A grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will allow the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC, www.unmc.edu) College of Public Health to strengthen the capacity of the current workforce who live and work in tribal, rural, and under-resourced communities in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas, including tribal communities in South Dakota and North Dakota.

“It continues to be challenging to attract and retain new graduates in under-resourced communities,” said Brandon Grimm, PhD, senior associate dean at the UNMC College of Public Health and principal investigator of the program. “For this reason, the Public Health Expansion Scholarship will train public health practitioners who live and work in tribal and rural communities. The trainees are committed, embedded, and invested in the health and wellness of their communities.”

For the next three years, the Public Health Scholarship Program, a Region VII Public Health Expansion Scholarship, will provide full tuition for at least 37 public health practitioners a year in the designated region as they receive a formal education in public health.

Training in public health will increase the public health practitioners applied experiential knowledge for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies and addressing the social determinants of health that impact their communities.

The Public Health Expansion Scholarship will assure the public health workforce has the opportunity to expand their skills in public health without having cost and accessibility as a barrier.

The UNMC College of Public Health was one of 29 institutions to be awarded the scholarship program. Each scholarship will pay for full tuition and fees for a public health practitioner to receive a certificate, Master of Public Health, Master of Health Administration or Doctor of Public Health degree. The UNMC COPH offers all degree programs online making it the most comprehensive accredited online training program in the region. The online training also makes it accessible to individuals working full-time in public health throughout the region.

Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center strive to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research, and extraordinary patient care. Learn more at www.unmc.edu.