The Texas Public Health Training Center (TPHTC) has been awarded a five-year, $3.2 million grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding for the first year of this grant cycle totals $649,801.

The TPHTC serves as a workforce development collaboration for the public health community. The center develops educational courses for all levels of public health workers – from those who work in state and local health departments to community workers at non-profit organizations. In 2009, the TPHTC trained 4,993 public health workers across Texas.

The center is a collaboration between The University of Texas School of Public Health, The Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC) –School of Rural Public Health and the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health (UNT-SPH). TPHTC was created in 2000 to provide workforce development for the Texas public health community.

Linda Lloyd, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.B.A., associate professor of Community Health Practice and associate dean of Public Health Practice at The University of Texas School of Public Health is the principal investigator for the grant and director of the TPHTC.

“85 percent of public health workers in Texas have never had formal public health training,” Dr. Lloyd said. “There is clearly a great need across Texas for the training that TPHTC provides.”

Barbara Quiram, Ph.D.

Barbara Quiram, Ph.D.

Center leaders include Dr. Lloyd, Barbara Quiram, Ph.D., professor at the HSC-School of Rural Public Health, Nuha Lackan, Ph.D., assistant professor of Health Management and Policy at UNT-SPH and Nancy Crider, DrPH, TPHTC program manager at UTSPH.

In addition to continuing programs such as Public Health Grand Rounds, where the latest topics in public health are presented in an online format, and Healthy Homes, an initiative focusing on the interaction between housing and health, the TPHTC will use the new funding for community health worker training to reach at-risk populations and will provide training programs for regional health department workers.

Rick Danko, DrPH, director of the Office of Academic Linkages at the Texas Department of State Health Services said, “Our staff across the state have relied on the center as a training source to help fill out their skill set as practitioners and we at DSHS appreciate the center’s attention to the state public health workforce’s training needs.”

TPHTC is one of the first eight public health training centers to be funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is the center’s third renewal of funding.

For more information on TPHTC, visit https://www.rural-preparedness.org/tphtccampus/

— Rae Lynn Mitchell