Leaders in Health

Program Overview

The Leaders in Health (LIH) program strengthens community health initiatives through introductory training in public health research and science. The goal of the Leaders in Health program is to build the capacity of our community partners by providing participants with an introduction to the fundamentals of community-based participatory research (CBPR), program planning, and evaluation. Participants attend interactive training sessions, complete assignments, and receive support to create an action plan to enhance their work.

Timeline & Time Commitment

The application period for a new cohort typically opens each August, and participants are chosen by mid-September. The program takes place from September through November. Participants should expect to dedicate two hours per week for training sessions as well as an additional two hours of their own time completing readings, assignments, and applying what they have learned to their project.


From 2011-2014, the HPRC partnered with the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness (BCFF), and Harvard Catalyst’s Community Engagement Program, on a training focused on nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention among children and youth. Through our conversations with community partners working to improve nutrition and physical activity, many organizations asked for a program to help better understand and use the public health approach, community-based participatory research methods, and the science underlying effective evidence-based obesity prevention strategies.

Leaders in Health was re-launched in 2017 with the Harvard T.H. Chan Office of Diversity and Inclusion under co-Directors, Bekka Lee and Ra’Shaun Nalls, with a broader focus on population health and prevention—expanding to include projects on topics such as elder wellness, health in housing, and sexual health promotion.


Topics covered during the Leaders in Health Program include:

  • Public Health Principles & Practice
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Health Equity
  • Project Planning & Implementation
  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Speaking & Policy Advocacy

Within the first few weeks of the program, members identify a project that they are working on which they think could be enhanced by LIH principles. Then, over the second half of the program, participants create action plans, construct logic models, and examine evaluation and implementation strategies to help translate their knowledge into practice.

During the final week of the program, LIH participants presented an outline of the key components of their projects, such as specific aims, target population, activities, outcomes, and LIH concepts that they applied.

Program Dates: 2011-2014, 2017-present
Contact: Rebekka Lee

Past Participants and Presentations

Last updated:  November 15, 2022