Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP)

The PURPOSE of the Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP) is to develop advanced knowledge and skills to lead intentionally in an increasingly complex and diverse context.

The ALTP is designed to build the capacity of the individual participants, and to create an interdisciplinary network of leaders who are dedicated to the health and environment of our region. The program includes some 45 health and environment professionals in the Rocky Mountain region each year. As of May 2020, RIHEL has completed 21 ALTP classes and graduated over 900 fellows.

Admission into the ALTP is through a competitive application process. Accepted applicants begin the year-long program in July and graduate in May.


  •   ALTP offers a powerfully diverse and interactive leadership curriculum that takes you on an impactful, emotional, and life-changing adventure!

  •   Not only do the ALTP instructors and staff provide a holistic leadership approach, but they provide a welcoming and safe environment that encourages vulnerability and honesty.

  •   …and, an added bonus is that you end up making life-long connections with people throughout the country!

  •   Leadership isn’t always about achieving BIG results but small successes are just as important as big ones.

  •   The curriculum is exceptional and has been transformative. The ALTP has helped me significantly move the ball forward on my own leadership skills in every respect.

  •   RIHEL gives you permission and confidence to say “I think this is the right thing to do, regardless of how popular I might be on the issue.” When you’re a public official you have to do that a lot.

    –Jill Ryan, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  •   [ALTP] made me realize I can be an effective leader, and I don’t need to be in a formal manager/leader role at work to practice leadership. I can apply leadership principles to my personal life, too. And, I can share the tools I’ve learned to others so they can apply it at work and/or at home.

  •   I’ve been thru 2-3 leadership programs throughout my career but being in ALTP was a humbling experience. It was the right amount of challenge for me at this point in my career and appropriate to my work as a leader in my organization and as leader of a team… I understand a lot more about leadership now than I did before; I have a framework and language for what I value in leadership and the kind of leadership I want to practice.

  •   Celebrating my successes daily changes my relationship with my to do list, my job. By ending each day celebrating something that went well, I leave on a positive note. I no longer leave worrying about my to do list or feeling frustrated. As a result, I’m happy to go back to work the next day to have another success.

  •   I think about leadership as more of a proactive practice than I did before, rather than something that is handed to you or that comes with a position. I’ve always been a natural leader but I think I was stuck in terms of growth as a leader. ALTP provided me with concrete tools to use and assignments to help me practice them.

Why I Applied to ALTP

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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

What you can get out of ALTP video image

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.


Key Program Elements

Key Program Elements

  • A year long program - includes four 3-day events held at various locations in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming
  • Participants complete a 360-degree assessment of personal leadership practices
  • Participants receive a peer coach to work with during the program
  • Participants initiate team or individual creative projects as living laboratories in which to practice collaborative leadership skills

Topics studied and practiced include

  • Exemplary Leadership Practices
  • Collaborative Leadership
  • Diversity Assets
  • Powerful Conversations
  • Peer Coaching
  • Intentional Action for Leaders
  • Systems Thinking
  • Communications

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.


The ALTP Experience


The ALTP Experience

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

Impact of RIHEL

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The Impact of RIHEL

Students from Metropolitan State University of Denver captured the impact of the RIHEL leadership development experience on public health professionals.

people listening to presentation


The Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP) includes the five elements found in the most effective leadership development programs:

1. Conceptual Model: A conceptual model is theory that forms the framework for learning, in this case for learning about leadership. The ALTP uses two conceptual models of leadership:
    five people standing in circle with arms linked in the middle
  • 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, 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.

2. Action Learning Experience: ALTP participants plan and implement a project as a learning laboratory for the leadership skills that they need 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.

3. Coaching: 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 peers and proteges. 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.

4. 360-Degree Feedback and Other Assessments: ALTP participants take the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) to provide quantitative information about the frequency with which they exhibit specific leadership behaviors. While many similar evaluation tools exist, 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 identify intrinsic traits and behaviors that influence their leadership presence.

5. Reflection: Reflection is the hallmark of a leader, and ALTP faculty model reflection in the delivery of the program, facilitate group reflection during training events, and assign reflection questions between training events.

