Developing Workforce Capacity in Public Health Informatics: Core Competencies and Curriculum Design

Douglas R Wholey, Marty LaVenture, Sripriya Rajamani, Rob Kreiger, Craig Hedberg, Cynthia Kenyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We describe a master’s level public health informatics (PHI) curriculum to support workforce development. Public health decision-making requires intensive information management to organize responses to health threats and develop effective health education and promotion. PHI competencies prepare the public health workforce to design and implement these information systems. The objective for a Master’s and Certificate in PHI is to prepare public health informaticians with the competencies to work collaboratively with colleagues in public health and other health professions to design and develop information systems that support population health improvement. The PHI competencies are drawn from computer, information, and organizational sciences. A curriculum is proposed to deliver the competencies and result of a pilot PHI program is presented. Since the public health workforce needs to use information technology effectively to improve population health, it is essential for public health academic institutions to develop and implement PHI workforce training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - May 2 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Pat Larkey, Sara Kiesler, Serge Taylor, Bill Hefley, Kathleen Carley, and the Information Systems program at Carnegie Mellon University for foundational ideas. We thank Julie Jacko, Daniel Chan, and Matteo Convertino for their ideas and help in implementing the PHI program at Minnesota. We thank Rochelle Martin, Raul Noriega, Megan Pruente, Cole Schluchter, Nicholas Solberg, Herong Song, and Patrick Williams for information on their current job responsibilities and comments about the PHI program. We thank MPH and certificate PHI students for working with us to develop the program. We thank Ira Moscovice the Health Policy & Management Department, and the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota for supporting PHI program development.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 Wholey, LaVenture, Rajamani, Kreiger, Hedberg and Kenyon.


  • public health informatics
  • public health practice
  • public health workforce
  • systems analysis
  • systems design


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