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The workforce shortage in public health alone should scare you

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If you don’t believe me when I say we face a crisis in the workforce shortages in the health-care field, believe the experts.

Take public health. Public health covers such arenas as clean drinking water, childhood immunization, pandemic planning, infectious diseases, etc. As opposed to personal health, which is you and your doctor.

Dr. Tina Castañares of Hood River sent me an article last week, outlining the workforce shortage problems in public health. According to this article, at least 23 percent of the current public health work force – that comes to about 110,000 workers – will be eligible to retire during the next four years. By 2020, an additional 250,000 public health workers will be needed to fill the workforce gap.

Wow. Those are scary numbers.

Granted, these are nationwide numbers, not regional. But they echo the same workforce shortages that we’ve been warning about right here.

That’s why the bond measure includes money to train nurses in Washington County.

Send your feedback to And thanks in advance.

About Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes, joined PCC in 2007 as the manager of the Office of Public Affairs, directing the college's media and government relations. Haynes spent the previous 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for Oregon newspapers, including ... more »


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