Term of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Gulzar Shah

Committee Member 1

William Mase

Committee Member 2

Samuel Opoku


Non-White males have higher rates of morbidity and mortality from chronic health conditions as compared to Whites. An essential element for achieving success in eliminating health disparities is to increase the presence of racial/ethnic minorities (i.e., people of color) within public health careers. One of the most important competencies for a public health professional is the ability to work in culturally and racially diverse populations. Yet, individuals are significantly more likely to receive their care and experience greater satisfaction from providers that are of the same racial or ethnic background. The racial/ethnic composition of the health professions workforce continues to lag behind the increasing diversity of the U.S. population, especially in its representation of minority males. The purpose of this study is to identify recruitment and retention strategies used in local health department or state health agency and barriers to a diverse workforce. Using organizational support theory, this cross-sectional study design drew primary data collected from employees through electronic self-administered survey (n=23) and audio recorded leadership interviews (n=17). The electronic surveys assessed the participants’ demographics, perceived occupational support (POS), perceived supervisor support (PSS), organizational commitment (OC) and retention through close-ended survey questions. Open-ended survey questions were used to assess recruitment and retention practices. Leadership interviews were conducted to gather further detail of the recruitment and retention practices employed and challenges and successes in creating a diverse workforce. The internal validity and reliability of the summarized scales in the survey instrument were determined by Cronbach’s alpha statistical analysis. Descriptive statistical analysis was conducted to present frequency distributions of minority males’ POS, PSS, OC, and retention. Simple linear regression models were applied to determine the association of predictors of interest with retention. The open-ended survey responses and leadership interviews were coded by themes, concepts, and frequency. Participants sited traditional electronic and non-electronic methods for recruiting candidates to apply for vacant positions. Benefits, work culture, and training opportunities were strategies used to retain staff. Budget restrictions, lack of agency-wide policies and procedures, and COVID-19 created barriers for recruiting and retaining staff especially for those who aimed to create a diverse workforce.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material