263643 Meeting workforce development demands in times of challenge: South Carolina's public health workforce assessment

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lydia Frass, PhD, MPH , Office of Public Health Practice, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Xavery Hopkins, MPH, MBA, CHES , Office of Public Health Practice, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Lu Anne Ellison, MPH, CHES , SC Department Health and Environmental Control, Columbia, SC
Lillian U. Smith, DrPH, MPH, CHES , Director, Office of Public Health Practice and SC Public Health Consortium, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Joe Kyle, MPH , Director, Office of Performance Management, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, Columbia, SC
In an era when governmental public health administrators are facing workforce development challenges related to employee shortages and reduced resources, the South Carolina Public Health Training Center (SCPHTC) was developed to help strengthen the public health workforce within South Carolina by providing competency-based continuing education. After selecting the 2010 Council on Linkages' (CoL) Core Public Health Competencies for Public Health Professionals as the foundation for all continuing education activities, SCPHTC conducted a workforce assessment to prioritize training needs for its partner, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), whose last assessment occurred in 2003 and was based on 2001 CoL Core Competencies. Using a collaborative approach with DHEC partners to design the Workforce Assessment Survey, the instrument was setup as a skills-gap analysis. It consisted of two four-point scales and was designed based on DHEC's four tiers of employees: Support Staff, Field or Clinic Workers, Program Managers or Supervisors, and Upper Level Management. Each tier had specific items aligned to corresponding CoL Core Competency Tiers 1, 2, and 3. Over 2,000 DHEC participants were asked to self-assess their current competency proficiency level to the level of agreement that they needed the competency for their job. Demographic items were also included to enumerate the current workforce status. This study discusses the assessment's purpose, collaborative instrument development, descriptive analysis of the Spring 2012 results by tier, and how the results will be used by SCPHTC to develop training that will assist health department administrators in meeting their workforce development needs.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the results of a public health workforce assessment based on the Council on Linkagesí Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals.

Keywords: Workforce, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the evaluator and coordinator of the SC Public Health Training Center since 2010 with over 15 years of public health experience.
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.