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Am J Public Health. 2017 Aug;107(8):1227-1232. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303823. Epub 2017 Jun 22.

The Public Health Practitioner of the Future.

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Paul Campbell Erwin is with the Department of Public Health, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Ross C. Brownson is with the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis and the Washington University School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.


The requisite capacities and capabilities of the public health practitioner of the future are being driven by multiple forces of change, including public health agency accreditation, climate change, health in all policies, social media and informatics, demographic transitions, globalized travel, and the repercussions of the Affordable Care Act. We describe five critical capacities and capabilities that public health practitioners can build on to successfully prepare for and respond to these forces of change: systems thinking and systems methods, communication capacities, an entrepreneurial orientation, transformational ethics, and policy analysis and response. Equipping the public health practitioner with the requisite capabilities and capacities will require new content and methods for those in public health academia, as well as a recommitment to lifelong learning on the part of the practitioner, within an increasingly uncertain and polarized political environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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