The IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI represented a large contribution to the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice special supplement regarding the current and future public health workforce. The supplement utilizes nationally collected data from the Public Health Workforce Interest and Needs Survey (PH WINS).
Fairbanks School of Public Health Founding Dean, Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, is a co-editor of this special edition and author of the editorial “Ensuring a Strong Public Health Workforce for the 21st Century: Reflections on PH WINS 2017.” The editorial focuses on the insights provided by the PH WINS in addressing public health workforce issues and ensuring more engaged and productive staff.
Also included in the supplement are publications on training motivations among public health professionals, the impact of public health informatics in local and state health agencies, the future of the public health workforce and the relationship between health department accreditation and workforce satisfaction.
In “Examining Training Motivations Among Public Health Workers,” researchers examine the overall training motivations of public health workers and explore how training needs differ. The researchers, Valerie Yeager, DrPH, MPhil, associate professor in health policy and management, and Nate C. Apathy, BS, health policy and management PhD student, found that 82.7 percent of respondents were motivated by personal growth.
Timothy D. McFarlane, MPH, lecturer in epidemiology and PhD candidate, and Brian E. Dixon, PhD, MPA, associate professor in epidemiology, found that public health informatics specialists continue to be rare in local and state health departments, and the broader public health workforce has unmet data and informatics training needs. These findings can be found in the paper “Public Health Informatics in Local and State Health Agencies: An Update From the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey.”
The newest era of public health, “Public Health 3.0,” supports cross-sector collaborations to address the social determinants of health. Researchers Casey Balio, BA, health policy and management PhD student, Dr. Valerie Yeager and Leslie M. Beitsch, MD, JD, Fairbanks School of Public Health National Advisory Council member, found that overall, individual perceptions supporting involvement were highest for health equity and social connectedness and lowest for transportation in the study, “Perceptions of Public Health 3.0: Concordance Between Public Health Agency Leaders and Employees.”
Understanding the role of local public health department accreditation in workforce training needs, satisfaction and awareness is imperative to improve the quality and consistency of health departments. In the study “The Relationship Between Health Department Accreditation and Workforce Satisfaction, Retention, and Training Needs,” researchers Dr. Valerie Yeager, Casey Balio and Dr. Leslie M. Beitsch, found that individuals from involved state agencies were less likely to report having had their training needs assessed. Additionally, staff from accredited and involved agencies identified more gaps in selected skills and employees of accredited agencies were more aware of quality improvement.
Committed to advancing the public’s health and well-being through education, innovation and leadership, the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI is known for its expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology, cancer research, community health, environmental public health, health policy and health administration.
Journal of Public Health Management and Practice publishes articles which focus on evidence based public health practice and research. The journal is a bi-monthly peer-reviewed publication guided by a multidisciplinary editorial board of administrators, practitioners and scientists.