Strategic planning for the public health laboratory leadership workforce

A 2002 report by the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Association of State Personnel Executives found that 85 percent of states considered health-related staff to be the most affected by high rates of workforce retirements and turnover. This represents a huge loss of institutional knowledge, leadership, and experience for state health agencies. A 2004 Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)/CSG survey identified four important trends affecting health agency workers: (1) an aging workforce; (2) a high percentage of the workforce eligible for retirement; (3) chronic shortages in professional areas such as public health nursing, epidemiology, laboratory science, and environmental health; and (4) high turnover rates. The ASTHO/CSG report recommended a long-term plan to educate, recruit, and retain competent health leaders. This grant supports a strategic assessment and planning project to develop programs to provide public health laboratory leadership for the short and long term. The project is consistent with the Foundation's goal to attract, develop, and retain a high-quality leadership and workforce to improve health and health care. The deliverable for this project will be a comprehensive strategic plan with a multipronged and sustainable approach to leadership development. The plan will address: (1) the immediate need for new state laboratory directors and the needs of newly appointed directors for rapid on-the-job training (recruitment tool kits, comprehensive orientation programs, training guides, mentoring programs); (2) the intermediate need for a systematic approach to recruit and train candidates as future state laboratory directors; and (3) the long-term need for succession planning, establishment of career pathways, and continuing education.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $210,828.00

Awarded on: 10/6/2005

Time frame: 10/15/2005 - 1/14/2007

Grant Number: 55610


Association of Public Health Laboratories Inc.

25 M Street, N.W., Suite 550
Washington, 20036-3320

Eva J. Perlman
Project Director