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UA Receives $3.6 million HRSA Grant to Improve the Nation’s Public Health System

The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health will establish public health training centers in four states and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands.

The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has received a $3.6 million, four-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a consortium of public health training centers called the Western Region Public Health Training Center (WRPHTC).

The project expands the reach of the UA Arizona Public Health Training Center (AzPHTC) to provide training to HRSA Region 9 that includes all of Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii and the U.S.  Affiliated Pacific Islands.  The staff will work with numerous groups in these states to assist with the establishment of their own Public Health Training Center (PHTC). 

HRSA’s Public Health Training Center Program is aimed at improving the nation’s public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, managerial and leadership competence of the current and future public health workforce. HRSA-funded PHTCs are partnerships between accredited schools of public health, related academic institutions and public health agencies and organizations. PHTCs assess the learning needs of the public health workforce, provide accessible training and work with organizations to meet other strategic planning, education and resource needs.

“The funding to expand our current Arizona Public Health Training Center to be a regional center is a testament to the infrastructure that we have built and the accomplishments that we have had over the years,” said Douglas Taren, PhD, associate dean of Academic Affairs at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health and project director for the WRPHTC.

The WRPHTC will work with The University of Nevada, Reno, School of Community Health Sciences; University of Hawai’i, Manoa, Department of Public Health Sciences; Pacific Island Health Officers Association; and University of California, San Francisco, California Area Health Education Center Program, to open PHTCs in their states.

Each PHTC will conduct competency driven training needs assessments and, based on findings, will deliver training programs across their state. The assessments will focus on rural areas where health disparities are greatest and training opportunities are least available.

Dr. Taren added. “I am really pleased that we were recognized as a training center that is able to meet the needs in Region 9 for the Department of Health and Human Services.  We will continue to work with our public health colleagues in Arizona and I look forward to working with our partners in the west to support the continual training of public health professionals.”

The University of Arizona