Maintaining the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s (KDPH) mission to improve the health and safety of people in Kentucky through prevention, promotion and protection requires a dedicated and well-established workforce. Considering the recent pandemic and the challenges faced by public health employees, KDPH established the Center for Foundational Health (C4FH) Section within the Division of Public Health Protection and Safety (PHPS) and a C4FH Subcommittee to support workforce development initiatives for Kentucky’s current and future public health workforce.
The C4FH aims to develop and implement ongoing activities to recruit, hire, train and sustain a competent and diverse response-ready workforce to address projected public health response needs and priorities deriving from the COVID-19 pandemic. The C4FH will encourage the public health workforce to embrace educational opportunities and become lifelong learners to maximize job success and meet the demands of the ever-changing field of public health by:
- Assessing and identifying the training, learning and credentialing needs of public health employees, with a focus on foundational health programs;
Supporting the development, evaluation and maintenance of workforce development-related plans, policies, and processes;
Establishing pathways to public health careers through experiential learning, internships and apprenticeship programs;
Developing competency-based training strategies to enhance professional growth and interdisciplinary learning;
Implementing cross-sector collaboration between public health and academia for professional development through adjunct faculty positions and research opportunities;
Recommending training, recruitment and retention opportunities and incentives for the public health workforce;
Promoting opportunities for employees to participate in continuing education and attain certifications;
Integrating evaluation practices to measure the success of the Center for Foundational Health and its impact on the public health workforce.
Programs and Services
Kentucky Public Health Exploration Program
The Kentucky Public Health Exploration Program (KY-PHEP) provides education to high school students, parents and educators about the numerous career opportunities available within the public health field. In collaboration with local, state and national agencies, KY-PHEP provides public health career presentations, workshops and hands-on activities at conferences, camps and other events.
Student Internship Program
The Student Internship Program (SIP) has established internship opportunities across the Kentucky Department for Public Health's seven Divisions, Office of Health Equity and Commissioner's Office. Opportunities are available for graduate and undergraduate students. Additionally, the SIP partners with colleges and universities across Kentucky to establish public health experiential learning opportunities for college students.
Public Health University Collaboration Program
The Public Health University Collaboration Program connects local and state public health departments with universities, colleges and professional associations/ organizations to create learning and educational opportunities for public health professionals.