• enhance dissemination of scientific findings and knowledge to broad audiences, including encouraging the translation of these findings into policy recommendations and implementation; and

  • actively engage with other parts of the academic enterprise that participate in policy activities.

Academic Collaboration

Many senior positions in public health will continue to demand or attract physicians, nurses, trained managers, lawyers, and others (e.g., some states require that the executive of the department of health be a physician). Streamlined variations of the new practice curriculum that are oriented toward these individuals will need to be developed to inculcate the core public health competencies. Ideally, such training might be incorporated into the initial professional training experience, particularly into the curricula of medical schools and schools of nursing. The committee believes that schools of public health should embrace the large number of programs in public-health-related fields that have developed within medical schools and schools of nursing and initiate and foster scientific and educational collaborations.

Further, the committee recommends that schools of public health actively seek opportunities for collaboration in education, research, and faculty development with other academic schools and departments, to increase the number of graduates in health and related disciplines who have had an introduction to public health content and interdisciplinary practice, and to foster research across disciplines.

Access to Life-long Learning

In addition to preparing new graduates in public health, there is an existing public health workforce that requires education and training, either of workers who have no previous training in the public health aspects of their positions or of those who need to update existing skills because of evolutions in the field. While it is unclear exactly how many public health workers there are in the United States today, it is estimated that about 450,000 people are employed in salaried positions in public health, and an additional 2,850,000 volunteer their services (Center for Health Policy, 2000). Schools of public health are not necessarily primary direct providers of such training, but they do have a responsibility to assure that appropriate, quality education and training are available to the current and future public health workforce. The assurance role is analogous to that of the public health system, which does not always provide the necessary health services to individuals or communities but assures that their health care needs are met.

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