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Tracking Public Health Workforce Retention: Observations From CDC’s Public Health Associate Program
  • Published Date:
    July 18 2019
  • Source:
    Am J Public Health. 109(9):1202-1204
  • Language:

Public Access Version Available on: September 01, 2020, 12:00 AM information icon
Please check back on the date listed above.
  • Alternative Title:
    Am J Public Health
  • Description:

    To describe the career trajectories of 1 cohort of US Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) alumni over 3 years since completing PHAP.


    We distributed a Web-based survey at 3 time points between 2014 and 2017 (response rate = 76%). We calculated descriptive statistics in SPSS.


    At all time points, most alumni were employed. Of those, the percentage employed in public health was 100% at program completion, 86% at year 1, and 68% at year 3.


    Most alumni were employed in public health jobs at each time point. At the 3-year mark, approximately a third of the alumni had left public health employment, which is in line with documented rates of turnover within the broader public health workforce.

    Public Health Implications.

    Service learning programs like PHAP are effective at recruiting early career professionals into public health. The extent to which PHAP is effective at retaining workers in public health after the program appears most promising immediately following the program or in the short term after the program concludes. The extent to which workers are retained in the longer term requires further study.

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