Dean of the College of Health Sciences
East Stroudsburg University
Dr. Alberto J.F. Cardelle has been a member of the East Stroudsburg University (ESU) in Pennsylvania since 1999. Dr. Cardelle is chair and professor of the Department of Health Studies at ESU where he teaches in the CEPH accredited MPH program in community health education. Between 2006 and 2008 he served as vice-provost for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school.
Dr. Cardelle earned his bachelor of science degree in biology and Latin American studies at Tulane University; a master’s degree in public health from Boston University; and his doctoral degree from the University of Miami in international studies with a concentration in comparative health policy.
Before coming to ESU, Dr. Cardelle was a research associate at the Dante Fascell North-South Center and the Fogarty International Research Center at the University of Miami. Dr. Cardelle has also worked with the World Health Organization, The American Medical Student Association and UNICEF.
Professionally, Dr. Cardelle serves in various governance positions. He was appointed to serve as a commissioner on Governor’ Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA), one of 18 individuals appointed to serve as the governor’s liaison to the Latino community and the commonwealth’s advocacy agency for Latino residents. Dr. Cardelle serves as a governing councilor for the American Public Health Association representing the Community Health Planning and Policy Development Section. He served in various leadership positions including chair for the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association. At the community level, Dr. Cardelle has served as president and member of the Latino & American Alliance of Northeastern Pennsylvania and a board member of the Area Health Education Center, the Monroe County Family Health Center, the United Way of Monroe County.
The New Connections grant will support an evaluation of RWJF’s Community Health Leaders (CHL) project. The CHL project, established in 1991, has the mission “to support and sustain the capacity of individuals who demonstrate creativity, innovation and commitment to improving health outcomes at the community level.” There are currently 153 outstanding Community Health Leaders in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. This proposal puts forward an evaluation framework that looks to identify critical systematic and common factors and characteristics that lead to positive public health leadership among the participants of the CHL program that are working on rural health issues.
The projects will answer three basic research questions: 1) Who are the rural CHL participants?; 2) What are the commonalities in their pathways to leadership?; and 3) What contextual factors and characteristics correlate with the commonalities identified among the CHL participants?
The project will use social network analysis to identify the path that CHL participants took to the positions they had at the time of selection, and the approaches they now use as leaders. The social network analysis will allow the evaluation to identify the number of contacts the leaders had with key organizations, individuals (pre- and post-selection), as well as the nature of their work in health and their use of key technologies. In addition, the evaluation will consider each leader’s leadership history as a case study and analyze the case studies using cross-case and within-case analysis. The case study analysis identifies the key factors in each case that facilitated or hindered the development of their leadership skills and characteristics. The project will combine the analysis to identify the pathway and the factors that are common across the different leadership experiences.
My New Connections Experience
The New Connections program provides me with a unique professional development opportunity. Over the last 20 years I have learned valuable lessons about public health practice as a result of every single project I have evaluated and/or been part of implementing. These are lessons that strengthen my role as a public health academician and a public health practitioner, and have strengthened my capacity as an evaluator. The opportunity to expand this knowledge and experiential base from projects funded by RWJF presents an important opportunity in my professional development. New Connections funding is also providing me an opportunity to evaluate public health leadership development, an area of public health practice that has not been given enough research attention. There has been significant assessments of community health planning, community health interventions and community health academic training, but limited assessment of why, how and who emerges as a community health leader. This project will allow me to engage in this type of assessment and to integrate my observation from countless public health projects which have been impacted by the limited analysis of public health leaders. The other major opportunity that New Connections provides is that of engagement. New Connections will allow me as a public health professional from an under-represented group in public health to engage with a network of other professionals from similar backgrounds. Having worked over the last 10 years as a minority in a rural area of the country, I find that opportunities are scarce to engage with a community of researchers who emerged from a background similar to mine and who are interested in advancing public health knowledge. New Connections presents me with a unique research opportunity while engaging with a network of colleagues with whom I may otherwise not have come in contact.
My research interest has three general foci: assessment of the public health infrastructure; program evaluation focused on policy and system changes; and international comparative health policy analysis. Over the last five years, I have been assessing the structure of existing public health services and analyzing their overall impact on health status. The research has also identified the feasibility of establishing local health departments including — but not limited to — economic, political and administrative feasibility. The research in this area has contributed to the process of establishing local health departments in various counties in Pennsylvania. My work on program evaluation has focused on measuring the outcome of public health interventions that seek to make sustaining policy and system changes. I have worked on the evaluation of the HRSA Community Health Access Program, the CDC Steps to a Healthier U.S. and the Pennsylvania Asthma Control Program. The work focuses on designing evaluation approaches that measure short- and medium-term outcomes across the socio-ecological model and determining the long-term outcome of policy and system changes. Finally, over the last 10 years, I have worked on comparative international policy. My research in this area has revolved around measuring the impact of health care reform policies. Specifically, the research has looked at the impact of the practice of contracting with nongovernmental providers, the impact of regime changes on the progress of health care reform and, most recently, the impact of reform policies on immigrant health status.
- New Connections Status: Mid-Career Consultant
- Award Year: 2009
- RWJF Team/Portfolio: Human Capital
- Project Name: A Systems Approach to Public Health Evaluation: Network analysis of the Community Health Leaders program in rural health.