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American Journal of Public Health: What Is It All About in 2022?

February 06, 2022
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The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) is one of the core professional journals for the field, reflecting the profession's diversity and addressing current public health issues.1 If you’re seeking growth and advancement in a public health role, you’ll want to become familiar with this journal and other professional development resources. Read more here about the American Journal of Public Health, other notable professional resources, current issues in public health, and public health careers.

The American Public Health Association and the AJPH

The American Journal of Public Health is a publication of the American Public Health Association (APHA). The association was founded in 1872 to represent all public health disciplines and specialties “when scientific advances were helping to reveal the causes of communicable diseases.” The APHA website says, “From our inception, APHA was dedicated to improving the health of all U.S. residents.” The association views research, advocacy and public education as central to its work improving lives.2

The journal began publication in 1911 to benefit APHA members (including the low-cost student member category) and is now available online. American Journal of Public Health is a peer-reviewed publication with a mission to “advance public health research, policy, practice, and education.”3 Although published information is restricted to members and subscribers, individual articles are often sponsored for open access.

American Journal of Public Health Recognized for Thought Leadership

The American Journal of Public Health’s editorial quality and influence are widely recognized. The Medical Library Association selected AJPH as a core journal for its Public Health/Health Administration section. The Special Libraries Association has also recognized AJPH as one of the 100 Most Influential Journals in Biology & Medicine over the last 100 years.

Research journals are rated with an impact factor. Simply put, the impact factor measures how many citations a journal receives each year, reflecting how authoritative the journal is. An impact factor of 10 is considered excellent; the American Journal of Public Health has an impact factor of 9.308.4, 5

AJPH Connects Diverse Disciplines With Unified Coverage

Like the field it serves, the AJPH covers several disciplines and specializations. The February 2022 edition, for example, had 38 unique subject tags, ranging from cardiovascular disease through maternal and infant health to urban health.

The journal’s “about” page lists six editorial departments, including:

  • The Social Sciences
  • Ethics and Law
  • Practice
  • Global News
  • History
  • Surveillance and Survey Methods5

Each of the departments publishes scholarly essays, social science analyses, original unpublished research, critical commentaries and letters to the editor. Recent editions have also included themed feature sections. Here are some example titles:

  • “Workplace Redesign and Public Policy in the 21st Century”
  • “In Defense of Public Health”
  • “Social Justice for Marginalized Communities”
  • “Vaccines: building Long-Term Confidence”6

The Scope of Public Health Practice Drives Strong Industry Growth

AJPH editorial coverage reflects the broad scope of public health practice. A multi-faceted and growing field, public health will continue to provide higher than average career opportunities through the end of the decade.

Contributing to the field’s growth are opportunities to pursue diverse interests and apply different skill sets to solve an ever-changing set of health challenges for individuals and communities.

Drive Your Public Health Career Success

Kent State University’s online Master’s of Public Health (MPH) specializations reflect the diverse career paths in public health and can help you prepare for a leadership role in your chosen profession. Kent State offers advanced online degrees in Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Epidemiology is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States, with salaries that match the demand.7 Researchers with advanced degrees are well-positioned for leadership roles. Learn more about epidemiology work and careers.

Graduates with the Health Policy Management specialization can choose to work in diverse settings, including governmental agencies, health insurance, healthcare administration, and more. Healthcare administrator jobs will increase 32% throughout the decade, and 2020 median pay was above $100,000.8 Job growth and salary differ across industries.

Those who specialize in Social and Behavioral Sciences also work in many different settings, using their skills to create community-based health behavior and population health improvement programs. Some work settings include law enforcement, education, government or public health agencies, and private practice.

Read more about salaries for highly skilled public health professionals.

Top Public Health Issues in 2022

What are the current focus issues for public health professionals? Although that answer varies for each individual, there are many global concerns in our interconnected world. The center-stage public health issues of 2021 continue to be of significant concern in 2022.

As health workers worldwide have made progress against the COVID-19 pandemic, other long-term problems are again receiving focused attention, along with ongoing pandemic-related issues. The APHA is considered by many to be the leading organization serving the entire field of public health and currently focuses on these issues and topics:

  • Climate Change
  • COVID-19
  • Environmental Health
  • Gun Violence
  • Health Equity
  • Racism and Health
  • Vaccines9

Other public health organizations view the issues through different lenses. ASTHO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, released a list of “Top 10 Public Health State Policy Issues to Watch in 2022.”

Management issues on the ASTHO list include public health authority, health equity, and data privacy and modernization. Specific health threats listed include HIV, the synthetic chemicals called PFAS that are used in various products and e-cigarettes. The other three items on the list can be characterized as resource concerns, including immunizations, the healthcare workforce, and rural health facilities.10

ASTHO is one of several professional organizations serving different segments of the public health profession. The Society for Public Health Education serves professionals whose focus is on behavioral health. The American College of Healthcare Executives and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology are among the other organizations serving individual disciplines in the field.

Publications Help Connect the Global Professional Community

A plethora of information sources and professional journals connect public health practitioners with the latest advances in the field. Kent State University Libraries Public Health Librarian Anita Slack says that the library has at least some access to 115 public health journals. Some leading journals in that list, along with AJPH, are:

  • American Journal of Preventive Medicine
  • ​​Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
  • Journal of Public Health Research
  • Journal of Public Health Policy

Kent State online MPH students have access to these publications through the university’s Journal Finder, Ms. Slack also points out that the library has a robust interlibrary loan service for any publications not directly available from Kent State University Libraries. Additionally, she has compiled eight library guides for public health, with subjects ranging from public health administration and policy to open access records and dissertation resources.

Kent State University Connects You with Your Career Goals

Your online Master of Public Health or Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from Kent State will help you connect theory and practice to solve the most important public health issues of the 21st century. In the online MPH program, You’ll work with award-winning faculty and other highly motivated students in a program accredited by CEPH, the Council of Education for Public Health, and ASPPH, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. Connect with your career goals. Schedule a call with an admissions advisor and download the application checklist today.

Sources
  1. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from apha.org/Publications/American-Journal-of-Public-Health
  2. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from apha.org/about-apha/our-history
  3. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from ajph.aphapublications.org/
  4. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from manuscriptedit.com/scholar-hangout/good-impact-factor-journal/
  5. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from ajph.aphapublications.org/page/ajph/about.html
  6. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from ajph.aphapublications.org/loi/ajph
  7. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm
  8. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
  9. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from apha.org/topics-and-issues
  10. Retrieved on February 2, 2022, from /Press-Room/ASTHO-Unveils-Top-10-Public-Health-State-Policy-Issues-to-Watch-in-2022/12-15-21/