242336 Role of academic public health leadership in the diversification of the public health workforce

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monica Gaughan, PhD , College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Kelly Foster, MS , Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Background: Academic schools of public health play a critical role in public health training in general, and the diversification of the public health workforce in particular. Therefore, how department chairs of schools of public health prioritize and implement diversification strategies is of direct relevance to the production and maintenance of a diverse public health workforce. Methods: Data are drawn from a 2010 survey of academic department chairs at 44 ASPH-accredited schools of public health. A total sampling frame of 222 department chairs yielded 109 valid responses, for an overall response rate of 49%. Results: Three constructs about diversity were developed: the priority placed on the racial and gender diversification of faculty and students (alpha=.84), familiarity with family friendly policies (alpha=.75), and attitudes about US dependence on international talent (alpha=.72). The chairs prioritize racial diversification more than gender diversification; this may be related to the perception by department chairs that there are greater shortages of minority faculty and students than there are of women faculty and students. Department chairs are not particularly concerned about dependence on foreign-born talent. None of the attitudinal variation is attributable to the demographic characteristics of the department chairs (e.g. gender, race, or professional age). Implications: National organizations such as APHA and ASPH may be able to provide assistance to department chairs in planning for a more diverse public health workforce of the future.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
List specific academic policies that may facilitate diversification in schools of public health. Identify diversification priorities of academic department chairs. Assess the diversity of the pipeline into academic public health

Keywords: Workforce, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author on the content I am responsible for because I am a professor of health policy and management who studies the role that educational institutions play in workforce diversification.
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.