Journal of Community Health

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 35–39 | Cite as

Fueling the Public Health Workforce Pipeline Through Student Surge Capacity Response Teams

  • J. A. Horney
  • M. K. Davis
  • K. L. Ricchetti-Masterson
  • P. D. M. MacDonald
Original Paper

Abstract

In January 2003, the University of North Carolina Center for Public Health Preparedness established Team Epi-Aid to match graduate student volunteers with state and local health departments to assist with outbreaks and other applied public health projects. This study assessed whether Team Epi-Aid participation by full-time graduate students impacted post-graduation employment, particularly by influencing students to work in governmental public health upon graduation. In September 2010, 223 program alumni were contacted for an online survey and 10 selected for follow-up interviews. Eighty-three Team Epi-Aid alumni answered the survey (response rate = 37 %). Forty-one (49 %) reported participating in at least one activity, with 12/41 (29 %) indicating participation in Team Epi-Aid influenced their job choice following graduation. In 6 months prior to enrolling at UNC, 30 (36 %) reported employment in public health, with 16/30 (53 %) employed in governmental public health. In 6 months following graduation, 34 (41 %) reported employment in public health, with 27 (80 %) employed in governmental public health. Eight alumni completed telephone interviews (response rate = 80 %). Five credited Team Epi-Aid with influencing their post-graduation career. Experience in applied public health through a group such as Team Epi-Aid may influence job choice for public health graduates.

Keywords

Epidemiology Surge capacity Applied public health Careers 

References

  1. 1.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Healthy People. (2010). Understanding and improving health (p. 2000). Washington: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Health Resources and Services Administration. (2000). The public health workforce enumeration 2000. Washington: Health Resources and Services Administration.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Institute of Medicine. (2003). The future of the public’s health in the twenty-first century. Washington: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Institute of Medicine. (2003). Who will keep the public healthy? Educating public health professionals for the twenty-first century. Washington: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Association of State and Territorial Health Officers. State public health employee worker shortage report: A civil service recruitment and retention report http://www.astdn.org/downloadablefiles/ASTHOworkershortage.pdf. Accessed 22 March 2011.
  6. 6.
    National Association of County and City Health Officials. Local health department job losses and program cuts: 20082010 http://www.naccho.org/topics/infrastructure/lhdbudget/index.cfm. Accessed 22 March 2011.
  7. 7.
    Gebbie, K., Turnock, B., (2006). The Public Health Workforce 2006: New Challenges. Health Affairs, 4, 923–933, http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/25/4/923.full.
  8. 8.
    Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. (2009). National Assessment of Epidemiologic Capacity http://www.cste.org/dnn/Portals/0/2009EpidemiologyCapacityAssessmentReport.pdf. Accessed 22 March 2011.
  9. 9.
    Boulton, M. L., Hadler, J., Beck, A. J., et al. (2011). Assessment of epidemiology capacity in state health departments. Public Health Report, 1, 84–93.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Perlino, C. M. (2006). The public health workforce shortage: Left unchecked, who will be protected?. Washington: American Public Health Association.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Health Resources and Services Administration, Public Health Workforce. ftp://ftp.hrsa.gov/bhpr/nationalcenter/publichealth2005.pdf. Accessed 19 March 2011.
  12. 12.
    Assessment of the epidemiologic capacity in state and territorial health departments United States. (2001). 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 52, 1049–1051.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Centers for Public Health Preparedness. Graduate student epidemiology response programs at centers for public health preparedness. http://preparedness.asph.org/perlc/documents/GSRP.pdf. Accessed 21 March 2011.
  14. 14.
    MacDonald, P. D. M. (2005). Team Epi-Aid: UNC graduate students assist state and local health departments with urgent public health response. Public Health Report, 120, 35–41.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Crawford, C. A., Summerfelt, W. T., Roy, K., et al. (2009). Perspectives on public health workforce research. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 6, S5–S15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    MacDonald, P. D. M., Davis, M. K., & Horney, J. A. (2010). Review of the UNC Team Epi-Aid graduate student epidemiology response program 6 years after implementation. Public Health Report, 125, S70–S77.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 10 Essential Public Health Services http://www.cdc.gov/nphpsp/essentialServices.html. Accessed 21 March 2011.
  18. 18.
    Eckhert, N. L., Bennett, N. M., Grande, D., et al. (2000). Teaching prevention through electives. Academic Medicine, 75, S85–S89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Moss, V., & Nesbitt, B. (2003). Making nursing research “real”: An experiential approach. Nurse Educator, 28, 63–65.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Horney
    • 1
  • M. K. Davis
    • 2
  • K. L. Ricchetti-Masterson
    • 1
  • P. D. M. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.North Carolina Center for Public Health PreparednessUniversity of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations