“I believe it is absolutely critical for the injury prevention field to continue our success in decreasing injuries and deaths,” said Dr. Karen Liller of the University of South Florida College of Public Health.
Dr. Liller, a professor in the department of community and family health says decreasing injuries and deaths often includes effective policy making skills of those working on the frontlines.
Her research, “An Examination of the Perceived Importance and Skills Related to Policies and Policy Making Among State Public Health Injury Prevention Staff,” published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice used the Public Health Workforce Interest and Needs Survey (PH WINS) — the first nationally representative survey of state health agency workers — to assess state injury prevention staff perceptions of policy development, as well as their awareness and perceptions of Health in All Policies (HiAP).
HiAP is collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health considerations into policymaking across sectors to improve the health of all communities and people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The HiAP approach is very important to know as it focuses on the consequences of broad-ranging public policies on health determinants and strives to improve the accountability of policy makers for health impacts at all levels of policy making,” Dr. Liller said.
Injury prevention benefits from this approach, according to Dr. Liller, because most of the injury-related policies need to be addressed not only by public health officials but by those outside of public health’s immediate control.
“For example, transportation officials are critical to our work within motor vehicle injury prevention and keeping streets safe,” she said.
Dr. Liller said PH WINS gauged public health practitioners’ perspectives on workplace environment, job satisfaction, national trends, and training needs, and gathered demographics on the workforce. It was fielded in 2014 and has three frames: a nationally-representative frame of state health agency staff, staff from a group of large, urban local health departments, and staff from other, smaller local health departments.
PH WINS was developed by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the de Beaumont Foundation, a panel of experts from CDC, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the National Network of Public Health Institutes, the Public Health Foundation, NACCHO (National Association of County and City Health Officials), and the Public Health Accreditation Board, in addition to experts in survey design and public health workforce development.