The public is often sympathetic towards those individuals who are aggrieved by a serious illness. This is demonstrated by the extensive organizational and individual efforts that have been made to raise funds for cancer research and to administer aid to those individuals battling this dreadful disease. Alternatively, AIDS victims generally do not receive the same level of widespread support and compassion. There has been a perpetual sense of shame attached to AIDS and there are members of society who judge AIDS sufferers as being sexual deviants and squarely blame them for their predicament.
However, beliefs regarding this issue have often been framed on misconceptions. For example, the AIDS population is not exclusively comprised of individuals who contracted the disease by engaging in sexual activity, but in reality this group is quite diverse. Moreover, the public sector has played a role in not only augmenting the public’s understanding of AIDS, but it can also be instrumental in disrupting the prevalent nature of this disease. Dr. Helene Gayle has notably served a central function in numerous of the advances that have been achieved in terms of addressing the AIDS epidemic.
Overall, Dr. Gayle was able to overcome many of the political, social, and economic factors surrounding the AIDS epidemic and she effectively applied the use of external forces, professionalism, and base of individual power. In addition, she realized the significance of forging relationships and working with other agencies and organizations. Political, Social, and Economic Forces An inadequate understanding of the complex mechanisms and principles found in the world of politics can undoubtedly be detrimental to public administrators.
Ultimately, lacking a political know-how can render attempts to incite change within the political arena to be increasingly arduous. However, Dr. Gayle managed to succeed in circumventing several of the challenges presented by this force by possessing the ability and talent to prevail in such a harsh environment. Dr. Gayle has a firm grasp on the manner in which the political sphere operates and she recognizes the need to provide policymakers with a sound basis to form their decisions (Riccucci, 2002, p. 17).
Essentially, Dr. Gayle’s knowledge of how to effectively navigate through the political system can potentially drive policy-making in her favor. Furthermore, there were profound social barriers that Dr. Gayle had to surpass in order to further her cause. Dr. Gayle has strived to transform the public’s perception of AIDS. Ultimately, some heterosexual men, primarily in the African American community, have sexual relations with other men and the negative views associated with such behavior has stopped some of these individuals from seeking AIDS-related assistance (Riccucci, 2002, p. 4).
The failure of this group to solicit help can largely constrain efforts directed towards prevention. Essentially, it is feasible that these men will continue to be intimately involved with partners who are unaware of their previous sexual history, which can further contribute to the spread of the AIDS virus. The treatment and prevention of AIDS are financially taxing and the economic forces that encompass this issue are appreciable. Consequently, poorer countries are at a distinct disadvantage.
Riccucci (2002) “The cost of providing antiretroviral drugs for HIV has become a particularly serious problem in developing countries, where even simple medications are out of reach for much of the population” (p. 16). Furthermore, The United States is a nation equipped with relatively vast financial resources and retains some of the leading medical practitioners in the world. However, in spite of these substantial benefits, combating the AIDS epidemic on U. S. soil has been problematic. Thus, the capability of these developing nations to tend to the AIDS problem within their own orders in the absence of relief is extremely limited.
Consequently, Dr. Gayle broadened the scope of the issue by promoting the United States’ involvement in managing this disease on an international scale. Through her work, Dr. Gayle has motivated various organizations to actively participate in addressing the situation through the distribution of resources to Africa (Riccucci, 2002, p. 22). Therefore, rather than simply electing to target the AIDS epidemic in her region, Dr. Gayle has opted for a more comprehensive approach and she is subsequently securing the interests of humanity as a whole.
Political Resources The skillset of a public administrator cannot be restricted and in order to be effective they must be proficient in a number of key areas. Dr. Gayle’s value as a public administrator is further demonstrated through her judicious employment of political resources. First, Dr. Gayle was successfully able to garner external support by capitalizing upon the use of iron triangles in which “agencies ally themselves with congressional committees” (Starling, 2011, p. 83). Essentially, obtaining the support of individuals within the political realm can impact policy.
For example, the damage inflicted by drug use is not a recent development; however, it was not until the “War on Drugs” became a leading matter of national interest that drugrelated policy became increasingly stringent. Alternatively, Dr. Gayle has acquired the backing of influential political players and various groups within the community (Riccucci, 2002). Thus, Dr. Gayle does not merely appeal to the concerns and interests of politicians, but to different facets throughout society. In addition, being a member of the medical profession is an alternative resource that Dr. Gayle can utilize.
Starling (2011) “Professionals in an agency are obviously in an excellent position to mobilize the support of relevant external professional organizations” (p. 84). Moreover, Dr. Gayle is not only a medical professional, but she is also a leader of a public agency. Therefore, Dr. Gayle’s has colleagues in various fields and the extended network she has at her disposal can be exploited to serve to her advantage. Dr. Gayle has managed to form partnerships with an assortment of agencies within the Department of Human Health Services, including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Health (Riccucci, 2002, p. 5).
Overall, professionalism is a resource that can allow Dr. Gayle’s range of influence to transcend among separate organizations. The bases of individual power also qualify as another viable resource available to Dr. Gayle. First, Dr. Gayle’s referent power is perhaps one of her greatest strengths. Starling (2011) “Referent power derives from the identification of others with the leader. This identification can be established if the leader is greatly liked, admired, or respected” (p. 86).
Dr. Gayle exemplifies all of the virtues attributed to this type of leader and the effect that such power can have in relation to the pursuits of public administrators. Dr. Gayle is held in high esteem by both her staff and agency leaders (Riccucci, 2002). Consequently, securing the loyalty of her staff can improve work performance. For instance, if employees admire their administrator as a person and believe that they are making an important contribution to a worthy cause they will be determined to meet their prescribed goals and effectively complete their duties.
Furthermore, the positive relationships Dr. Gayle has established with other leaders can maximize her potential to impact policy. The Importance of Creating Partnerships The AIDS epidemic is a complex issue and it demands the participation of countless individuals and organizations to be ameliorated. Essentially, progress is more likely to be achieved through a united effort. The case emphasizes the value of establishing partnerships so that organizations can combine their resources and intellect to combat AIDS (Riccucci, 2002, p. 5).
Ultimately, agencies each may have their own unique set of strengths. For example, one agency may have the superior manpower while another may have higher funding. Thus, by joining forces with other organizations they can more effectively work to meet common goals. This principle is indicative in the coordination of relief efforts following a natural disaster. For instance, when an earthquake devastated the island of Haiti various national governments and organizations offered their support to better help disaster victims.
Alternatively, the benefits of establishing partnerships exceed beyond their ability to widen the pool of resources. By including faith-based organizations in the AIDS issue, the development of this partnership can have the potential to influence matters of public opinion (Riccucci, 2002, p. 15). Essentially, the views of the church can affect how an individual who has acquired AIDS elects to proceed. Thus, by partnering with faith-based organizations, it demonstrates to the community at large that individuals suffering from this disease do not have to avoid seeking treatment because they fear the reaction of others.
Conclusion Dr. Gayle is a model example of a public administrator. She was able to triumph over countless of the political, economic, and social challenges attributed to AIDS. Moreover, Dr. Gayle competently implemented the use of political resources including managing to gain the advocacy of political executives and interest groups, utilizing her professional connections and using her people skills as a base of individual power.
Furthermore, Dr. Gayle demonstrated that forming partnerships with numerous types of organizations can support a multifaceted approach when engaging the AIDS issue. Overall, public administrators must infiltrate an adversarial political environment to push their policies in which there are often opposing viewpoints and a lack of consensus regarding what objectives to pursue. Thus, the ability of public administrators to work the system to suit their desires and gaining proponents who support their cause in the world of politics as well as the community are indispensable resources.