142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Examining Public Health Practice Perceptions of Academic Public Health

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Scott Frank, MD, MS , Master of Public Health Program, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
Michelle Menegay, MPH , Ohio Research Association for Public Health Improvement, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Purpose: Describe a scale for measurement Local Health Department (LHD) leadership attitudes about academic public health; discuss negative attitudes toward academic public health; and examine the association of these attitudes with teaching in LHDs. Background: Tension exists between LHD leadership and academic public health. Little investigation has been conducted regarding attitudes of LHD leadership toward academic public health. Methods: Cross sectional survey conducted among participants in three statewide public health practice-based research networks investigated teaching practices in LHDs. Participants include leadership from 90 of 125 Ohio LHDs (72%), 42 of 85 North Carolina LHDs (49%), and 67 of 88 Wisconsin LHD and 11 Tribal Health Centers (68%). A ten-item scale was developed to assess LHD attitudes about academic public health. Items included: preparing graduates; understanding of demands; understanding LHD “front lines”; sharing basic values; taking unfair advantage; supporting LHDs; positive impact; looking down at LHDs; no appreciation of financial pressures; research more important than community health. Cronbach’s Alpha=0.86. Results: LHD leadership demonstrates strongly negative attitudes regarding public health academics. These attitudes are consistent across 3 states, though vary in their intensity. Negative attitudes are associated with LHD teaching, fewer public health trained employees, and unfamiliarity with MPH faculty. They are not associated with size or structure of LHD; MPH training among leadership; or leader demographic characteristics. Conclusion: Negative attitudes about academic public health are common among LHD leadership. Findings have implications for teaching programs, public health workforce, and research in LHDs. Results suggest approaches to improving relationships.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the historical relationship between public health practice and academic public health programs Describe attitudes of public health practice leadership regarding academic public health programs Explain opportunities to change the negative attitudes of public health practice toward academic public health programs

Keyword(s): Partner Involvement, Local Public Health Agencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: none.

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a family medicine and public health practitioner, educator, and researcher. I am director of a Local Health Department and the CWRU Master of Public Health Program. I am principal investigator for the Ohio Research Association for Public Health Improvement (RAPHI), an RWJF funded Public Health Practice Based Research Network. I have substantial experience in Public Health Services and Systems research.
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.