Category Archives: The Wide World of Public Health Systems

Reflections on the Power of Public Health Education Data Visualizations

These new dashboards from the Center for Public Health Systems at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health shed light on federal administrative data about post-secondary education in the US. These days, everybody has got a dashboard. Whether used for public communication or as a means of business analytics, data visualizations are everywhere (as, it seems, are memes about

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Health Department Community Health Workers: The Greatest Potential for Improving Population Health

CHWs are quickly becoming recognized as critical to improving population health, which is where health departments are shifting their focus as they strive to achieve the strategies laid out in the Public Health 3.0 model. Community health workers (CHWs) are an umbrella term that include community health representatives, promotoras, outreach educators, community health representatives, peer health promoters, and peer health

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The Complexity of Public Health Finance

Financing is complex, involving many laws, market driving forces, available resources, and tradeoffs for policy makers—a short-term investment may have long-term impacts. There are many options to finance public services, each with their strengths and weaknesses.  Securing adequate and sustainable financing for public health services has been a recurring topic in the media lately. Still, it has been a persistent,

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Governmental Public Health and Its Centrality in the US Public Health System: An Overview

Relatively little of our national conversation on health is about public health, which is right in line with our spending on public health; less than 3% of that spending goes toward governmental public health, ie public spending through federal, state, and local agencies and services provided by them. This post is also available on the Region V Public Health Training

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US News and World Report Releases New Public Health Program Rankings – But the Only Data Are Still Peer Popularity

Even though we are a field grounded in data – and even though there are plausible ways of measuring program quality through measures of tuition, job outcomes, debt, faculty-student ratios, and the like, US News and World Report continues to simply field these (closely watched) Rankings as a mere popularity contest. What’s in a Ranking? Not as much as one might

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Rural Public Health Systems Discourse – Ongoing Challenges, Few Solutions

The Wide World of Public Health Systems

Given the shortage of workers in today’s post-COVID economy, all LHDs—urban and rural—are facing workforce gaps and finding it hard to recruit staff. However, the challenges to rural LHDs are compounded by their being under-funded. Several years ago, when my friend had to be taken by air ambulance from North Dakota to Minneapolis to get prompt treatment for severe frost

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A System Within a System Within a System: Unraveling the Complexities of Public Health in the US

The Complexity of Public Health Public health is a mess of complex networks of relationships among partners who are working toward shared goals and ideals for the public’s health. The “mess” cannot be overstated, given the wide variation across the nation regarding public health authorities, services delivered, and the multitude of partners involved in this system of systems. Each partner

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Post-COVID Public Health Workforce Planning: Now Is the Time to Begin

Post-COVID recovery of the public health workforce should begin as soon as possible. These questions may help guide your planning. January 20, 2020, will forever be etched into history books as the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the United States. The country declared a public health emergency less than two weeks later. Over the next several weeks, almost everyone’s jobs

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It’s Been Quite a Week in Legislation for the Public Health Workforce

Legislation from Smith et al and Murray & Burr are so important because it recognizes that public health should be treated like other in-demand health professions like nursing and incent recruitment into education and workforce appropriately. I have a brother who is a generation younger than I am. In 2013, as a youngin’, he visited my partner and me in

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