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The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) will invest nearly $50 million in initiatives aimed at strengthening the public health workforce and preventing disease.
In making the funding announcement on Aug. 29, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the investments will promote public health and help "fight disease and illness before they happen."
The initiatives include:
- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is awarding $23 million in grants to 37 Public Health Training Centers to provide training to current and future public health workers in key public health issues such as nutrition and epidemiology, and to enhance the workforce’s basic public health skills.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing $25 million to support fellowship programs, similar to medical residencies, and placement of fellows in state and local public health departments, as well as expanding training programs for existing public health workers, focusing on e-learning. This includes funding for 227 new fellows in contract and field positions providing necessary screening services and community education, as well as critical assistance with ongoing public health challenges.
“Public health workers are on the front lines, educating their community members and doing the hard work to ensure we stay healthy and can respond to public health challenges when they arise,” HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN, said in a prepared statement. “These resources will help ensure they have the resources they need to do the job.”