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Pandemic Highlights Chronic Underfunding of Public Health Workforce

The first people are brought in as the City of Hartford’s Department of Health and Human Services hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Hartford residents 75 and over at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Connecticut on February 06, 2021.
Joe Amon
/
Connecticut Public
The first people are brought in as the City of Hartford’s Department of Health and Human Services hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Hartford residents 75 and over at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Connecticut on February 06, 2021.";s:

The pandemic has put public health in the spotlight across the world. But in the United States local public health departments have been chronically underfunded, and Connecticut is no exception.

This hour, we hear from a local health director about the challenges public health departments in Connecticut are facing, even as the state celebrates high vaccination rates compared with other states.

And, we look beyond the pandemic: what should the public health workforce of the future look like?

GUESTS:

  • Michelle Smith - Reporter for the Associated Press covering public health and the pandemic
  • Jennifer Kertanis - Director of Health for the Farmington Valley Health District and Board President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • Fatawu Mahama - Community Health Worker with Southwestern Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in Shelton Connecticut.
  • Tim Klufas - Recent public health certificate graduate from UConn Health. He is currently working as a contact tracer and is also a member of the Governor’s vaccine allocation subcommittee.

Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.
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