Dr. Katie Schenk Is Now on Substack
Last August, Dr. Katie Schenk started a conversation with public health professionals about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on frontline public health workers. Serving as an epidemiologist during COVID herself, Dr. Schenk was part of the heroic effort that our public health workforce undertook to not only grapple with the pandemic but also to hold the line on the numerous ongoing public health threats to our country and our world. In the series, she spoke honestly about the pressures she and so many others faced and called for much-needed change, beginning with adequate funding to support the workforce. Over the course of the previous year, Dr. Schenk has advocated for improvements that she and others working in public health say are badly needed to fully value our vitally important workforce. In addition to funding and rebuilding infrastructure, more support is needed to standardize and modernize public health workplaces, to improve workplace culture, and to restructure employment opportunities. She has offered career advice in a rapidly changing job market, including how to leverage networking opportunities on LinkedIn; questioned why public health workers are being laid off at a time when they are most needed; and called for more lobbying and advocacy that will ensure that new grant funding goes towards long-term budget lines for job creation, respectable salaries, and professional development at state and local health departments, rather than to short-term agency contracts and management consultants.
And now she has launched her own Substack series to continue this important conversation. We are grateful to Dr. Schenk for sharing her experiences and bringing more attention to some of the challenges our workforce continues to face. For those of you who have followed her series here on JPHMP Direct, we invite you to subscribe to her new series on Substack and to join her ongoing discussions on LinkedIn in the @Public Health Connections Lounge.