256767 Looking beyond the ivory tower to educate the future public health workforce: Engaging local public health system partnerships

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:32 PM - 12:44 PM

Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH , Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Marc D. Hiller, MPH, DrPH , Department of Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
William Wyman, BS , Medical Microbiology Department, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
The Institute of Medicine concluded that keeping the public healthy required not only a well-educated public health workforce but also an educated citizenry, thus leading to its recommendation that “all undergraduates should have access to education in public health.” In response to this call, the authors studied the feasibility and value in building a functional collaborative model between college faculty and practitioners from local health departments and boards of health to educate tomorrow's public health workforce and to promote a broader understanding of public health. Local and regional health departments and boards of health in New England were surveyed to: (1) establish a baseline of existing working relationships between them and nearby two- and four-year colleges; (2) examine their actual or perceived role as public health educators for undergraduates and residents within their local communities; (3) assess how they collaboratively promote public health workforce development; and (4) analyze how local practitioners employ the common essential public health services in contributing to a meaningful public understanding of “What is public health?” The authors suggest how effective collaborations facilitate a broad-based, universal appreciation of public health among undergraduates and the citizenry. This approach combining basic public health lessons with practical experience, expertise, and leadership offered by local boards of health and health departments fosters a real, stronger understanding of public health, its importance, practice, and relevance in today's society from a public health workforce and the broader community it seeks to serve.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to: • Describe an innovative, trans-disciplinary approach to educate undergraduates about public health • Describe the collaborations between liberal arts and community colleges and public health practitioners from local health departments and boards of health designed to promote student interest in pursuing future careers in the public health workforce • Discuss how a college (academic) and local health department and/or board of health (practitioner) partnership may advance the understanding and appreciation of public health for undergraduates and public citizens

Keywords: Public Health Careers, Public Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the former Director of the University of New Hampshire's (UNH) MPH Program. I am currently a faculty member in the UNH Department of Health Management and Policy and I teach public health courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to coming to academia, I practiced public health, for ten years, at the local, state, and private consulting levels.
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.