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More Than 250,000 Additional Public Health Workers Needed by 2020 to Avert Public Health Crisis
Date:2/27/2008

Shortage will leave nation vulnerable to disease, bioterror and health threats according to a new assessment from the Association of Schools of

Public Health

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While natural disasters, the threat of bioterrorism and other health threats are taking their toll on public health resources, the U.S. is facing a major public health workforce crisis that could impact the health of each and every American unless there is an immediate influx of funding for recruitment and training of public health professionals. The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) today released a first of its kind assessment of the crisis which found that more than 250,000 additional public health workers are needed by 2020.

The crisis is a culmination of already documented and forecasted shortages of public health physicians, public health nurses, epidemiologists, health care educators, and administrators and other contributing factors like an expected spike in retirement. In fact, 23 percent of the current workforce -- almost 110,000 workers -- will become eligible to retire during the next presidential term.

"Tackling the health implications of tobacco use, heart disease, obesity and physical inactivity, not to mention the threat of globally spreading infectious diseases, depends entirely on the availability of a well-trained public health workforce," said Dr. Linda Rosenstock, dean of the UCLA School of Public Health and chair of the ASPH Workforce Taskforce. "Unless we act now to recruit and train an additional 250,000 public health professionals, we will soon be ill-equipped to identify looming public health crises and respond decisively."

Leading public health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Institute of Medicine agree that the c
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SOURCE Association of Schools of Public Health
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