AMIA Applauds CDC/DOL Leadership on Designation for Public Health Informatics Registered Apprenticeship

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dr. William Hersh, AMIA Scientific Program Chair, Speaks at Signing Ceremony

(Washington, D.C.) -- On April 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Scientific Education and Professional Development Program Office (SEPDPO) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment Training Administration (ETA) are conducting a signing ceremony to designate Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program (PHIFP) as a DOL/ETA Registered Apprenticeship. The event also lays the foundation for a standard occupational code for the profession of public health informatician.

The signers are Dr. Denise Koo, MPH, Captain, U.S. Public Health Service, Director, SEPDPO; and John Ladd, Administrator, Office of Apprenticeship & Training Administration, DOL. Joseph Jenkins, Education and Outreach Team Leader, Office of Apprenticeship, ETA; and Dr. David B. Callahan, Captain, U.S. Public Health Service, Director, SEPDPO will offer project highlights.

Dr. Seth Foldy, MPH, Senior Advisor for Public Health Practice, CDC, will offer remarks along with Dr. William Hersh, Professor and Chair Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Hersh is AMIA’s 2012 Scientific Program Chair and attending the live event to represent and speak on behalf of AMIA’s 4000 members.

AMIA recognizes the tremendous accomplishment of SEDPO and DOL. The designation of public health informatician as a national occupation code represents a significant milestone in the decades-long effort by AMIA members and leaders to address the crucial issues of informatics workforce development. The designation will help the nation realize its ambitions for supporting a fully-interoperable, data-driven healthcare system.

DOL/ETA Registered Apprenticeship programs meet the skilled workforce needs of American industry, training millions of qualified individuals for lifelong careers since 1937. In addition to peer review and accreditation by another federal agency, this partnership establishes PHIFP as a national template for public health informatics (PHI) training programs.

According to the CDC/DOL this accomplishment signifies future possibilities for the PHI field that include:

  • defining public health informatician as a distinct discipline within the public health workforce;
  • establishment and promotion of career paths and salary progression within the profession;
  • greater ability to track training investments;
  • development of PHI job descriptions by state governments; and
  • adoption of PHI job code templates by other industries.

Where AMIA Advanced the Effort

In 2001, more than 400 AMIA member experts and thought leaders gathered for the organization’s Spring Congress meeting to develop a national agenda for public health informatics. The resulting 74 recommendations emerged with themes reflected in the CDC/DOL’s decision. AMIA stakeholders recognized the need to be engaged in coordinated activities related to public health information. They also forecasted the need for informatics training throughout the public health workforce.

A decade later, AMIA experts revisited the national agenda at the 2011 Spring Congress meeting with recommendations supporting the need for informatics workforce development and underlining informatics crucial role in the future of healthcare.

“AMIA and its members will continue to lead the national discussion on informatics workforce development. We are encouraged that the CDC/DOL’s public health informatician designation can only open the door for other informatics-related designations to follow,” said Dr. Kevin Fickenscher, President and CEO of AMIA.

About AMIA

AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, serves as the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals and plays an important role in medicine, health care, and science, encouraging the use of data, information and knowledge to improve both human health and delivery of healthcare services.


Contact: Krista Martin