Introducing the November-December 2016 Issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice

by Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH

fte-lnThis November-December 2016 issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice focuses on public health agencies at the state and local levels. A series of articles published in this issue highlights contemporary challenges faced by these entities, including succession planning, health policy networks, state public health enabling organizations, resource allocation in these agencies, and how local health departments are coping with the financial constraints of economic recession. Workforce considerations are explored, including why people work in public health and the wages of public health nurses. “Succession Planning and Management Practice in Washington State Local Public Health Agencies” by John M. Wiesman and colleagues revisits a theme reported previously in this Journal: an aging workforce with 23% of local health officials 60 years of age or over and another 42% aged 50-59 years.

In keeping with our emphasis on providing perspectives by public health leaders, the issue leads off with three commentaries. Leana S. Wen, Baltimore City Health Officer, makes a compelling case for violence being a public health issue, recounting the 344 homicides in this city in 2015. She describes evidence to effectively combat violence with upstream intervention and working with cultural norms. “A Win-Win Tool for Improving Public Health,” by Jonathan E. Fielding, now of the University of California at Los Angeles but formerly Los Angeles Health Officer, details a method to make the right choices in improving health and reducing disparities among multiple diseases and injuries. The approach emphasizes collaboration of public health with other sectors, including education, criminal justice, transportation, and the natural and built environment. Maureen Lichtveld, professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and JPHMP editorial board member, expands on the description of the public health workforce offered by Valerie Yeager and colleagues, also in this issue.

We would like to call our readers’ attention to the article, “A Century in the Life of the Communicable Disease Manual: 1917-2017,” authored by John S. Marr and John T. Cathey. This centennial of the “bible” for public health infectious disease epidemiologists is being celebrated at APHA this fall. The article builds on an earlier article on the evolution of the CCDM, published in JPHMP in 2001.

A supplement on Public Health Informatics, sponsored by the National Association for County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is published with the November issue. Editorials by Karen DeSalvo and Claire Wang, of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and Lamar Hasbrouck, director of NACCHO, lead off the issue. This supplement details the informatics activities of local health departments, including the associated competencies, infrastructure, workforce, and capacity. Guest editors are Gulzar Shah, Joseph Gibson, Laura Streichert, and Linda Verchick. Christina Baum of NACCHO was instrumental in coordinating this effort.

Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH is the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Follow him on Twitter. [Full Bio]