Online Program

On the road to public health workforce development in Puerto Rico and Florida

Monday, November 4, 2013

José A. Capriles, MD, MPH, MHSA, Department of Health Services Administration, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Ruth Ríos, PhD, School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR
Coralis Marrero, MS, Health Services Administration Department, Health Systems Evaluation Research Program, University of Puerto Rico School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
William W. Darrow, PhD, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
H. Virginia McCoy, PhD, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Glena Calderon, MS, Puerto Rico-Florida Public Health Training Center, University of Puerto Rico, University of Puerto Rico, School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Rationale: A competent public health workforce is essential for a better performance. Educational strategies must address potential training barriers to foster commitment. Objective: Present Puerto Rico (PR) and Florida (FL) Departments of Health (DOH) Hispanic Public Health workforce perceived training needs. Methods: Two cross-sectional surveys were done using equivalent questionnaires in samples of PR (n=1,414) and FL (Hispanics n=546) DOH personnel. Both inquired about demographics, educational background, perceived training needs, and self-perception of Public Health competencies (Council on Linkages). FL used an electronic survey while PR used a paper-pencil survey due to their limited access to electronic resources. Results: Results show that the most common perceived training barriers were lack of time (>80%, both sites) and lack of financial support (FL 83%; PR 64%). Most respondents reported having practical knowledge in Public Health (FL 49% and PR 53%) instead of formal education. In a scale from excellent to no skills, 42% of PR respondents perceived their computer literacy as poor/no skills as compared to 15% among FL respondents. In PR, 26% doesn't have access to a computer in their workplace, and a higher proportion (45%) reported access to Internet at home than at their workplace (16%). In FL, 60% have a computer for their exclusive use and 95% have access to Internet at their workplace. Conclusion: These results have been used to develop strategies to address these training barriers, among them a competency-based curriculum. Competency-based trainings will support DOH to become accredited and continuously improve the performance as health agencies.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Compare training barriers and needs between Puerto Rico and Florida Department of Health workforce. Discuss implications of training barriers in the improvement of public health workforce performance.

Keyword(s): Health Workers Training, Health Care Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Im the Principal Investigator of the Puerto Rico-Florida Public Health Training Center. This project is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Resources, Grant Award num UB6HP20189. My research interest are workforce development, competency models, public health education and accreditation in higher education.
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.