or her ensure successful implementation of EBIs. Although some literature examines the dynamics contributing to the success of community coalitions, public health leadership, and community health education, there is minimal literature exploring the significance of a program manager’s role in the conceptualization, implementation, and sustainability of initiatives to improve patient and community health. The authors present their experiences as participants in a large-scale asthma initiative implemented in priority communities, as well as results of a survey distributed among all personnel of the program sites. The survey aimed to assess the key skills and attributes, in addition to contextual factors, that contribute to the strength of a program manager overseeing EBIs in asthma initiatives. The results suggest that certain attributes and skills are desirable in recruiting and hiring of a program manager, especially when augmented by ongoing skill-building training, and can help ensure program and research success.