New York State Department of Health Recognizes the Public Health Workforce as Essential to Our Future and Highlights Public Health Workforce Challenges and Disparities During National Public Health Week

New York's Public Health Corps focuses on retention and diversity across public health entities statewide

NYS FY 2023 Budget proposes more than $4 billion to support wages and bonuses for healthcare workers

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 5, 2022) – In commemoration of National Public Health Week, the New York State Department of Health honors our public health workforce and recognizes that health equity begins with a diverse and supported public health workforce.

In a first-of-its kind analysis, new research suggests thatstate and local health departments need to hire a minimum of 80,000 more full-time equivalent workers to provide adequate infrastructure and public health services. To tackle this, the Department is deploying innovative strategies to reimagine New York State's public health workforce in ways that rebuild trust in public health and further restore the dignity of our State's public health workforce.

"While our Department and the State's entire healthcare workforce has gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic, COVID-19 also uncovered the impact of longstanding underfunding of public health infrastructure at all levels. Additionally, COVID-19 has laid bare our deepest and most persistent inequities across public health, including the need to ensure a diverse workforce that reflects our communities," New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "This challenge, combined with exacerbated health workforce shortages adding to burnout and dissatisfaction among public health workers, is sounding the alarm throughout public health networks nationwide. We must do more to encourage current public health workers and cultivate the next generation of professionals."

In anticipation of preparing for future public health emergencies, The New York State Public Health Corps (NYSPHC), a paid fellowship program, is being mobilized across New York to help build additional public health capacity to support COVID-19 vaccination operations and increase preparedness for future public health emergencies. This professional pipeline will bolster the state's public health infrastructure by mobilizing up to 1,000 Fellows to provide critical support and services to local health departments. Fellows from recent graduates and students advanced in their studies in public health programs, nursing schools and medical schools, retired medical professionals, and community members are encouraged to apply.

In addition to providing avenues for training and other professional development, Governor Hochul's 2023 Executive Budget proposal includes more than $4 billion earmarked to support wages and bonuses for healthcare workers. Key components of this multi-year investment include $2 billion to support healthcare worker wages; $1.2 billion to support healthcare and mental hygiene worker retention bonuses, with up to $3,000 bonuses going to workers earning less than $100,000 who remain in their positions for one year, and prorated bonuses for those working fewer hours.

Governor Hochul has pledged to rebuild and grow the healthcare workforce by 20 percent over the next five years with a program designed to strengthen home care, improve the career pipeline, expand access to healthcare training and education, and recruit healthcare and direct support professionals to care for people in underserved areas.

The Executive Budget also preserves critical social supports, promotes the long-term fiscal sustainability of the healthcare system and continues to advance important reforms aimed at improving the health of New Yorkers at a sustainable cost.

To learn more about National Public Health Week click here.