Engaging Military Veterans in the Public Health Workforce

Introducing the release of a national literature review and innovative environmental scan about engage military Veterans in the public health workforce.

Veterans have long been a valued part of the American workforce, bringing their unique skills and experiences to every industry they touch. Recently, attention has turned to the ways in which Veterans help address critical public health and environmental health issues across the country. This highlights the need to better understand the experiences that Veterans hold when transitioning from military service to civilian life, and to examine what supports Veterans need in order to access, advance, and thrive within the civilian workforce at large, and more specifically within the public and environmental health sectors.

Taking Action

To better understand the needs of Veterans transitioning to civilian life and the capabilities and value that Veterans can bring to the public health workforce, Trailhead Institute, Amaka Consulting and Evaluation Services (ACES), Black Ladies in Public Health (BLIPH), and Informing Veterans and Dependents (IVAD), designed and conducted a national literature review and innovative environmental scan leveraging extensive discussions with veterans across all branches of the military.

The resulting literature review and environmental scan move toward collaboratively defining strategies to support employers and the public health community with engaging military veterans in the public health workforce. Accompanying these resources is an action planning support tool to guide strategic planning, reflection, and implementation. We invite members of the public health community to explore these promising opportunities to better serve the needs of Veterans in Colorado through the resources below.

Download the Executive Summary
Download the National Literature Review
Download the Colorado Environmental Scan
Access the Action Planning Support Tool

View the Webinar Recording: Engaging Veterans in the Public Health Workforce 

Leading and Supporting this Initiative

We would like to recognize the collaboration and vision of Dr. Jennifer Edwards, Dr. Ndidi Amutah-Onukagha, Dr. Jasmine Ward and their teams who were integral in bringing this initiative to life. We would also like to thank The Schultz Family Foundation for funding this valuable workforce development effort.

Building on Opportunities Identified in the Blueprint

This initiative takes action upon evidence-informed strategies to develop, advance, modernize, and transform the public health workforce identified in RESTORE: The Colorado Blueprint for Innovative Public Health Workforce Development.

The Blueprint is a guiding resource to inform innovative action plans for building a diverse, skilled, and sustained public health workforce that reflects Colorado communities.

The resource places intentional focus on actionability and cross-sector partnership, providing strategies and a fillable action plan template for employers to engage in four focus areas of workforce development. These include diverse recruitment, building career and educational pathways into public health, retaining the workforce, and informing public health decisions with workforce data.

The Blueprint paints a comprehensive picture of Colorado’s current public health landscape and presents a roadmap for propelling the field forward through intentional workforce development strategies. The Blueprint prioritizes four focus areas of public health workforce development: 

  1. Recruit and attract a diverse workforce into public health;
  2. Develop career and educational pathways including training for those pursuing a career in public health;
  3. Retain the public health workforce to keep talented employees, sustain positive outcomes, and foster a positive work atmosphere; and
  4. Inform public health decisions with workforce data to identify trends, gaps, and development metrics.

For each focus area, the Blueprint offers a toolbox of strategies and fillable action plan template for engaging in strategic planning, and provides local and national examples of these strategies in action.

The Blueprint specifically aims to engage public and environmental health employers, local public health agencies, institutes and community-based organizations, colleges and universities, policymakers, hospitals, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, schools, civic leaders, and members of the larger public health community to transform Colorado’s public health system, together.

Download the Blueprint