A $4.7 million cooperative agreement between the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sees six universities form a consortium to address public health challenges by conducting research. workforce research, assessments and analysis.
The Consortium of Workforce Research in Public Health (CWORPH) includes the University of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Indiana University, University of Washington, and Washington State University. East Tennessee.
The consortium founders note that the public health infrastructure in the United States has lost up to 20% of its practitioners since 2008. The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed the already underfunded and understaffed system, which which presents a serious need to increase the capacity of the workforce for current and future emergencies. .
Led by the Center for Public Health Systems at the U of M School of Public Health (SPH), the CWORPH research will examine what drives turnover, ways to recruit and retain staff, and how to fill gaps in workforce.
“Our country is in dire need of a larger and more stable public health workforce, equipped with the necessary tools to deal with contemporary challenges and threats,” SPH acting dean Timothy Beebe said in a statement. “We are excited about this new consortium and honored to leverage the expertise of this school with that of our academic partners to advance public health capacity. »
Each of the six Consortium members has a deep and long-standing commitment to the public health mission and the sustainable development of its workforce, including increasing the diverse workforce that represents the communities they serve; prioritize staff retention; maintain effective labor systems and processes; and building capacity to implement advances in public health.
In the field with its practice-oriented partners, the consortium’s work will include research to better understand public health workforce needs; large-scale survey data collection and analysis; economic analysis to understand resource allocation options; and health equity research focused on the needs of racial, ethnic minority and rural communities.
“With funding from HRSA and CDC, and the support of our partners, this is the first time in a long time that we have been able to say that all parts of the public health workforce matter – research rigorous and focused on inclusive practice,” said JP Leider, project leader and director of the Center for Public Health Systems at SPH, in a statement.
In a blog post on the JPHMP Direct site, the companion site to the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, CWORPH leaders noted that while there are several health workforce research centers in the country – for example, for behavioral health and allied health – there have never been one for public health so far.
“When we heard about this opportunity, we knew a consortium model was the only way to approach the challenge. This involved bringing other universities and colleges together, but we also knew that it had to be the public health community that would guide us in determining where the need is,” they wrote. “We therefore determined that it would also mean having a partner who could advise us and help establish a relevant program for the field with practice and equity at the forefront, and for this reason, the National Consortium for Membership Development in public health is our advisory body. .”
They also announced a list of technical and broadcast partners:
• Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)
• Association of State and Territory Health Officials (ASTHO)
• Coalition for Big City Health (BCHC)
• Beaumont Foundation (dBF)
• MissionSquare Research Institute
• National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
• Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB)
• Public Health Training Centers (PHTC)
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