Contemplating consulting in public health, with Leah Roman

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Show Notes

Consulting has gotten a lot of interest in the public health space recently. For many reasons, public health professionals have chosen to explore consulting and have built careers around it.

We have even seen interest within our PH SPOT community, and have been asked for resources by you to help you take the first step. Until now, we were not able to provide you with any resources or support around this topic because we hadn’t found anything specific to public health.

This changed last year when we met Leah Roman! We came to find out that Leah was becoming the “connector” of public health consultants around the world. Not only that, she was also supporting aspiring consultants to take the first step into consulting! We knew right away when we met Leah that she was the right person to bring in front of you all.

In this episode, we speak to Leah about her journey into consulting, and ask her to explain to us what public health consulting is all about. Additionally, towards the end, I tell you about a webinar that Leah and PH SPOT are hosting, as well as where to go for more resources on public health consulting.


You’ll Learn

  • About Leah and her story/journey into public health consulting
    • Fun fact: In the early years, if you had Googled public health consulting, Leah was the one who showed up
  • What it means to be a consultant in public health
  • Different terminologies to use to explain the work you do (consultant, contractor, freelancer); clients’ reactions to language
  • Mindset is key: you are running a business, not just taking projects
  • What a day looks like for Leah (taking client work), and how she then moved into supporting other consultants
  • Services one may offer as a consultant and industries to find prospective clients
  • The benefits of niching down versus being a generalist (jack of all trades)
  • Whether an online presence is a good idea
  • When it’s the right time to get into consulting
  • Differences and similarities around the world in public health consulting
  • How to deal with financial fluctuations
  • The best part about being a public health consultant (for Leah)
  • (The most exciting part) How to take the next steps into consulting, including additional resources and training

Today’s Guest

Leah Roman

Leah Roman is a public health consultant and educator in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. After spending a decade in public health, she launched her business in 2013 to bring some flexibility into her schedule and to provide clients with customized services ranging from grant writing to health education program development.

People often refer to Leah as a “connector”, so it is no surprise that she has reached out to many fellow consultants over the past six years. During those conversations and meetings, she identified a few themes in terms of what we need to be successful: peer support and more business and entrepreneurial know-how (because for the most part, MPH programs are not teaching you how to run your own business). So Leah took it upon herself to become that person who could fill the gap for aspiring and current public health consultants.

Leah has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of San Diego, a Master of Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), as well as a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).



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About the Show

PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes

On the show, Sujani sits down with public health heroes of our time to share career stories, inspiration, and guidance for building public health careers. From time to time, she also has conversations with friends of public health – individuals who are not public health professionals, but their advice and guidance are equally important.

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