This announcement solicits applications for the Regional Public Health Training Center Program (PHTC).
The purpose of the Regional PHTC Program is to improve the nation¿s public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, managerial and leadership competencies of the current and
future public health workforce.
Regional PHTCs are required to fulfill the following statutory requirements:
Establish or strengthen field placements for students in public or nonprofit private health agencies or organizations; Involve faculty members and students in collaborative projects to enhance public health services to medically underserved communities; Specifically designate a geographic area or medically underserved population to be served by the center that shall be in a location removed from the main location of the teaching facility of the school that is participating in the program with such center; and, Assess the health personnel needs of the area to be served by the center and assist in the planning and development of training programs to meet such needs.
The work of the Regional PHTCs will be accomplished through the provision of education, training and consultation to State, local, and Tribal health department staff as a primary audience. The primary targets for education and training through the Regional PHTC Program are frontline public health workers and middle managers. Trainings should focus on skill-based instruction and education in the areas identified by the required needs assessment. The secondary audience includes staff from other parts of the public health system such as non-profit organizations, federally qualified health centers, accountable care organizations, and hospitals, among others. In collaboration with HRSA, the Regional PHTC Programs together will comprise a national program that serves all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the six U. S. Pacific Jurisdictions. Each regional PHTC will encompass a defined service area to include one of the regions identified in Other Information, Section VIII of this FOA. HRSA will fund ten (10) regions to ensure that the U. S. and its jurisdictions all have access to public health workforce education and training. Each applicant must select no more than one region to support in its application and each applicant must agree to support the public health workforce education and training needs across the entire region.
Program Requirements Each Regional PHTC should adopt a multi-state service area model with the grantee serving as the ¿central office¿ or administrator/coordinator and then, the grantee will create formal relationships with education and training sites, called Local Performance Sites.
Although each regional applicant must cover an entire HHS/HRSA region, a Local Performance Site is not required in each state; however, the needs of each state/territory must be met within each region. Each Local Performance Site in collaboration with its ¿central office¿ should provide at a minimum, a local needs assessment, marketing, outreach, education, training and program evaluation. Local Performance Sites are to be funded at a range of $50,000 to $100,000 dependent on the work performed. A Local Performance Site may be a Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited school or program of public health, a non-profit organization with a public health mission including public health institutes.
Regional applicants are expected to prioritize resources to provide training and education to frontline public health workers and middle managers particularly in communities serving individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds (including underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities), and individuals living in underserved communities.
The role of the Regional PHTC in relationship to the local performance sites will be to:
coordinate the training activities of the Local Performance Sites to ensure that efforts are not duplicated; serve as a convener in leveraging resources across the region to achieve economies of scale; and provide ongoing support and technical assistance for Local Performance Sites.
During the first year, the Regional PHTCs will engage in capacity building and infrastructure development. Given that there will still be a need for public health trainings and workforce development, it is expected that applicants will describe the extent to which continuing education, faculty-staff collaborative activities and field placements will be carried out during the first year. For those centers that were previously funded as part of the former PHTC program, the expectation will be that they engage in more training activities as the infrastructure development needs will not be as great.
Regional PHTCs must fulfill all of the statutory requirements of the program, and follow the program requirements listed below for the first year of the four-year project period:
Designate a regional service area in collaboration with HRSA; Identify and formally establish agreements Local Performance Sites within the service region; Establish a public health content focus area of expertise; Establish a governance structure for the work of the Regional PHTC and the Local Performance Sites; Develop and implement distance-based programming to train and educate public health professionals using a variety of modalities; Develop and implement plans to establish or strengthen faculty-student collaborative projects and field placements; Establish and implement strategies to promote and market the work of the Regional PHTC as well as recruit participants for all activities; Assess the health personnel needs of the area to be served by the Regional PHTC and the Local Performance Sites and develop training programs to meet such needs; Enhance collaboration and linkages with other Federal agency programs, local, state, Tribal, and national partners as well as the Local Performance Sites; Work with other Regional PHTCs and the National Coordinating Center to formalize a nationwide PHTC network, and develop and implement cross-cutting public health trainings to increase the knowledge and skills of governmental public health workers; Develop policies and implement systems changes to motivate public health workers to participate in trainings and to create a culture of learning within the agencies; Devise and implement an evaluation plan that fully describes strategies for assessing the progress and outcomes associated with the Regional PHTC Program; and, Assist and support the implementation in the Affordable Care Act.
Further details regarding first-year activities of the project are requested in the Program Narrative section of this FOA. During project period years two (2) through four (4), although many of the first-year activities will continue to be updated and/or maintained, the focus for all awardees will be to:
1) train and educate public health professionals using a variety of modalities; 2) establish and strengthen faculty-student collaborative projects and field placements; 3) promote and market the work of the Regional PHTCs; 4) recruit participants for all activities; and, 5) evaluate strategies and assess outcomes associated with these activities.
The authorizing statute requires that trainings address needs identified in a geographical service area.
In addition, HRSA has established the following public health content areas for training:
Health Disparities, Health Equity, Social Determinants of Health Health Informatics and Health Information Technology Environmental Public Health Public Health Preparedness Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Behavioral Health Violence and Injury Prevention Chronic Conditions; Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Alzheimer¿s Disease and Other Related Dementias (choose one only) Infectious Diseases As part of its application, regional applicants should identify three public health content areas from the above mentioned list and briefly describe expertise or capacity to develop expertise in the identified public health content areas. As part of the review process, HRSA will identify which public health content area each regional applicant should make its focus, and this will be based on demonstrated expertise and capacity. Please note that some assessed training needs may include topics that are outside of the content areas listed above.
To support the establishment of the ten (10) Regional PHTCs, a National Coordinating Center for PHTCs (NCCPHTC) will be created to ensure a shared vision and mission across all Regional PHTCs. The NCCPHTC will conduct the following major activities:
Develop a formal PHTC Network to ensure a shared vision and mission across all Regional PHTCs and find creative ways to convene the PHTC Network on a regular basis; Develop a technical assistance plan and provide technical assistance to all Regional PHTCs on their HRSA funded project plans; Spearhead and coordinate the development and standardization of Regional PHTC evaluation plans and needs assessments nationally, including the customization of data collection tools to meet local needs; Conduct an evaluation of the PHTC Program as a national effort to demonstrate its value and impact in training and developing the public health workforce; Develop and implement a marketing, branding and communications strategy to expand the reach of the PHTCs nationally; Lead the standardization and vetting of public health core competency continuing education (CE) and/or continuing education unit (CEU) courses across all PHTCs; Coordinate the development, implementation and standardization of PHTC student field placements and faculty student collaborative projects nationally; Work with Regional PHTCs to achieve economies of scale and reduce duplication of all training, including the development of cross-cutting course content; and, Work with Regional PHTCs to enhance collaboration with other Federal agency programs, and local, State, Tribal and national partners.
Regional PHTCs should also be committed to increasing diversity in health professions programs and the health workforce. This commitment extends to ensuring that the workforce reflects the diversity of the nation; training programs address all levels of the health workforce from pre-professional to professional; training programs develop the competencies and skills needed for intercultural understanding and to expand cultural fluency; and, recognizing that bringing people of diverse backgrounds and experiences together facilitates innovative and strategic practices that enhance the health of all people.