Strategic Planning for the Population Health Workforce Branch of CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Project Years: 2022-2023

CDC’s Population Health Workforce Branch is generally responsible for the professional development and workforce pipeline maintenance for staff of CDC’s science divisions. They especially focus on data science and informatics, health economics and mathematical modeling, and public health leadership. Increasingly since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the public health workforce nationally, the Population Health Workforce Branch has been working to establish interdisciplinary learning teams at CDC (e.g., an EIS officer, informatician, and health economist) who are placed somewhere together to tackle a difficult public health problem.

CDC reached out to Facente Consulting to help them consider how to best develop the CDC workforce in the coming years, including managing rapid growth, forecasting workforce needs, improving DEI and accessibility, and effectively evaluating the work of the Population Health Workforce Branch. We conducted key informant interviews with internal and external key stakeholders to clearly define the challenges, explore ideas for possible solutions, and get perspectives on what the size and capacity of the future workforce should be. We also conducted scenario planning for the next 10-20 years to create a roadmap for addressing CDC workforce needs and gaps and outline different plans for different possible futures. Finally, we facilitated a multi-session strategic planning process that led to the development of a five-year strategic plan for the Branch, guiding its work from 2023-2027.