The Toll of COVID-19 on the Public Health Workforce: An Interview with Dr. Brian Castrucci
“We’re pushing all the chips into the middle of the table, and we don’t have strong cards… We’ve just had one of the worst pandemics in our history, and we are rolling back public health authority. It’s one of the worst decisions we could possibly make.” ~ Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, MA
In this episode of the Editor’s Podcast, I speak with Brian Castrucci, CEO and president of the de Beaumont Foundation, about newly released data from the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PHWINS). The data reveal the level of physical and mental exhaustion the public health workforce has been experiencing as a result of battling not only the worst pandemic in a century but also an unprecedented level of politicization that has, in many instances, led to threats of violence toward public health workers.
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About Our Guest
Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, MA, is the Chief Executive Officer of the de Beaumont Foundation where he has played a key role in building the Foundation into a leading voice in health philanthropy and public health practice. Under his leadership, the de Beaumont Foundation is driving change to improve population health, foster collaboration between public health and primary care, and strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure. An award-winning epidemiologist with 10 years of experience working in state and local health departments, Castrucci brings a unique background to the philanthropic sector that allows him to shape and implement visionary and practical initiatives and partnerships and bring together research and practice to improve public health. Among the projects he has spearheaded are CityHealth, the BUILD Health Challenge, and the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PHWINS).
He is also an editor and contributing author to several books including The Practical Playbook. Public Health. Primary Care. Together, Public Health Under Siege: Improving Policy in Turbulent Times, and Leading Systems Change in Public Health: A Field Guide for Practitioners.
Brian has published more than 85 articles in the areas of public health systems and services research, maternal and child health, health promotion, and chronic disease prevention. His recent work has focused on the public health needs of large cities, the need for better data systems, and public health system improvements.
- Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH, is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Previously, he was chair of this Department. He has served as the Commissioner of Health and Secretary for Human Services of Vermont, Director of Health Services for Arizona, and Director of the Office of Public Health for New York State. Previous academic positions include Professor and Director of the Preventive Medicine Program for SUNY Upstate Medical University, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the University of Albany School of Public Health, and Clinical Professor and Director of the Teaching Program in Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. He is the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. He is also editor of five books, including Public Health Administration: Principles for Population-Based Management; Public Health Issues in Disaster Preparedness; Community-Based Prevention Programs that Work; Public Health Leaders Tell Their Stories; and Health Problems in the Prison Setting. He is past president of the Association of Teachers of Prevention and Research (APTR) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). He has received a number of national awards, including Special Recognition Award, American College of Preventive Medicine (2005); Duncan Clark Award, Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine (2003); Yale University Distinguished Service Award (2003); Excellence in Health Administration, American Public Health Association (2001); and the Arthur T. McCormack Award, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (1992). He is a graduate of Colgate University (BA), New York University (MD), and Yale University (MPH).
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