Key to a functional approach to workforce development is recognizing that public health professionals are becoming increasingly diverse. They enter the field from a variety of backgrounds, are employed in very divergent settings, and address very different kinds of disease and health risks. Yet the services that health professionals render—what they do—exhibit considerable consistency.
With this in mind, the training activities produced by the Southern Center’s workforce development core seek to demonstrate the generalizability of key communication and cultural adaptation skills to a wide variety of public health settings and tasks.
The work of this core is focused on two of the core competencies for public health practice identified by the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice. These two competencies are communication skills and cultural competence.
- Communicate effectively both in writing and orally, or in other ways
- Solicit input from individuals and organizations
- Advocate for public health programs and resources
- Lead and participate in groups to address specific issues
- Use the media, advanced technologies, and community networks to communicate information
- Effectively present accurate demographic, statistical, programmatic, and scientific information for professional and lay audiences
- Utilize appropriate methods for interacting sensitively, effectively, and professionally with persons from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial, ethnic and professional backgrounds, and persons of all ages and lifestyle preferences
- Identify the role of cultural, social, and behavioral factors in determining the delivery of public health services
- Develop and adapt approaches to problems that take into account cultural differences
To build competency in these areas we provide curriculum and training to develop the current public health workforce and enhance the workforce of the future.