Statewide Collaborative Calls for Employers to Restore the Public Health Workforce

Blueprint provides innovative strategies to develop, advance, modernize, and transform Colorado’s public health workforce.

April 20, 2023 – DENVER, Colorado – Trailhead Institute and statewide partners from the Colorado Public Health Workforce Collaborative (CPHWC) have launched RESTORE: The Colorado Blueprint for Innovative Public Health Workforce Development, a guiding tool to inform unique and innovative action plans across Colorado to support the restoration, rebuilding, and modernization of Colorado’s public health workforce. The Blueprint responds to a critical need for the public health field to build a skilled, sustained, and diverse public health workforce that reflects Colorado communities. The call to action addresses staggering realities of workforce attrition and pervasive high levels of stress and burnout felt in the field.

Collaboration and partnership across sectors is imperative for public health workforce development. Through four strategic focus areas, the Blueprint 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. These four focus areas include:

  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.

Drawing on lived experiences of those in Colorado’s public health field, data from the de Beaumont Foundations’ 2021 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS), and a national literature scan to help bridge Colorado’s planning to national public health workforce development efforts, the Blueprint paints a comprehensive picture of Colorado’s current public health landscape and presents a roadmap for propelling the field forward. With an intentional focus on actionability, the Blueprint offers a toolbox of strategies and fillable action plan template for engaging in each focus area alongside local and national examples of these strategies in action.

“This statewide collaborative effort truly represents innovation for the public health workforce,” says Dr. Jennifer Edwards, Director of Workforce Programs & Initiatives at Trailhead Institute. “Employers are equipped to support the restoration of public health and communities. We now need commitment and energy around equitable recruitment and retention, as well as thoughtful development of public health career pathways for the emerging and continuing workforce.”

Cara Bradbury, Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials (CALPHO), adds that supporting the restoration of the public health workforce supports a thriving economy in Colorado.

“No matter which field they work in, public health professionals are tasked with maintaining and improving the foundations of thriving communities,” said Cara Bradbury, Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Association. “They encourage flourishing families, ensure health-promoting environments, and safeguard their communities during disasters – all of which are necessary conditions for successful economies. All sectors will benefit from strengthening this critical workforce.”

Action planning for each of the Blueprint’s focus areas is actively underway through corresponding workgroups facilitated through the Collaborative. The Collaborative encourages employers to utilize the Blueprint to do their own action plans. As the Blueprint is shared widely with business, education, community, and civic leaders across the state, Trailhead Institute and CPHWC hope to build new connections with leaders invested in developing Colorado’s workforce in partnership with public health. The public health workforce represents a core sector of the greater workforce serving communities throughout the state. To learn more about the Blueprint and join in the action planning, contact Trailhead Institute’s Workforce Programs & Initiatives team at or visit

The development of the Blueprint would not have been possible without the collaboration of numerous partners and organizations including Boulder County Public Health, Broomfield Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Family Medicine Residencies, Colorado Health Institute, Colorado School of Public Health, Colorado Workforce Development Council, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, Envision Strategy Group, Government Performance Solutions, Jefferson County Public Health, Kiowa County Public Health, Metro Denver Partnership for Health, Patient Navigation and Community Health Worker Training Program, Prowers County Public Health and Environment Association of Public Health Nurses, Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership, Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center, and San Miguel Department of Public Health.

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