NEW BRUNSWICK — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the award of $16.8 million to support 27 Public Health Training Centers (PHTC) at schools of public health and other public or non-profit institutions across the country on Monday. This includes a grant totaling nearly $648,000 for the School of Public Health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry.
The PHTC Program helps improve the public health system by enhancing skills of the current and future public health workforce. Institutions accredited to provide graduate or specialized training in public health are eligible for funding. Most of the funding – $15.4 million – is made available by the Prevention and Public Health Fund included as part of the Affordable Care Act.
“Today’s awards represent a dramatic increase in support for Public Health Training Centers,” said Sebelius. “Investing in prevention and public health is the foundation for improving the health and well-being of all Americans.”
Funded organizations (1) plan, develop, operate and evaluate projects that support goals established by the Secretary in preventive medicine, health promotion and disease prevention; or (2) improve access to and quality of health services in medically underserved communities. Other PHTC activities include assessing the learning needs of the public health workforce; providing accessible training; and working with organizations to meet strategic planning, education, and resource needs.
“Whether facing public health emergencies such as natural disasters, or chronic conditions like obesity, a well-trained public health workforce is critical to ensuring the nation’s health and welfare,” said Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which oversees the PHTC program.
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