151992 Enumeration of the public health nutrition workforce

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 12:30 PM

Alexa M. George, MPH, RD , Nutrition, University of Tenessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN
Susanne Gregory, MPH , Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors, Johnstown, PA
Denise Ferris, RD, LD, DrPH , Bureau of Public Health, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Charleston, WV
Betsy Haughton, EdD, RD, LDN , Nutrition, University of Tenessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN
Objectives: Enumerate the current United States public health nutrition workforce and assess the workforce infrastructure.

Subjects: Nutrition professionals and paraprofessionals in state and local public health nutrition programs under the purview of the state/territorial health agency, including those in official health agencies, and non-profit and for-profit agencies under a contractual or grantee relationship with the state/territorial health agency.

Methods: The Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors in collaboration with the University of Tennessee planned and implemented a 42-item on-line questionnaire with items on practice, job classification, funding, education, training needs and demographics. Print option was available for staff without Internet access. Each state/territory's primary contact was trained on staff selection and recruitment, within-state survey oversight, and data management and cleaning. Data were analyzed descriptively with SPSS.

Results: Results reveal a public health nutrition workforce composed of salaried and contract positions, funded primarily through public dollars and working in both direct nutrition care and population-based programs and services. The majority is funded by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Both continuing education and training priorities are identified.

Conclusion: Program administrators and directors can use results for workforce forecasting and planning, including targeted training and workforce development to support essential public health services.

Learning Objectives:
1.Recognize the value of enumerating the public health nutrition workforce for infrastructure planning and forecasting 2.Describe a public health agency-academic collaboration to enumerate the workforce 3.Describe the composition of the public health nutrition workforce

Keywords: Public Health Infrastructure, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.