New York State's public health workforce suffering from long-term staffing shortages, study finds

October 20, 2022
Public Health local health departments public health workforce New York State Public Health Practice Public Health Infrastructure

New York, NY - A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shed light on the longstanding issue of staffing shortages in New York State’s public health sector. Conducted by the Region 2 Public Health Training Center in collaboration with the New York State Association of County Health Officials, the study used an online enumeration survey to assess the size and composition of the state’s local public health workforce, and to identify challenges to recruitment and retention of qualified public health workers.

The study found that local health departments in the state experienced a decline in the number of full-time staff, and an increase in vacancy rates. Survey respondents reported that inadequate salaries contributed to recruitment and retention challenges. The study’s authors argue that these findings highlight the need for long-term investment in the development of a strong and resilient public health workforce in the state, and across the United States.

“This study shows that staffing shortages in the public health sector are a longstanding issue that needs to be addressed through long-term investment and policy changes at the federal, state, and local levels,” said lead author Isaac Michaels. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the vital role that the public health workforce plays in protecting the health of our communities, and it is crucial that we take steps to ensure that it is sufficiently staffed and equipped to meet the needs of our communities.”

Article Citation

Michaels I, Pirani S, Fleming M, Arana MM, D’Angelo E, Dyer-Drobnack C, DiManno M, Ravenhall S, Gloria CT. Enumeration of the Public Health Workforce in New York State: Workforce Changes in the Wake of COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(20):13592.

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