The University of Michigan School of Public Health has received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to designate the school as a regional Public Health Training Center, effective July 1, 2018.

The School of Public Health has administered the Michigan Public Health Training Center since 2000, with a focus on strengthening the capacity of the public health workforce within the state of Michigan. This new grant expands the school’s scope, establishing Michigan Public Health as the coordinating lead for Region V, which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

“Michigan Public Health is ideally positioned to build upon the public health workforce research we have been conducting through the Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies and the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center and translate it into workforce development activities and trainings to strengthen capacity throughout our region,” says Angela Beck, director of the Public Health Training Center and assistant dean for the Office of Student Engagement and Practice at Michigan Public Health

The Region V Public Health Training Center will work to strengthen the capacity of the region’s public health workforce by assessing training needs, responding to those needs through the development and delivery of distance-based continuing education trainings, and cultivating partnerships among academic and practice partners to collectively engage in workforce development and planning throughout the region. Training is offered to the public health workforce free of charge.

“The work of Public Health Training Centers is important because they provide accessibility of training content to strengthen the skills of the workforce—from skills-based training, such as environmental health surveillance, to just-in-time training on topics like medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder,” Beck says. “Governmental public health, in particular, continues to report gaps in workforce development. The supply and distribution of workers is inadequate to meet the growing demands for public health services. The Region V Public Health Training Center will focus its resources on developing a competent public health workforce with capacity to address community needs and improve population health outcomes.”

The grant provides about $3.7 million in funding over four years. Michigan Public Health is one of 10 schools of public health across the country named as regional Public Health Training Centers.