JOURNAL ARTICLE

A strategic approach to public health workforce development and capacity building

Hazel D Dean, Ranell L Myles, Crystal Spears-Jones, Audriene Bishop-Cline, Kevin A Fenton
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2014, 47 (5 Suppl 3): S288-96
25439247
In February 2010, CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), and Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention (NCHHSTP) formally institutionalized workforce development and capacity building (WDCB) as one of six overarching goals in its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. Annually, workforce team members finalize an action plan that lays the foundation for programs to be implemented for NCHHSTP's workforce that year. This paper describes selected WDCB programs implemented by NCHHSTP during the last 4 years in the three strategic goal areas: (1) attracting, recruiting, and retaining a diverse and sustainable workforce; (2) providing staff with development opportunities to ensure the effective and innovative delivery of NCHHSTP programs; and (3) continuously recognizing performance and achievements of staff and creating an atmosphere that promotes a healthy work-life balance. Programs have included but are not limited to an Ambassador Program for new hires, career development training for all staff, leadership and coaching for mid-level managers, and a Laboratory Workforce Development Initiative for laboratory scientists. Additionally, the paper discusses three overarching areas-employee communication, evaluation and continuous review to guide program development, and the implementation of key organizational and leadership structures to ensure accountability and continuity of programs. Since 2010, many lessons have been learned regarding strategic approaches to scaling up organization-wide public health workforce development and capacity building. Perhaps the most important is the value of ensuring the high-level strategic prioritization of this issue, demonstrating to staff and partners the importance of this imperative in achieving NCHHSTP's mission.

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