142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Trends in State Epidemiologic Capacity: Results from the 2013 Epidemiology Capacity Assessment

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

Matthew L. Boulton, MD, MPH , Office of Public Health Practice, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
James Hadler, MD, MPH , Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Meredith Lichtenstein, MPH , Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Atlanta, GA
Monica Huang, MPH , Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Atlanta, GA
Jennifer Lemmings, MPH , Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Atlanta, GA
Since 2001, CSTE has been performing periodic assessments of epidemiology capacity in state health departments. The Epidemiology Capacity Assessments (ECA) have measured ability to perform core epidemiology functions, estimated additional epidemiology capacity needed, and assessed competency of the epidemiology workforce in state health departments.

CSTE administered the 2013 ECA in September 2013 and completed data collection in January 2014. It included questions on trends in the number of epidemiologists working in ten program areas, the funding sources for epidemiologists, self-evaluation of capacity to carry out core public health functions, estimates of additional workforce need, and gaps in epidemiology competencies. The ECA also assessed workforce training, recruitment, and retention and health departments’ capacity in health information technology.  Analyses included frequencies and percentages of responses to these questions across all states and determination of trends over time using chi-square testing when applicable.

The total number of epidemiologists working at the state level has increased approximately 8% since 2010, with increases in infectious disease, bioterrorism/emergency response, maternal and child health, and oral health, and decreases in chronic disease, environmental health, injury, and occupational health program areas. Further results of trend data will be presented with particular attention to assessing any impact of the state and federal budget crises on the number of epidemiologists in state health departments and the ability to perform core epidemiology functions since CSTE’s last enumeration in 2010. Trends in workforce training and retention and in technologic capacity will also be discussed.

The 2013 ECA provides information needed to assess the current status of the epidemiology workforce and epidemiology capacity in state health departments and evaluate the impact of the sustained budgetary crisis on national epidemiology capacity.  Periodic public health workforce assessments like the ECA are essential to planning as we continue in a period of constrained federal and state resources.

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Formulate strategies, resources and tools for quality improvement of epidemiology workforce. Evaluate the Applied Epidemiology Competencies of the epidemiology workforce. Discuss the status of regional capacity, competency, and obstacles for recruitment and retention of epidemiologists.

Keyword(s): Epidemiology, Funding/Financing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-lead on the development, administration, and analysis of the 2013 Epidemiology Capacity Assessment at the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. I have been a research analyst with CSTE for two years focusing on surveillance/informatics and various infectious disease-related projects.
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.