241436 Health informatics and public health: Opportunities for promoting careers in public health

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jeannette Jackson-Thompson, MSPH, PhD , Missouri Cancer Registry and Dept. of Health Management & Informatics, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO
Keila Pena-Hernandez, MT , Missouri Cancer Registry, MU Informatics Institute, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Iris Zachary, MS, CTR , Missouri Cancer Registry, Dept. of Health Management & Informatics and Informatics Institute, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Background: Among challenges facing states and agencies are an aging public health work force, budget restrictions and major changes in health care delivery and practice. Promoting careers in public health can facilitate attaining the goal of healthy communities that promote healthy minds and bodies. Purpose: To describe efforts to promote careers in public health. Methods: We examined opportunities presented by programs at the University of Missouri that offer master's level residential and executive programs in health informatics; an informatics PhD program that has an emphasis in health informatics; and an accredited master of public health (MPH) program. A new option allows students to pursue an MPH and a PhD program in Health Informatics (HI) simultaneously. We also looked at the advantages to students and faculty of joining APHA and other organizations that provide learning opportunities and exposure. Results: In 2010, we submitted abstracts to APHA, the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). Oral presentations given at APHA and NAACCR were presented again at a journal club, graduate seminars and other venues. One student pursuing a doctorate in HI decided to pursue an MPH as well. Other students who had not previously considered joining APHA or pursuing a career in public health are now doing so as is one faculty member. Conclusion: Making students aware of career opportunities in public health is a first step in promoting careers in public health. APHA's student membership rate and Student Assembly encourage student participation.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how one group is promoting careers in public health.

Keywords: Health Information, Public Health Careers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Director of the Missouri Cancer Registry, a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Health Management & Informatics and core faculty in the University of Missouri Informatics Institute. I serve on the PhD committee of each of my co-authors, both of whom are doctoral students in the health informatics program and one of whom is also pursuing a master's degree in public health.
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.