PH WINS 2024: What to Expect as a Survey Participant
Ten years ago, the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) was fielded for the first time. The survey stemmed from the National Consortium for Public Health Workforce Development’s 2013 call for a nationally representative assessment of the workforce’s skills and needs.
Fielded in 2014, 2017, and 2021, PH WINS captures longitudinal information about the state and local government public health workforce’s evolving demographics, training, and job satisfaction; as well as point-in-time information on topics like responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing racism as a public health crisis. Its findings help public health department leaders to make decisions and set priorities based on employees’ knowledge and expertise – and ultimately to influence and improve employees’ experience in their jobs and effectiveness in their communities.
For example, the 2014 and 2017 surveys uncovered a nationwide need for training in budget and finance in the public health context. This finding led to the creation of Building Expertise in Administration & Management, an asynchronous online course covering budgeting, procurement, contracts, and financial strategy. More recently, local and state health departments used department-level data from PH WINS 2021 to identify gaps and create new learning opportunities that met their biggest needs.
Exciting New Directions for 2024
As we prepare to field PH WINS 2024 this year, we look forward to expanding the survey to include all local health departments, regardless of size, as well as U.S. territories and freely associated states. Partnerships have been essential to its reach and growth thus far, from the initial collaboration between de Beaumont and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to launch and run the survey, to our newest partnership with the ten regional Public Health Training Centers to bring it to more localities than ever. Additional partners include the Big Cities Health Coalition, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“In the last decade, PH WINS findings have helped steer the conversation and drive priorities at the national level, as well as provided state and local agencies with data to better support their employees,” said Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, de Beaumont president and CEO. “By bringing the survey to new participants in 2024, we will amplify that impact and enrich our overall understanding of the workforce’s interests and needs.”
What Public Health Employees Can Expect
PH WINS surveys the entire public health workforce at participating agencies, and is the only nationally representative survey to collect this individual-level data. When the survey is fielded, employees will receive it via email for completion during a three-month window, and can anticipate spending 20-25 minutes answering its questions.
Individual responses will be kept confidential. Participating health agencies will receive a report of their staffs’ aggregated results, and national-level results will be shared publicly via an interactive dashboard.
“The public health workforce brings so much of themselves to their jobs, with more than nine in ten saying they are determined to give their best effort at work every day – a number that is all the more remarkable given the challenges they have faced in the last two years,” said Michael R. Fraser, PhD, MS, chief executive officer of ASTHO, in a 2022 press release. “Their continued effectiveness and dedication are vital to our nation’s health, and data like this help state and local health department leaders determine how they can best support their teams and communities.”