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Cammie Marti, BSN, MPH1, John B. Wayne, PhD1, Lewis Leslie, BS2, JoAnn Bolick, MA2, and Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, MHSA3. (1) College of Public Health, Univ of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham Street, Slot #820, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, (501)526-6604, firstname.lastname@example.org, (2) Division of Health, Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, 4815 West Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205, (3) Division of Health and College of Public Health, Arkansas DHHS and Univ. of AR for Medical Sciences, 4815 West Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205
A generally accepted mission for the public health workforce is to promote practices and policies that assure the conditions in which people can be healthy. However, describing who works to accomplish this goal, what they do in their jobs and the abilities they bring to the workplace has received little attention. The Arkansas DHHS, Division of Health conducted an online survey to: enumerate the state's governmental public health workforce; obtain demographic information that would highlight training needs; collect information about work horizons and job functions that would enable leadership plan for future personnel needs; and relate job titles with specific work tasks providing a better understanding of what workers actually do. Data was collected from 6/10/05-7/10/05. 1,318 valid responses were received (response rate of 46.6%). Demographic characteristics were statistically similar to known information: 82% female; 80% Caucasian/16% African-American; 27% age 55+. Education data showed that only 12% have Masters and/or Doctorial degrees. Further, public health workers prepare for their jobs through a wide-range of educational fields. The top three job functions were: administration (28%), Clinical (23%), and community/family/hometown health promotion (18%). Many respondents reported more than one job function. The implications include: (1) The age distribution and retirement plans indicated a critical need for succession planning; (2) Workforce development is important; (3) Forecasting educational needs is essential; and (4) relating job titles with specific work tasks will assist health-system planning. Longitudinal replication will help policymakers estimate the public health workforce needed to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Keywords: Public Health Administration, Health Workers Training
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA