198532 Tennessee Public Health Workforce Development Consortium: Preparing Tennessee's public health workforce

Monday, November 9, 2009

Aleshia Hall-Campbell, PhD, MPH , TN Public Health Workforce Development Consortium, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
David Mirvis, MD , Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
Research reveals that the public health workforce will decline drastically in the next few years. In response to the expected workforce shortage along with the challenges of threats posed by newly emerging diseases and bioterrorism, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH), East Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and University of Tennessee Health Science Center created the Tennessee Public Health Workforce Development Consortium. The Consortium is an interorganizational collaborative effort of first time partners specifically designed to enhance the skills and educational attainment of the Department of Health's workforce.

This joint curricular venture offers graduate certificate programs (15-18 credit hours) in critical areas of public health identified by TDOH, which include epidemiology, public health leadership, and health care management. Graduate-level courses utilize distance education methods to allow students to participate with minimal work disruptions. After successfully completing one of the graduate certificate programs, students can enroll in an MPH program offered at one of the Consortium member institutions in which their certificate credits would count toward their MPH requirements.

To date, 131 employees have completed at least one semester of graduate coursework; 55 employees have completed one of the graduate certificate programs; and 21 students are enrolled in the online MPH program of which 17 will complete their MPH by the end of 2009.

Program efficacy was assessed by self-reported changes in competencies identified by the Public Health Foundation. Survey results show an increase in major competencies of each certificate discipline.

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the impact the Tennessee Public Health Workforce Development Consortiumís program has had on current and former participants; and 2. Analyze the concept and logistics of the Tennessee Public Health Workforce Development Consortium for possible replication.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My previous work experiences combined with my academic studies in public health and higher education have given me the necessary qualifications to present on behalf of the Tennessee Public Health Workforce Development Consortium. Additionally, I have been the program coordinator of the project since its inception 6 years ago.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.