According to the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), America will be short more than a quarter million public health workers by 2020—that’s one-third of the workforce needed to keep the world we live in healthy.
In 2008 the State of Colorado passed the Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act that requires public health agencies to develop state and local public health plans for the public health system in Colorado. With this plan the State will needs public health professionals to make quality health services possible. Now is the time to discover, apply or solidify your passion for public health professionally.
Key Workforce Shortage Facts*
- The public health workforce is diminishing over time (there were 50,000 fewer public health workers in 2000 than in 1980), forcing public health workers to do more for more people with fewer resources.
- This challenge is compounded by the fact that 23% of the current workforce – almost 110,000 workers – are eligible to retire by 2012.
- There are documented and forecasted shortages of public health physicians, public health nurses, epidemiologists, health care educators, and administrators. Without enough public health workers protecting us where we live, work and play, we all are vulnerable to serious health risks.
- To replenish the workforce and avert the crisis, schools of public health will have to train three times the current number of graduates over the next 12 years.
*Facts from the Association of Schools of Public Health
Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act
Under the Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act, Colorado must have a comprehensive public health plan by December 31, 2009, that outlines how quality public health services will be provided. Local/district public health agencies must adopt a public health plan as soon as practicable following the adoption of the state’s comprehensive public health plan.
The Statewide Public Health Improvement Plan will set public health priorities and guide the public health system in targeting core public health services and functions through program development implementation and evaluation. It also will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Colorado's public health system and identify areas needing greater resource allocation.
In the next few years local and state agencies will need public health professionals to carryout these plans and to ensure Colorado's residents receive the quality health services they need. Now is the time to get a postgraduate degree in the public health field.