New Data-based Insights on the Public Health Workforce Reflect Pandemic’s Impact and a Focus on Health Equity

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice Publishes Special Supplement Analyzing Survey Findings

Bethesda, Maryland, UNITED STATES

BETHESDA, Maryland, Nov. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The COVID-19 pandemic and its response have indelibly altered governmental public health departments in the United States, resulting in new ways of working, a changed culture, new needs and challenges for the workforce, and opportunity costs. At the same time, broader societal movements, including an increased nationwide focus on racism as a public health crisis, have led to a stronger drive for equity both in the public health profession and among the populations it serves. 

The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice has published a special supplement with a collection of new analyses, actionable findings, and recommendations that address these and other themes. The articles are based on data from the 2021 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS), a survey of nearly 45,000 employees across seniority levels conducted by the de Beaumont Foundation and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) between September 2021 and January 2022.

“The thoughtful analyses, real employee experiences, and systems-level recommendations in this supplement will help public health leaders make research-based decisions to improve their organizations and face the future,” said Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation. “Understanding the workforce’s strengths and needs is essential to inform future investments in funding, training, recruitment, and retention.”

Previously conducted in 2014 and 2017, PH WINS is the only nationally representative survey of state and local government public health employees. It collects data on the demographics of the workforce and captures individual perspectives on key issues such as engagement and morale, training needs, and emerging concepts in public health. Preliminary survey findings released in March 2022 revealed high levels of stress, burnout, and intent to leave, and the full dataset was published as an interactive dashboard in August 2022.

A full list of articles in the special supplement is below. 

Editorials and Commentaries

PH WINS: Necessary, Actionable Public Health Workforce Data at a Pivotal Moment for the Field
Authors: Rachel Hare Bork, Brian C. Castrucci, Michael Fraser

Providing for the Common Defense and Promoting the General Welfare by Strengthening the Nation’s Public Health System
Author: David Lakey

Building the Future of Public Health around People
Author: Dave Choksi

Operationalizing PH WINS 2021: Pathways to Resilience for Public Health
Authors: Jaimie Shaff, Madhury Ray, Tatiana Bleus

Infusing Equity into Organizational Culture at Governmental Public Health Agencies
Author: Alexis Travis

Section 1: Workforce Characteristics

Seven Years, Three Surveys, a Changed World: The State Public Health Workforce from 2014-2021
Authors: Kyle Bogaert, Greg Papillon, Kimberlee Wyche Etheridge, Marcus Plescia, Melissa Gambatese, Joanne Pearsol, Aviva Mason 

Recovery and Resiliency in 29 Big Cities: Results from the 2021 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey
Authors: Chrissie Juliano, Kay Schaffer, Melissa Gambatese, Portia Williams

PH WINS 2021 Methodology Report
Authors: Moriah Robins, Jonathon P. Leider, Kay Schaffer, Melissa Gambatese, Elizabeth Allen, Rachel Hare Bork

The Role of Harassment of Local Public Health Professionals in Mental or Emotional Well-being and Intention to Leave an Organization during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Authors: Tim McCall, Aaron Alford, Margaret Cunningham, Kellie Hall, Jordan Royster 

PH WINS for All: The Critical Role of Partnerships for Engaging All Local Health Departments in the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey
Authors: Phoebe Kulik, JP Leider, Megan Rogers, Harshada Karnik, Laura E. Power, Kay Schaffer, Betty Bekemeier

Section 2: Workforce Planning & Capabilities

Turnover, COVID-19, and Reasons for Leaving and Staying within Governmental Public Health
Authors: Jonathon P. Leider, Gulzar Shah, Valerie Yeager, Jingjing Yin, Kusuma Madamala 

The Opportunity Cost of COVID for Public Health Practice: COVID-19 Pandemic Response Work and Lost Foundational Areas of Public Health Work
Authors: Mac McCullough, Moriah Robins 

Qualitative Insights from Governmental Public Health Employees about Experiences Serving During the COVID-19 Pandemic, PH WINS 2021
Authors: Valerie Yeager, Emilie Madsen, Kay Schaffer 

Awareness of and Confidence to Address Equity-Related Concepts Across the Governmental Public Health Workforce: Findings from the 2021 Administration of PH WINS
Authors: Jamila Porter, Brittany Giles-Cantrell, Kay Schaffer, Elizabeth Arend, Brian C. Castrucci

Public Health Workforce Perceptions about Organizational Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Results from PH WINS 2021
Authors: Jessica Owens-Young, JP Leider, Dr. Caryn Bell 

Rising to meet the Moment: What Does the Public Health Workforce need to Modernize?
Authors: Casey Balio, Nicole Galler, Michael Meit, Nathan Hale, Kate Beatty


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About the de Beaumont Foundation
Founded in 1998, the de Beaumont Foundation creates and invests in bold solutions that improve the health of communities across the country. The foundation advances policy, builds partnerships, and strengthens public health to create communities where people can achieve their best possible health. For more information, visit