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Title page for ETD etd-05272013-143444

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Langeler, Christopher Jod
Author's Email Address chris.langeler@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-05272013-143444
Title Assessing the Relationship between Local Health Department Workforce Diversity and Health Disparity Elimination Activities
Degree Master of Science
Department Community Research and Action
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
William Turner Committee Chair
Paul Speer Committee Member
  • public health
  • ethnicity
  • race
  • government
  • policy
  • social justice
Date of Defense 2013-05-08
Availability unrestricted
Despite myriad well-funded local and national initiatives to achieve health equity in the U.S., significant disparities in health between racial groups persist. Local health departments (LHDs) are one of the most salient organizations in efforts to eliminate racial health disparities. Organizational research has shown that characteristics of an organization’s workforce can affect its performance. However, little research has been conducted on the relationship between LHD workforce characteristics and LHD engagement in health disparity elimination (HDE) activities. This study uses regression analyses to assess the extent to which one organizational characteristic—racial diversity of the LHD workforce—is predictive of HDE activity among county-level LHDs nationwide. Results suggest that workforce racial diversity is a strong predictor of HDE activity among county-level LHDs. Findings presented here indicate a need for further research on organizational factors associated with HDE activity and promotion of racial health equity. Implications for such research as well as practical implications are discussed.
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