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J Public Health Manag Pract. 2016 Sep-Oct;22(5):479-81. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000399.

Profile of Public Health Leadership.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health (Drs Little and Clay), Department of Bioethics (Drs Greer and Clay), and Department of Higher Education Leadership, College of Education (Dr McFadden), East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Public health leaders play pivotal roles in ensuring the population health for our nation. Since 2000, the number of schools of public health has almost doubled. The scholarly credentials for leaders of public health in academic and practice are important, as they make decisions that shape the future public health workforce and important public health policies.

OBJECTIVE:

This research brief describes the educational degrees of deans of schools of public health and state health directors, as well as their demographic profiles, providing important information for future public health leadership planning.

DESIGN:

Data were extracted from a database containing information obtained from multiple Web sites including academic institution Web sites and state government Web sites. Variables describe 2 sets of public health leaders: academic deans of schools of public health and state health directors.

RESULTS:

Deans of schools of public health were 73% males and 27% females; the PhD degree was held by 40% deans, and the MD degree by 33% deans. Seventy percent of deans obtained their terminal degree more than 35 years ago. State health directors were 60% males and 40% females. Sixty percent of state health directors had an MD degree, 4% a PhD degree, and 26% no terminal degree at all. Sixty-four percent of state health directors received their terminal degree more than 25 years ago. In addition to terminal degrees, 56% of deans and 40% of state health directors held MPH degrees.

CONCLUSION:

The findings call into question competencies needed by future public health professionals and leadership and the need to clarify further the level of public health training and degree type that should be required for leadership qualifications in public health.

PMID:
26910866
DOI:
10.1097/PHH.0000000000000399
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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