A new study finds that if the rate of employee departures continues, more than half of the nation’s entire public health workforce could leave their organizations by 2025.
Among all surveyed workers, intention to leave increased by 5% in the first year of the pandemic compared to earlier that year
While acknowledging that public health workforce shortages are likely to persist, the paper identified strategies that policymakers could adopt to alleviate shortages, including taking proactive steps to increase the diversity of the workforce, introducing loan repayment programs for public health graduates, reforms to the government hiring process, and increased public health worker protections.
Recipients of undergraduate degrees in public health are highly diverse, with more than 80 percent being women and 55 percent from communities of color. However, after graduation, only about 10 percent of degree recipients are currently choosing public sector employment opportunities.
In announcing the award, LPHA Chair Sarah Grasshuesch lauded CPHS’s work as “going above and beyond to elevate the workforce-related challenges faced by local public health.”
The researchers provide peer-reviewed evidence that to meet a minimum level of public health needs, local and state health departments across the country need to hire 80% more FTEs over pre-pandemic levels.
Supported with a first-of-its-kind joint $4.7 million cooperative agreement from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six U.S. universities have now come together to conduct robust workforce research, evaluation, and analysis.