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The Great Plains Public Health Training Center

Public Health in the National News – The UNMC College of Public Health is pleased to announce the Great Plains Public Health Training Center (PHTC), a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded PHTC. PHTCs are partnerships between accredited schools of public health, related academic institutions, and public health agencies and organizations. The PHTC program is designed to improve the nation’s public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, managerial, and leadership competence of current and future public health professionals.

The Great Plains PHTC will address public health workforce education and training needs through governmental, academic, tribal, and regional collaboration; systematic assessment of needs; competency-based adult learning and workforce development; leadership and management training; field placements and collaborative projects; and evaluation and quality improvement.

Achieving the mission of public health—ensuring conditions in which all people can be healthy—requires competent public health workers. Current and emerging threats to health and safety must be countered with an educated and trained workforce. The changing landscape and demographics of the public health workforce creates an increased need for education and training. The first task for the Great Plains PHTC is to conduct a needs assessment to determine the education and training needs for Nebraska’s public health workforce. The center will use a range of quantitative methods (data collection from surveys, workforce demographics, statistical analysis, etc.) and qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, case studies, etc.) to assess the workforce development, education, and training needs of Nebraska’s public health workforce. In addition, this assessment will allow the Great Plains PHTC to inventory existing assets, strengths, and gaps in training and education. The next phase will be to develop training solutions and learning modules offered in a traditional face-to-face format as well as online. For more information, visit the center’s website at

This article was written by Brandon Grimm, MPH, associate director of the Great Plains Public Health Training Center and director of the UNMC COPH Office of Public Health.

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