Late last month, members of the 2021 class of de Beaumont’s 40 Under 40 in Public Health gathered in San Antonio, Texas, for an in-person leadership retreat full of professional development and networking opportunities. The culmination of a two-year program, the retreat aimed to: 

  • Connect and strengthen peer networks 
  • Share insights from 40 Under 40 partners and field leaders 
  • Celebrate the 2021 class 
  • Create space for honorees to rest, recalibrate, and re-energize 

A lot was packed into the three days, such as group meals, social events, and workshops on futuring and design thinking. Knowing how tired and burned out many public health leaders are, the agenda included down time to unwind by the pool, take a walk with a fellow honoree, or enjoy the hotel amenities.  

San Antonio health director Dr. Claude Jacob kicked off the summit with opening remarks and a health department tour. Honorees also heard from de Beaumont president and CEO Dr. Brian C. Castrucci; and chief of staff Dr. Jamila Porter, a 2019 honoree 

Although the 40 Under 40 honorees come from diverse backgrounds in public health, they tackle similar workplace challenges both personally and professionally. “Public health is such a broad field, we often make connections with people because of status and position. 40 Under 40 allows us to connect with other public health champions who are on the same trajectory, regardless of position or specialty,” said honoree AAron Davis.

Honorees connected in small and large group discussions on a variety of topics, including burnout, the future of public health, the three horizons framework, and design thinking.

As one attendee noted, “public health can be a difficult field, but connecting with others in this way ensures we are connected and don’t feel alone in our efforts.”

Based on topics and themes elevated throughout the retreat, Dr. Jacob, Dr. Castrucci, and honorees Ashley Hickson and Sadiya Muqueeth co-designed a fireside chat to probe areas of interest in an informal, conversational format.  

In the closing session, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, director of the Wayne County Department of Health, Human, and Veterans Services, challenged honorees toSlow down and take the time to meet the people you work for. Not your bosses but the community members you impact.”

As the honorees packed their bags and returned home, they brought back new knowledge, connections, and energy about their work. As honoree Jennica Allen put it, “l found myself reconnecting with the field of public health in a way I didn’t realize I needed.” 

Nominations for the Class of 2023 are open from March 1-May 17, 2023. You may nominate yourself or someone else.

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