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Current Events in Public Health Leadership and the Fiedler Contingency Theory - Assignment Example

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This paper "Current Events in Public Health Leadership and the Fiedler Contingency Theory" focuses on the California whooping cough epidemic is a current event that significantly touches on public health leadership. As at June 24, 2014, the epidemic attacked four thousand, five hundred and fifty-eight persons with one thousand one hundred persons catching it between June 10 and June 24, 2014. …
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Current Events in Public Health Leadership and the Fiedler Contingency Theory
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Current Event in Public Health Leadership
California Whooping Cough Epidemic
The California whooping cough epidemic is a current event that significantly touches on public health leadership. As at June 24, 2014, the epidemic attacked four thousands, five hundred and fifty eight persons with one thousand one hundred persons catching it between the June 10, 2014 and June 24, 2014. This year’s toll has surpassed that of 2013 that hit two thousand, five, and thirty-two persons. Children are the most affected population by the epidemic accounting for approximately two-thirds of all pertussis cases. In young children, the disease is starting with a mere cough, and running nose but it escalates into rapid coughing with whooping sound. In adults, pertussis is starting as a cough but is ending up as a persistent cough (CDPH, 2014).
The response of California Department of Public health to the whooping cough epidemic
The response of the department exemplifies the tenets of Fielder’s contingency theory. The director of the California Department of Public Health (CPDH) has acted by mobilizing his subordinates to launch a statewide campaign against the epidemic. The harmony with which the response has taken off demonstrates the good relationship that exists between the leader and his juniors. For example, some juniors have gone to local health departments and they are coordinating vaccination activities with physicians. They are providing a link between the physician in the grassroots with CDPH so that to ensure that there are enough supplies of the vaccines. Just as in Fielder’s theory, Dr. Ron Chapman, the director of CDPH, comes across as a leader who can exercise control. He has been quoted assertively clarifying the rumors that the epidemic has killed people already (Kapur & Smith, 2011).
Task-motivated interaction with subordinates
An important observation that is in line with Fielder’s contingency theory is that Dr. Chapman is using a task-motivated interaction with his subordinates. This is seen in the way the director has emphasized the nature of the epidemic and how fast it is spreading rather than his relationship with his subordinates. Based on his perception of the high volatility of the epidemic, Dr. Chapman has taken a multisectoral approach to curbing the effects of the disease. Schools are one of the sectors that he has deployed some subordinates to sensitize teachers and students about pertussis and the available resources such as vaccine stations. He has directed others to work with media outlets in order to disseminate accurate information about the progress of the epidemic and about the actions that are being taken to curb its spread (Clements, 2009).
Least-preferred co-worker score and exercise of control
The emphasis that Dr. Chapman has demonstrated on the task of curbing pertussis shows that he has a low score on least preferred co-worker. His assertiveness in the way he is responding to the epidemic is warranted by its potential for massive fatality (CDPH, 2014). Finally, the task-motivated interaction with subordinates that Dr. Chapman has taken on this issue is despite the semi-structured nature of the response to the epidemic. The semi-structured nature of the response owes to the unpredictability of people’s perception about the epidemic despite the sensitization efforts by the government.
References
CDPH. (2014). California Whooping Cough Epidemic Continues. California Department of Public Health, June 27, 2014. Retrieved on July 3, 2014 from http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/NR14-060.aspx
Kapur, G. & Smith, J. (2011). Emergency public health: preparedness and response. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Clements, B. (2009). Disasters and public health: planning and response. Amsterdam; Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier. Read More
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