Creating a Common Agenda for Public Health Workforce Development

Thank you for your interest in the National Consortium for Public Health Workforce Development. Please take our survey to help shape a common agenda for the workforce. 

The National Consortium brings together key stakeholders to create lasting change in the public health system. We cannot ensure the well-being of all communities until we overcome the underlying issues and conditions that limit the effectiveness of the public health workforce and impede the equitable delivery of public health services to communities.

The time is right for change. Persistent health disparities, only deepened by COVID-19, highlight the need to ensure the public health workforce is able to support communities. However, the pandemic has also laid bare and exacerbated gaps in the workforce. Optimistically, COVID-19 has also increased public awareness of public health, which has led to increased political will to invest in change. A time of uncertainty is a moment for reimagining and innovation.

The system is complex and includes professionals from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, academia, and law. To provide a concrete starting place, the National Consortium will focus on state, Tribal, local, and territorial public health (also referred to as governmental public health). Nevertheless, we hope the work we do will ultimately benefit the entire workforce.

Working collaboratively over the past few months, the Steering Committee of the National Consortium has created a draft agenda for what needs to happen: where we need to focus, what we need to do to succeed, and what we must keep in mind as we pursue our collective vision. Now we want you to tell us what you think: what we got right, what we got wrong, and how we can make it better and even more reflective of the vision and principles of the public health community. Please complete the survey by close of business on April 30.

View or download the complete draft common agenda.

Draft common agenda

The selection below provides a top-line view of the common agenda. However, we invite you to view or download the document to see the entirety of the draft common agenda. Please note that you can complete the survey, which walks you through key sections of the common agenda, without reviewing the full document.

Vision

All people are healthy and well through the leadership, partnership, and action of a trusted, effective public health workforce.

We collaborate to strengthen the state, Tribal, local and territorial public health workforce so it has the diversity, capacity, and support to achieve equitable health for all.

  • Confront injustice to achieve equity in health and wellbeing.
  • Include diverse points of view.
  • Engage practitioners in the work.
  • Prioritize action over deliberation.
  • Make decisions based on evidence.
  • Commit to lifelong learning.
  • Take on tough challenges that are key to lasting progress.
  • Bring our authentic selves to this work.
  • Find joy in the work and have fun together.
  • Follow through on our commitments to the group and the communities we serve.
  • Improve equity, quality, and responsiveness of public and philanthropic programs and secure long-term funding to support the workforce.
  • Deepen cross-sector understanding of health equity and how it connects to public health workforce issues.
  • Shape the narrative about the public health workforce.
  • Elevate the voices of the public health workforce.
  • Ensure Consortium members’ own work aligns with the Consortium’s agenda.
  • Competence in Health Equity
  • Pipeline and Recruitment
  • Learning and Professional Development
  • A workforce that reflects the communities it serves and brings knowledge of the community to governmental public health
  • Increased knowledge and practical skills about how to embed health equity into all aspects of health departments’ work
  • Broad interest in the public health field
  • Diverse, passionate, professional, skillful and knowledgeable pool of applicants
  • Improved systems for effective outreach, screening, and hiring by health departments
  • New hires reflect the communities their agencies serve
  • Awareness of skills required to succeed and opportunities to access relevant professional development
  • Equitable opportunities to pursue continuous learning
  • Work environments that value individual and organizational development and foster changes that prioritize equity
  • Learning and professional development supported at all career stages and in all settings, particularly those that are under-resourced

Steering Committee Members

The Steering Committee of the National Consortium for Public Health Workforce Development is a diverse group of committed people representing state, city, and rural public health leaders; universities and training providers; philanthropy; federal agencies; and (most importantly) the public health workforce. They have collaborated since October 2020 to develop the draft common agenda that, with your input, will guide the work of the Consortium moving forward.

  • Kaye Bender, American Public Health Association (Co-Chair)
  • Lauren Powell, Takeda (Co-Chair)
  • Amber Williams, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • Andre Fresco, Yakima Health District (WA)
  • Ashley Edmiston, National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • Betty Bekemeier, University of Washington School of Public Health
  • Cynthia Harris, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Denise Smith, National Association of Community Health Workers
  • Donna Petersen, University of South Florida
  • Georgia Heise, Three Rivers District Health Department (KY)
  • Kou Thao, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Lauren Ramos, Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Liljana Baddour, Louisiana Department of Health
  • Michael Meit, East Tennessee State University Center for Rural Health Research
  • Mighty Fine, American Public Health Association
  • Monica Valdes Lupi, Kresge Foundation
  • Patricia Simone, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Paul Kuehnert, Public Health Accreditation Board
  • Rita Kelliher, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
  • Ron Bialek, Public Health Foundation
  • Steve Reynolds, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Vincent LaFronza, National Network of Public Health Institutes
  • Wilma Wooten, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (CA)

Founders Committee Members

The Founders Committee came together to create a vision for the collective movement to change the public health workforce. They were responsible for imagining and defining what a successful collaborative change effort would look like, adjusting this original vision to account for the global COVID-19 pandemic, selecting a systems change expert to lead the work through a request for proposal process, and providing guidance to the selected applicant, FSG, about how to build the foundation of this collective impact process.

  • Ashley Edmiston, National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • Dorothy Cilenti, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • Gaby Benenson, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Gen Meredith, Cornell University Public Health
  • Heather Krasna, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Jennifer McKeever, WE Public Health
  • Jessica Solomon Fisher, Public Health Accreditation Board
  • Jovonni Spinner, Food and Drug Administration
  • Kathleen Amos, Public Health Foundation
  • Kaye Bender, American Public Health Association
  • Kyle Bogaert, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • Liljana Baddour, Louisiana Department of Health
  • Monica Valdes Lupi, Kresge Foundation
  • Rita Kelliher, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
  • Rivka Liss-Levinson, Center for State and Local Government Excellence and ICMA Retirement Corporation
  • Shirley Orr, SOCO Consulting and Association of Public Health Nurses
  • Steve Reynolds, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention