Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP)


ALTP is rooted in the values of Collaboration, Self-reflection, Justice & Belonging, and the belief that Leadership is Behavior. These values underpin every aspect of the program, and are the roots from which all other program elements stem. We support leaders to develop and deepen their knowledge, skills, and practice to courageously lead in increasingly complex and dynamic contexts.

RIHEL’s year-long signature program is designed for mid-career public health, health, and environment professionals in the Rocky Mountain region.

Knowledge & Skills

ALTP builds the capacity of individual participants and creates an interdisciplinary network of leaders dedicated to the public and environmental health of our region. Annually, ALTP matriculates some 45 health and environment professionals from throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond through a competitive application process

With over 1,000 graduates, ALTP alumni are now leading health and environmental organizations throughout the US. 

Why I Applied to ALTP

Maddie Philley, graduate of the Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP), talks about why she applied and what she got out of the program.

What You Can Get Out of ALTP

Djuana Harvell, graduate of the Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP), talks about what she would tell someone who is thinking about applying to the program.

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Key Program Elements

  • A 10-month program – includes three 3-day/2-night events held at various locations in Colorado, one 2-day Metro Denver event, and one virtual workshop
  • Participants complete multiple assessments, including a 360-degree assessment of personal leadership practices
  • Participants receive a peer coach to work with during the program
  • Participants have the opportunity to initiate team or individual creative projects as living laboratories in which to practice collaborative leadership skills

Topics studied and practiced include

  • Exemplary Leadership Practices
  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Justice and Belonging
  • Coaching
  • Intentional Action for Leadership Development
  • Systems Thinking
  • Team and Change Management
  • Self-reflection and Self-awareness
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ALTP includes the five elements found in the most effective leadership development programs.

A conceptual model is a theory that forms the framework for learning, in this case for learning about leadership. The ALTP uses two conceptual models of leadership:

  • Leadership is Behavior. Leadership is behavior, not a personality trait or a position on an organizational chart. RIHEL uses Kouzes and Posner’s behavioral model of leadership, which comprises the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: Model the way, Inspire a shared vision, Challenge the process, Enable others to act, and Encourage the heart.
  • Collaborative Leadership. Collaboration is the most effective known approach to solving complex problems. Leaders understand the importance of collaboration, communication, and networking with interdisciplinary professionals to address today’s complex health and environment challenges.

ALTP participants have various opportunities to apply the skills they are learning in the program. This includes the option to plan and implement a project as a learning laboratory for the leadership skills they wish to try out, practice or refine. The projects require passion and creativity, bring value to the community or workplace, highlight collaboration, and encourage the participants to think through sustainability after the project is completed. See examples of past projects.

Leaders are often asked for advice: Good leaders know when to give information or advice and when to be a “strategic thinking partner” to uncover the wisdom inside their colleagues and teams. This is known as coaching. The ALTP develops coaching skills to allow participants to tap into their own wisdom and solutions and to practice coaching others. Participants are also paired with a RIHEL peer coach (a RIHEL leadership program alumnus) for regular coaching conversations during the ALTP.

ALTP participants take the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) to provide quantitative information about the frequency with which they exhibit specific leadership behaviors. While all assessments have limitations, the LPI-360 has been extensively studied and validated, and corresponds to Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership conceptual model used in the ALTP. Participants debrief their LPI reports, and plan actions to help increase the practices they want to magnify.
Throughout the program, participants complete additional assessments to help provide a well-rounded assessment of their traits and behaviors that influence their leadership presence.

Reflection is the hallmark of an intentional leader. Therefore, ample opportunites are infused throughout the program to support participants’ development of self-awareness and self-reflection. ALTP faculty model reflection in the delivery of the program, as well as facilitate individual and group reflection during and between training events.

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Proven Results

The doctoral dissertation of Linda Olson (Olson, Linda. Leadership Development for Public Health and Environment, unpublished dissertation, University of Denver, 2005) examines the leadership changes in 67 graduates for four years (1999-2002) of the Advanced Leadership Development Program. Olson’s dissertation concluded: “RIHEL as a training intervention can be credited significantly with the changes in leadership practices of alumni … . It gave them self-awareness, a leadership framework, and skills to improve in multiple leadership opportunities. … Leadership training had a positive impact overall in the RIHEL alumni leaders’ development.” (pages 200-201)

Please see the publication of these research findings in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
Please see the summary of Dr. Olson’s research or her complete dissertation for more details.

Program Participants

The ALTP is designed for middle and upper level professionals from the public, private, for-profit and non-profit sectors, who work in the areas of health and environment, or whose work impacts health or the environment.

ALTP seeks participants from local and state health departments, environmental agencies, community-based organizations, boards of health, health care organizations, hospitals, and for-profit companies with impacts or interests in health or environment who are committed to leading their organizations toward better equitable health and environmental outcomes, including the energy, construction and finance industries and more.

Participants from previous programs represent a wide variety of companies, agencies, organizations and institutions. See the list of employers here.

The ALTP Experience

Participants in the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program share about their experience in the program and the value that it provides.

ALTP Faculty & Staff

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Chrissy Chard, PhD

Director, Advanced Leadership Training Program, Regional Intstitute for Health and Environmental Leadership

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Leanne Jeffers, MPH, ACC

Program Director, Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership

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Arron Mansika

RIHEL Executive Director

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Franco Marini, MA, CNL

Adjunct Professor, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
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Connie Sorell

Program Manager, Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership

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Nicole Tuitt, DrPH, MPH

Assistant Professor, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health

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Janna West Kowalski, MS

West Kowalski Consulting and Coaching

Questions Regarding ALTP or the application process?

Please contact Connie Sorell, Program Manager, through the form below.

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