The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the establishment of performance standards, credentials, and workforce training requirements for local public health departments yesterday. This initiative aims to ensure consistent and high-quality public health services for all residents of the state.
“Standardizing local public health performance requirements will mean that people in all cities and towns in Massachusetts can expect the same level of equitable and high-quality services,” said Public Health Commissioner Robert Goldstein, MD, PhD.
Improving Education and Training
The DPH is updating and developing new educational courses on public health topics that align with the performance standards. This includes the creation of an online training portal, making it easier for local public health professionals to access the required trainings.
The DPH is also investing approximately $5.5 million to establish 10 field training hubs across the state. These hubs will provide hands-on proficiency training on regulatory compliance, further enhancing the skills and expertise of local public health professionals.
Last year, the Office of Local and Regional Health collaborated with 305 municipalities in a capacity assessment to identify areas that required additional resources to meet the performance standards to ensure ensure that all municipalities have the resources and support needed.
DPH has also allocated $13.8 million in grants for Fiscal Year 2023 to over 300 municipalities to assist in expanding inter-municipal shared service arrangements, where cities and towns pool their resources and expertise to offer comprehensive public health services to their populations.