ALTP Schedule

ALTP Schedule

The Advanced Leadership Training Program runs from July through May each year, and includes four 3-day events held at various locations in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. The program year officially begins on July 1st when the first readings and assignments are sent to the participants of the new class. The first event takes place in August, and the fourth Event marks the end of that year’s program.

ALTP 2022 Schedule

  • August 4, 2021 – 9:00am-12:00pm – ALTP Orientation Virtual
  • August 18-19-20, 2021 – 9:00am-3:00pm – Session 1 Virtual
  • October 27-28-29, 2021 – Estes Park, CO
  • January 12-13-14, 2022 – Santa Fe, NM
  • May 4-5-6, 2022 – Florissant, CO

The August 2021 ALTP training will be conducted online, but the October 2021, January 2022, and May 2022 events are planned to be held in-person. If it is still not safe to meet in-person, the events after August will be changed to the online format.

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 health and environmental outcomes, such as 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.

ALTP Class of 2019

photo of all class members


Time Commitment. Participants must commit the time required to complete assignments and participate in all of the program sessions. The Class of 2022 sessions will take place:

  • Via videoconference using Zoom for the August 4th Orientation and the August 18-20 Session.
  • In person (COVID permitting) at various venues around the Rocky Mountain region in October, January and May (see program schedule above).
  • Assignments between sessions include readings, online videos, self-assessments, on-line discussions, and leadership project development and implementation.
  • From October through May, participants hold monthly coaching conversations with their assigned RIHEL Peer Coach (alumni from RIHEL leadership programs) to support their development in the program.

Employer Support. Participants are required to have the active and demonstrable support of their employers for this time commitment in the form of time-off from work to participate in the on-site events. (Many employers will also support the program tuition and associated expenses of the fellows.) The application requires a supervisor endorsement as part of the submission.

Technology Resources. Fellows must have access to the hardware and software to participate in distance learning. The program cannot assume any costs for the computer and communication systems used by the fellows.

For the health and safety of all involved in ALTP when we meet in person in 2021-2022, RIHEL will require that participants, faculty and staff be fully immunized against COVID-19 before attending any in person events. If you do not plan to receive the COVID vaccine, please delay your application to a future year when the vaccine is not required. The August 2021 ALTP training will be conducted online, but the October 2021, January 2022, and May 2022 events are planned to be held in-person. If it is still not safe to meet in-person, the events after August will be changed to the online format.


Tuition for the ALTP 2022 cohort is $4,750*. This covers:

  • program instruction
  • individual peer coaching
  • program materials and assessments
  • lodging at program training events
  • most meals (about two meals during the in-person sessions are on your own)

Transportation expenses to and from the events are the responsibility of the participant, and employers are encouraged to reimburse these costs, if possible. The tuition is payable upon acceptance into the program and due by July 1st unless other arrangements are made. Arrangements can be made for an individual payment schedule, if necessary. All tuition payments are non-refundable.

*Tuition rate is subject to change in future years.


A limited number of specialized scholarships may be available from year to year. These scholarships are competitive and recipients are typically selected by the awarding organization.

Colorado Environmental Health Association (CEHA)

Historically, CEHA has offered scholarship support up to $1,000 for the ALTP. Only CEHA members are eligible to apply for this scholarship.

ALTP Faculty and Staff

Judy Baxter, MA

Judy Baxter, MA

Associate Clinical Professor University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, School of Medicine, Barbara Davis Center

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Leanne Jeffers, MPH, ACC, CMC

Leanne Jeffers, MPH, ACC, CMC

Program Director, Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership

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Kathy Kennedy, DrPH

Kathy Kennedy, DrPH

Executive Director, Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership

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Franco Marini, MA, CNL

Franco Marini, MA, CNL

Adjunct Professor, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver

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Connie Sorell

Connie Sorell

Program Coordinator, Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership

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Jen Stachelski, MPH

Jen Stachelski, MPH

Senior Program Manager, Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership

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Nicole Tuitt, DrPH, MPH

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
Janna West Kowalski, MS

Janna West Kowalski, MS

West Kowalski Consulting and Coaching

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Questions Regarding ALTP or the application process? Please contact Jen Stachelski, Sr. Program Manager, through the form below.