Address: 5151 Park Ave., Fairfield, CT 06825 Project Director: Jacqueline A. Vernarelli, Ph.D., Program Director and Associate Professor, Department of Public Health; Director of Research Education, College of Health Professions Contact Numbers: Voice: (203) 416-3955; Fax: (203) 966-6314 E-Mail Address: email@example.com Web Site Address: https://www.sacredheart.edu/majors--programs/public-health---mph/ Grant Program Funds Requested: $1,495,472 (3 years) Funding Preference: Requested for both criteria. Sacred Heart University (SHU), a private, coeducational university located in suburban Fairfield, Connecticut, requests a HRSA Public Health Scholarship Program (PHSP) grant to increase the capacity of the regional public health system to meet core public health functions, the Ten Essential Public Health Services, and decrease public health inequities and health disparities. The overall goal of the Pioneers of Public Health (POPH) project corresponds directly with HRSA’s overarching goal of the PHSP grant program. SHU has established the following objectives to reach this goal during the three-year grant period: 1) Enhance the knowledge and skills of the public health workforce by recruiting 24 bachelor’s-trained public health workers to enroll in and complete the SHU MPH program. 2) Formalize new, and strengthen existing, linkages with state, regional, and local public health entities (including state and local health departments and non-profits) for bi-directional knowledge and skill development by providing 31 field placements and various course-based immersive training experiences leading to post-completion employment. 3) Train the future public health workforce in the principles and challenges of public health inequities and health disparities through undergraduate and graduate training related to health equity, social determinants of health, and culturally and linguistically appropriate health communication as demonstrated by a
t least 80% of MPH and 85% of BS students achieving competency in health communication on course-based assessments. 4) Address public health inequities by establishing a pathway program for undergraduate health science students from disadvantaged backgrounds to engage in a comprehensive public health training program (BS-MPH) with supportive resources and scholarships for 24 students. 5) Prepare the current and future public health workforce in public health emergency response through coursework and field experiences for MPH and BS students and formal training in contact tracing, emergency operations, and outbreak investigation for 34 MPH students. Within the three-year grant period, SHU will provide scholarships to 31 PioScholars (24 bachelor’s trained public health workers and seven students currently completing SHU’s MPH program), 10 PioHealth Scholars (students currently enrolled in SHU’s 4+1 BS-MPH program), and 14 PioPathway Scholars (students currently enrolled in SHU’s bachelor of science (BS) in health science program). SHU plans for 31 HRSA PHSP-funded Scholars to graduate with an MPH and 24 to graduate with a BS during the grant period. Ultimately, this project will increase the capacity of the public health system in Connecticut’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) Region 1, particularly the greater Bridgeport area, to meet the core public health functions and 10 Essential Public Health Services. It will also ultimately decrease public health disparities and increase health equity in CT DEMHS Region 1/Bridgeport and increase the diversity of the public health workforce in the region. SHU requests a funding preference for demonstrating both of the following criteria: (1) serving individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds; and (2) graduating large proportions of individuals who serve in underserved communities.