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Public Information Training and Practices in 50 Oklahoma County Health Departments

Sula Saltsman Goodman
Health Services Reports
Vol. 87, No. 9 (Nov., 1972), pp. 845-851
DOI: 10.2307/4594685
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4594685
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Public Information Training and Practices in 50 Oklahoma County Health Departments
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Abstract

A survey of 50 county health departments in Oklahoma having four to 50 staff members revealed that 44 percent of the members participated in public information activities. As staffs grew in size and as professionals (such as social workers and public health trained administrative assistants) were hired, the participation of other staff members, especially of medical directors, decreased. A higher percentage of sanitarians than any other job class were found to be engaged in five primary public information functions, based on total participation in all 50 counties. A higher percentage of clerks than members of any other job class served as coordinators of information. "Others -- professionals" and nurses spoke more to public groups. "Others -- professionals" and clerks had more journalism training than sanitarians, nurses, medical directors, or nonprofessional auxiliary workers. Twenty percent of the public health staff members with informational duties had high school or college newspaper experience. Twelve selected public information activities were used as indicators to score and compare the county health departments. The median for the 50 counties provided a basis for correlating a health department's public information activity with the journalism training of its personnel. Health departments with even one person on the staff who had some journalism background achieved a broader range of public information activities than those having no staff member trained or experienced in journalism.

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