Gov. Lamont announced on Friday that the Connecticut Department of Public Health has been awarded a $32,253,484 grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help support the state’s newly launched Office of Public Health Workforce Development.
The grant comes just two weeks after the state launched a campaign to recruit healthcare workers as the demand remains high, but Connecticut’s colleges and universities lack the capacity to meet the industry’s needs.
The workforce development initiative was created by Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD, and will focus specifically on the future pipeline development of academic and professional training, standards of practice, and workforce diversification.
The Office of Public Health Workforce Development will work with academic leaders at public and private colleges and universities to ensure that they have the resources they need to provide academic training and coursework that is up-to-date, includes material addressing health equity and mental health and conforms to current standards for public health professional training.
Additionally, the agency will develop a new Public Health Training Academy to coordinate and provide continuing education and expand the skill sets of the state’s public health workers. The initiative also plans to develop pathways from enrollment to employment through more standardized and widely available internships, fellowships, and apprenticeships at public health agencies.
“All our local health departments have been the boots on the ground and an invaluable resource to us as a department and to their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner Juthani said. “We are very happy to have them partner with us in this initiative. In addition to supporting all the great public health workers currently working in our state, this money will also be used to build the pipeline of future public health workers who will be ready and able to respond to new and emerging public health threats.”