“… whether it’s housing insecurities or racial inequities or food access… These are the types of things we’re seeing in health improvement plans… [Practitioners] need to know how to address these, how to work across sectors, and how to piece funding together to implement interventions and policy changes.”
Many public health workforce reports have identified the political, economic, social, technological, and health-related trends that require the application of skills and approaches beyond traditional public health practices. In response, national public health agencies and consortia have called upon public health practitioners to build leadership and strategic capacity to address these emerging trends. To build this capacity nationwide as a way to address current and future public health challenges, a coordinated system of effective, efficient, and quality learning opportunities is needed.
The Public Health Learning Network’s (PHLN) Strategic Workforce Action Agenda (Action Agenda) asked four, essential questions:
- What are the major public health systems challenges and issues?
- How are current workforce development approaches responding to these challenges?
- What needs to change, and how can workforce development approaches improve?
- How can workforce development approaches improve?
The Action Agenda emphasizes that a more robust and coordinated approach to workforce development is necessary to address the diversity and complexity of challenges faced by public health practitioners and provides action steps for the PHLN and recommendations for those who develop, provide, and evaluate learning.