Online Program

Public health system partnerships: Engaging local boards of health in educating a future public health workforce

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH, Department of 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 boards of health from local health departments to educate tomorrow's public health workforce and to promote a broader understanding of public health, particularly with regard to the roles, functions, and practices of public health at the local level. Members of identified boards of health from local and regional health departments 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 in the public health education of undergraduates and residents within their local communities; and (3) assess how they collaboratively contribute to public health workforce development. 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 is one way to foster an understanding of public health, its importance, practice, and relevance for tomorrow's public health professional and the broader community they seek to serve.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
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 boards of health designed to promote student interest in pursuing future careers in the public health workforce Discuss how a college (academic) and board of health (practitioner) partnership may advance the understanding and appreciation of public health for undergraduates and public citizens

Keyword(s): Workforce, 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 and state governmental 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.