As health care and disease prevention play an increasingly prominent role on the national stage, the Colorado School of Public Health recently won a major federal grant to establish its own comprehensive center to train public health workers.
The grant of nearly $650,000 a year for five years – a total of about $3.2 million – will fund the new Colorado Public Health Training Center, which will be part of the school's Center for Public Health Practice, directed by Tim Byers, M.D.
"Colorado is poised to make a quantum leap forward in public health excellence," Byers said. "As we enact the statewide Public Health Improvement Plan across Colorado, these new federal resources will better enable the Colorado School of Public Health to provide needed training of that workforce."
The money is part of $16.8 million distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for 27 Public Health Training Centers at institutions nationwide.
"(These) awards represent a dramatic increase in support for Public Health Training Centers," said Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius. "Investing in prevention and public health is the foundation for improving the health and well-being of all Americans."
Workers from Colorado's 59 local health departments will be trained to address a wide array of issues, from the prevention of heart disease and cancer to environmental health improvement. They also will learn how to manage a staff in a changing health care environment, how to analyze data about infectious diseases, how to improve food safety, and how to better enhance health in diverse communities across the state.
Aside from local public health professionals, the new center will work with the university's Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health to train tribal partners.
"These new federal resources will allow the School of Public Health to develop training tailored to current needs and opportunities to make the already excellent public health workforce in Colorado become even better at promoting health and preventing disease," Byers said.