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Building Back a Stronger Public Health Workforce Post-Pandemic

April 06, 2021

One of the many lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is the needed investment in a robust public health workforce that can respond to crises when they arise. Yet, a well-funded public health workforce isn’t enough—there also needs to be a fundamental commitment to health equity.

Unfortunately, years of disinvestment in governmental public health led to a system that wasn’t as prepared as it could have been for a pandemic, and COVID-19 demonstrated disproportionate impacts across racial and ethnic groups. It is critical now more than ever to have a strong public health workforce that can address evolving challenges and needs, and build confidence in public health in communities disproportionately disenfranchised and negatively impacted by COVID-19. The experts on today’s episode make the case for how a robust public health workforce could have changed the trajectory of our pandemic response, but also explain why we can reimagine what a strong public health workforce requires as we enter into pandemic recovery.

Show Notes


  • Joneigh S. Khaldun, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Executive, State of Michigan and Chief Deputy Director for Health, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lauren R. Powell, MPA, PhD, Vice President, US Health Equity and Community Wellness, Takeda