BOX 3–2 The Core Public Health Competencies

  • Analysis and assessment

  • Policy development and program planning

  • Communication

  • Cultural competency

  • Community dimensions of practice

  • Basic public health sciences

  • Financial planning and management

  • Leadership and systems thinking

SOURCE: Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice (2001).

was recommended, regardless of the programmatic or categorical focus of the training (CDC, 2000e). Efforts are under way in the various public health training networks to establish models that will contribute to a systematic approach to competency-based training that is linked to the essential services framework and grounded in prior competency validation efforts (CDC, 2000e).

Meeting the Needs for Workforce Development

The issue of workforce training and competency is central to the success of any public health system. Governmental public health agencies have a responsibility to identify the public health workforce needs within their jurisdictions and to implement policies and programs to fill those needs. In addition, an assessment of current competency levels and needs is essential to develop and deliver the appropriate competency-based training, as well as to evaluate the impact of that training in practice settings. Workforce training and education efforts may be conducted in partnership with academia and other relevant and appropriate community partners, and ideally, a percentage of public health employees should be targeted annually for continuing education (DHHS, 2000). These and other issues are discussed in the 2003 IOM report Who Will Keep the Public Healthy: Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century.

Training resources for the public health workforce are expanding, spurred by modest funding by HRSA for Public Health Training Centers and by CDC for Public Health Preparedness Centers. By mid-2002, there were 14 Training Centers and 15 Preparedness Centers, which form the backbone of a national public health training network. Both types of cen-

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