251379 Public health workforce crisis and protecting community health from air pollution

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:45 AM

Clifford S. Mitchell, MS, MD, MPH , Environmental Health Coordination and Public Health Residency Programs, Maryland Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene, Baltimore, MD
Several studies have found the environmental public health (EPH) infrastructure to be inadequate. Experts from the Institute of Medicine as well as the national organizations representing of local, state, and territorial health have identified numerous threats to the current and future public health workforce. These include budget cuts to public health programs, workforce reductions, lack of technical capacity, and attrition due to retirement. Adequate compensation and career opportunities are needed to recruit and retain a strong and responsive EPH workforce. Training is needed for EPH professionals to maintain and enhance their technical knowledge to adequately address issues such as terrorism, natural disasters, and other emerging EPH threats. Recognizing the need for EPH professionals continuously be prepared for the next environmental disaster or threat, the academic and public health agencies at the state and local level have partnered to meet this gap. This presentation will present various programs that have been developed to address this current gap while identifying opportunities to sustain the preparedness of the EPH workforce for the future.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify gaps in the environmental health workforce capacity that impede the ability to effectively meet the growing challenges of protecting the health of communities from air pollution.

Keywords: Workforce, Health Departments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the Assistant Director for Environmental Health and Food Protection in the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, I am responsible for public health workforce issues associated with air pollution and environmental health. I have almost 20 years of experience with workforce training issues and indoor or outdoor air pollution issues.
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.