About Public Health in Virginia

The Commonwealth Public Health Training Center (PHTC) is one of 33 similar centers across the United States developed with the intention of equipping our public health workforce to tackle the unique challenges of the twenty-first century. The Commonwealth PHTC is a collaborative comprising four universities—Virginia Tech, Eastern Virginia Medical School/Old Dominion University, The University of Virginia, and George Mason University—and the Virginia Department of Health. The PHTC provides training resources for health care professionals and students across the state who are interested in public health. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) offers the following definition for its national Public Health Training Center Grant Program1:

The Health Resources and Services Administration-funded Public Health Training Centers are partnerships between accredited schools of public health, related academic institutions, and public health agencies and organizations. The PHTC Network improves the Nation’s public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, managerial and leadership competence of current and future public health professionals. Public Health Training Centers:

  • Assess the learning needs of the public health workforce;
  • Provide accessible training, and
  • Work with organizations to meet other strategic planning, education, and resource needs.


The Commonwealth PHTC supports five initiatives addressing specific categories of statewide public health training: Pipeline, Workforce, Conferencing, Family Medicine, and Health Equity. The Pipeline Initiative aims to introduce high school and college students to the public health field. This website, a product of the pipeline initiative, is a portal for undergraduate students interested in opportunities in public health.


The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.

Mission: To improve health and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce and innovative programs.

HRSA offers a number of services and resources to inform the public and help train the next generation of health professionals. Students interested in public health and other health careers can find valuable information on the HRSA website about professional opportunities, funding for education, and ongoing grant programs. Of note, HRSA is committed to increasing diversity within the healthcare workforce. Financial support for students is made available to institutions that demonstrate a commitment to underserved and disadvantaged communities. A list of participating institutions can also be found on the website.


Additional financial support and training opportunities can be found in the following areas:

  • Nursing
  • Medicine
  • Mental/Behavioral Health
  • Geriatrics & Allied Health


  1. Health Resources and Services Administration. Public health training centers network. Available at: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/grants/publichealth/trainingcenters/index.html. Accessed on June 17, 2012.
  2. Health Resources and Services Administration. About HRSA. Available at: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/index.html. Accessed on June 17, 2012.