Today, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced it has been awarded a $45 million grant to assess the statewide public health system to help build a stronger public health workforce through retention, recruitment, and training efforts. The funding is part of $3.2 billion being awarded from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to state, local, and territorial jurisdictions across the U.S. to support the public health workforce and infrastructure nationwide.
“Wisconsin’s state, local, and tribal health departments are the backbone of the work being done all across our state to support healthy individuals, families, and communities,” said Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “We applaud the CDC for this investment into our state’s public health infrastructure. This is a win not only for our public health workforce, but for every community that will benefit from enhanced capacity to work collaboratively to build stronger, safer, and healthier communities.”
The five-year investment will help to strengthen the foundation of public health in the state by supporting a robust assessment of Wisconsin’s multi-layered public health system to evaluate the system-wide structure, including staffing levels, capacity, and workforce well-being. In addition, the funding will support strategies to recruit, prepare, and retain a diverse public health workforce at the state, local, and tribal levels, including efforts to support recruitment pipelines, strengthen diversity and wellbeing of existing workers, and provide ongoing training in core competencies to the workforce. Approximately 40% of the workforce funding will be allocated to local and tribal health departments.
“Over the next five years, this investment will shape our work to build and support a stronger, resilient public health system,” said State Health Officer Paula Tran. “At the core of this system is our exceptional public health workforce. As we look to the future of public health needs in Wisconsin, we must invest in supporting and retaining our current workforce while recruiting and preparing the future workforce to ensure that all residents in Wisconsin have all the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.”
These investments into efforts to make sustainable impacts on the size, diversity, and skills of the public health workforce will be designed to ensure that those who work in Wisconsin’s public health system will have the capacity to deliver and support equitable health outcomes for all people across Wisconsin.
Learn more about Wisconsin’s work in public health.