The Health Professions Resource Center (HPRC) is often asked for information on the public health workforce, but this information isn’t available from the databases received from the licensing boards - the source of most of our data. Furthermore, few studies of the public health workforce in Texas have been prepared by any organization, leaving a void in an important area of healthcare workforce information. Therefore, HPRC decided to conduct surveys of various agencies and facilities that provide public health services, to determine how many public health workers were employed, as well as how many additional public health workers were needed, both in terms of vacancies that needed to be filled, and additional workers that were needed but that the facilities could not hire due to budget or other constraints.
HPRC reviewed numerous public health reports and studies from other institutions, and learned that there are many more professions that can be considered public health professions than could be covered by this project. In fact, the very definition of public health is often in dispute, as well as the types of organizations that are considered to be providers of public health. Therefore, HPRC has limited the survey to just 39 professional categories: primarily those that were determined to be the most consistent with the types of professions for which HPRC routinely collect data. Furthermore, HPRC has chosen not to define specific agencies, institutions, or facility types as being public health facilities; rather, HPRC chose to survey certain types of organizations separately, and to report the findings individually, and to leave it to the discretion of the reader as to whether they want to consider the employees of a specific type of organization as public health employees.
HPRC began by surveying the 63 Local Health Departments (LHDs) that contract with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to provide public health services. Then, HPRC surveyed the LHDs that do not contract with DSHS. HPRC then collected information on the public health workforce employed by the Texas Health and Human Services agencies. Finally, HPRC surveyed the Federally Qualified Community Health Centers/Community Health Centers. The resulting information still does not paint a complete picture of the public health workforce in Texas, as there are so many people and organizations that contribute to public health; but, it is our hope that the results provide useful information on major aspects of the public health workforce.
List and Definitions of Types of Health Providers Included in the Surveys (.pdf document - 33 kb)
Public Health Reports:
Local Health Departments that contract with DSHS to provide public health services
Local Health Departments that do not contract with DSHS to provide public health services
Texas Health and Human Services Enterprise Agencies
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Summary of All Surveys