The Connecticut Department of Public Health is partnering with the Yale School of Public Health to deliver two new workforce development initiatives intended to enhance training for current and future public health workers in the state.
The Public Health Training Academy of Connecticut and the Public Health Fellowship Program will be managed by YSPH’s Office of Public Health Practice (OPHP) in collaboration with DPH and other public health agencies, and academic and community partners. OPHP’s faculty director, Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD, will serve as the principal investigator on this initiative, and the office’s executive director, Susan Nappi, MPH ’01, will serve as project director. The programs are supported by the CDC’s Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement’s COVID-19 Public Health Workforce Supplemental Funding. Both initiatives are anticipated to ramp up later this year.
The Public Health Training Academy is envisioned as a comprehensive and convenient one-stop resource for public health training for new and existing members of Connecticut’s public health workforce. Starting this fall, OPHP will conduct a rapid assessment of DPH training needs and then develop a plan for the training academy.
The training academy will have two distinct tracks: a core track that will focus on fundamental public health practice skills and the knowledge needed by all workers, and a professional development track that will focus on building management and supervisory skills. While the training academy’s initial plan will center on addressing the immediate needs and gaps of the state-level workforce, many training programs will also be available to local and community-based practitioners. CT TRAIN, which is an online gateway to a comprehensive catalog of free public health training opportunities provided by the TRAIN Learning Network, will be used as the learning manage-ment system. Training sessions will be delivered in a variety of formats, including in-person, instructor-led programs; on-demand, self-study courses; and a “train the trainer” program.
The Public Health Fellowship Program will aim to build interest in public health careers by supporting students in high-quality public health field placements throughout Connecticut and providing them with $3,500 stipends. The program will be open to third- or fourth-year undergraduate or graduate-level students at any accredited academic institution and in any degree program relevant to public health. Fellows will be placed at DPH, local health departments, and community-based agencies around the state. Host site agencies will be required to provide students with a well-structured opportunity to experience public health practice and to learn about public health careers. Stipends will be paid to fellows directly by Yale. The launch of the program is projected for late fall 2022.
These initiatives are an extension of the OPHP and YSPH’s long-standing relationship with Connecticut’s DPH on workforce development activities. Specifically, OPHP has served as the administrative entity for the New England Public Health Training Center (NEPHTC) activities in Connecticut for over 20 years and has also spearheaded the Connecticut Partnership for Public Health Workforce Development, a stakeholder group, which has served both as an advisory body to NEPHTC’s activities and as a structure that facilitates statewide networking and collaboration on professional development activities.
For more information on these initiatives, contact Kathi Traugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.