Succession Planning in State Health Agencies in the United States: A Brief Report


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Abstract

Objective:Approximately 25% of the public health workforce plans to retire by 2020. Succession planning is a core capability of the governmental public health enterprise; however, limited data are available regarding these efforts in state health agencies (SHAs).Methods:We analyzed 2016 Workforce Gaps Survey data regarding succession planning in SHAs using the US Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) succession planning model, including 6 domains and 27 activities. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all 41 responding SHAs.Results:On average, SHAs self-reported adequately addressing 11 of 27 succession planning activities, with 93% of SHAs adequately addressing 1 or more activities and 61% adequately addressing 1 or more activities in each domain.Conclusions:The majority of OPM-recommended succession planning activities are not being addressed, and limited succession planning occurs across SHAs. Greater activity in the OPM-identified succession planning domains may help SHAs contend with significant turnover and better preserve institutional knowledge.

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