Special Issue "COVID-19 and the Governmental Public Health Workforce: Adaptation, Response, and Recovery to Staffing a Global Pandemic"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. J. P. Leider
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Interests: governmental public health; public health workforce; public health systems
Dr. Beth Resnick
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
Interests: public health workforce; governmental public health; public health systems
Ms. Heather Krasna
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
Interests: public health workforce; public health graduates; employer perspectives; labor market competition
Dr. Katarzyna Czabanowska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of International Health, Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences(FHML), Maastricht University, 6211 LK, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2. Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University, 31-007 Krakow, Poland
Interests: public health leadership; public health workforce development and planning; capacity building; competence-based education; competency self-assessment; public health system

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

COVID19 response has stressed the governmental public health enterprise across the world to its breaking point.  Public health practitioners across the world have been on the front line of COVID-19 response, working across various functions, including quarantine and isolation, contact tracing and case reporting, surveillance, scarce resource allocation, and direct care provision. Public health leaders have been responsible for enforcing public health interventions, such as mask mandates and business closures.  Impact on the workforce has been from external and internal sources. Reports of significant policymaker and public sentiment shifts have created political pressure on health department leadership. Additionally, preliminary evidence is showing that stress, extra COVID response duties, and “temporary” job shifts taking workers away from their primary jobs that have lasted for over a year are leading to high levels of turnover and burnout among the public health workforce. This represents a risk to continued public health response into the peri-COVID-19 period.

In this special issue of IJERPH, we invite submissions that characterize how across the globe the governmental public health workforce adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how the pandemic has impacted the workforce. This issue seeks to highlight especially the work of practitioners and public health systems research as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. New research papers, practice reports, brief reports, reviews, and conference papers are welcome to this issue. We will accept submissions from researchers, academic-practice teams, and encourage submissions from public health practitioners and organizations supporting public health entities.

  1. Impact of COVID-19 response on governmental public health workforce
    • Workforce changes associated with COVID-19 response
    • Turnover and burnout at public health agencies associated with COVID-19 response
    • Succession planning / transfer of institutional knowledge associated with COVID-19 response
    • Harassment and threats of public health workforce
  2. Strategies and adaptations to workforce to respond to COVID-19
    • Evaluation of Incident Command or other employed response frameworks
    • Approaches to redeployment of resources / human capital for COVID-19 response
    • Development or expansion of partnerships and cross-sector initiatives for COVID-19 response
    • Shift in workforce focus on health inequities and disproportionate impact of COVID on specific populations
    • Evaluation of relative effectiveness of interventions (e.g., different contact tracing / ‘staffing up’ workforce models, etc.)
    • Evaluation of new units established to respond to COVID-19
    • Assessing how population-based versus direct service staffing models were differentially deployed in countries with unified or single payer health systems
  3. Assessment of future workforce needs associated with COVID-19 recovery or future response to an extended disaster
    • Workforce models for COVID-19 recovery
    • Political considerations around the ‘future of public health’
    • Forecasts or estimates around workforce needs for disaster planning into the future (i.e., ongoing workforce / staffing models, as well as ‘surge up’ needs)
    • Changes to resource allocation practices and public health sustainability planning

Dr. J. P. Leider
Dr. Beth Resnick
Ms. Heather Krasna
Dr. Katarzyna Czabanowska
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • governmental public health workforce
  • COVID-19 response
  • public health systems
  • workforce development
  • public health practice

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


Insecure Employment Contracts during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Need for Participation in Policy Making
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312548 - 28 Nov 2021
Viewed by 376
Job security influences the ability of nurses to provide high-quality nursing care. The Iranian health system has always faced nursing shortages, and the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened this situation. Although nurses have been labelled ‘heroes’ across the globe, many of them have been [...] Read more.
Job security influences the ability of nurses to provide high-quality nursing care. The Iranian health system has always faced nursing shortages, and the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened this situation. Although nurses have been labelled ‘heroes’ across the globe, many of them have been hired using insecure employment contracts. This commentary aims to describe issues surrounding job contracts for Iranian nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses how the current situation can be improved. Iranian nurses are at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 and need to receive better support in terms of job security and dignity. They should participate more in policymaking activities to improve their job condition and prevent the development and implementation of the short-term and insecure job contracts that lead to job insecurity. Full article

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Insights from a 2021 State of Public Health Employment Survey: Hiring Trends, Desirable Skillsets, and Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives during COVID-19 and Global Racial Unrest
Authors: Kristy J. Sherrer
Affiliation: University of California Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health

Back to TopTop