Meeting the Environmental Health Training Challenges of the Local Public Health Workforce in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, the public health delivery system is mainly decentralized with 351 municipalities providing a large array of environmental and public health services through their local health agencies (boards of health or health departments). In many other states these services are delivered at the county or state agency levels, but in Massachusetts they are provided by each city and town. In addition to issues related to staff size and funding of agencies, a major workforce training gap exists in Massachusetts. In an effort to address this training gap with a comprehensive course that would introduce new and current staff members to their roles and responsibilities when working in an LHA in Massachusetts, volunteers from the Coalition for Local Public Health (Coalition), which includes the Massachusetts Environmental Health Association (MEHA), attempted to create a curriculum that would cover the full scope of these responsibilities.