The Local Public Health Association (LPHA) of Minnesota presented its 2022 LPHA Partnership Award to the University of Minnesota School of Public Health’s (SPH) Center for Public Health Systems (CPHS). LPHA represents the state’s Local Health Departments, and the public health practitioners that work at them.
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.”
“Your partnership to bring local public health to state-level conversations, willingness to jointly work on workforce-focused grant funding and studies, collaborative publications about workforce needs in Minnesota, and building bridges to other departments in the School of Public Health exemplifies the spirit of this award,” she said.
CPHS, launched in 2021, conducts public health research to support governments, organizations, and communities using evidence-based public health practices. Recent CPHS work has recommended increases in the size of the nation’s public health workforce, and helped to develop a tool that local public health departments can use to assess staffing levels. CPHS staff collaborate with LPHA on a number of projects, including recent work related to the impact of COVID-19 on the local public health workforce in Minnesota and placing students at local health departments around the state for internships.
“Local public health is crucial in protecting and promoting health in the state of Minnesota, and we are honored to be recognized as partners with LPHA through this award,” said CPHS Director JP Leider. “The work we are doing together focuses on the idea that as much as the new attention on and funding for our field are welcome, it cannot fix years of underinvestment from the federal government overnight. The strong public health infrastructure that would have served us in the pandemic, and that is needed to support community health day-to-day, is not one that can ebb and flow with political interest. It must be cultivated over time in order to grow and thrive. Our work together is part of that.”
The Local Public Health Association of Minnesota comprises city, county and tribal governments from across the state. The organization works to improve and protect the health of the population of Minnesota by providing leadership and advocacy on behalf of public health issues.