The UVa MPH Program is committed to working with public health professionals in practice to identify and address the continuing educational needs of the public health workforce and of community health organization employees. Consistent with its mission for individualized education, the Program has focused on providing professional development for the workforce that is tailored to small groups of health professionals. The collaboration with local community health agencies on workforce development is an integral part of the close relationship the MPH program has with community partners, through which it identifies not only the specific training sessions that are needed but also opportunities for on-going long-term training consultation that often takes place on-site in health organizations. The emphasis is on small, individualized educational programs that address the needs of individual employees and particular community agencies.
The MPH Continuing Education Committee meets regularly, often by teleconference, to plan, conduct and review the educational needs of the workforce. The committee is comprised of the MPH Program Director, faculty, students, a staff member of the UVa SOM Continuing Medical Education Office; and the director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity in the VDH. Its goal is to provide workforce development animated by the MPH Program’s mission, which emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to public health interventions and collaboration with community partners.
The committee played a major role in helping to develop the Commonwealth Public Health Training Center, which brings together MPH programs from across Virginia and other health organizations, in a major new workforce development initiative in the Commonwealth of Virginia that is funded for five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The Commonwealth Public Health Training Center (PHTC) grant will provide significant new funding to the UVa MPH Program to conduct training for the public health workforce in the local region, as well as to collaborate as part of a new state-wide network of public health professionals in creating Certificate Programs and state-wide training conferences for the workforce.
The University of Virginia Master of Public Health Program and the Virginia Department of Health, in conjunction with the Virginia Public Health Association, are offering a series of webinars on public health practice, focusing on health equity. Please click here for more information.
Workforce Education Initiative
The MPH Public Health Workforce Initiative was created in 2008 to provide training for the public health workforce on topics identified by local health agencies. Initial training focused on the collection, management and use of public health data in their jobs in order to improve the health of those they serve. Trainings are comprised of a series of 5 to 7 sessions, each lasting for 3 hours. The initiative has included training in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and Structured Query Language (SQL). Also offered are training in other Microsoft Office software, particularly Word and PowerPoint. These trainings are conducted in state-of-the-art lab facilities, which allow each person in attendance to work at a computer and bring an actual challenge from their work to class for discussion. The instructors for these trainings have several years of experience in both teaching the use of the software and in public health.
The MPH Program has a commitment to working with the state and local public health workforce to provide educational opportunities to support the professional development of the public health workforce. The Program’s workforce partners consistently rate the programs very highly and the Program has committed to continuing these offerings in the future. In the current academic year, 2010 – 2011, the next sessions of the MPH Public Health Workforce Education Initiative are being scheduled. All MPH courses are open to members of the workforce.