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From Survey to Assessment: Characterizing Michigan's Public Health Workforce



From Survey to Assessment: Characterizing Michigan's Public Health Workforce



Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2009



OBJECTIVE:: To plan for continuity of operations, it is important to know which types of position vacancies within health departments are likely to occur and the kind of training needed to ensure protection of the public's health. METHODS:: To describe anticipated gaps in the public health workforce and to identify specific areas of training needed to ensure a highly skilled workforce, the authors surveyed Michigan state employees with public health responsibilities in spring 2007. RESULTS:: More than half (54%) of surveyed public health professionals reported they plan to leave the workforce within 10 years. Preparedness-specific topics were generally viewed as less important than more general public health topics. Some preparedness-funded tools have become integrated into daily operations, whereas others were viewed as more important in an everyday, rather than emergency preparedness, context. CONCLUSIONS:: Framing preparedness activities beyond the scope of preparedness to directly relate them to daily public health operations would encourage public health professionals to perceive them as more important. For public health preparedness to be fully realized, it must be considered a central component of public health operations, allowing for seamless integration during emergencies small and large.

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Accession: 053307060

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PMID: 19851112


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