The mission of the HRSA funded Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center is to strengthen the technical, managerial, and leadership competence of the current public health workforce and to advance the knowledge and skills of the future public health workforce.
Training areas center on competency-based, practice-focused courses addressing core functions and essential services; all training is based on formal needs assessments in the south central region. Key activities of the Center include development and delivery of online training courses; needs assessments informing course development; extensive evaluation process to ensure quality training; and public health student field placements to build the future workforce.
Housed at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, The Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center partners with various agencies and organizations to achieve a comprehensive regional approach to workforce development. Key partners of the Training Center include the Key partners of the Training Center include Texas Health Institute (THI), University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), University of New Mexico College of Public Health (UNM), Southern Plains Tribal Health Board (SPTHB), CHWA/Nuestra Salud, Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), New Orleans Health Department (NOHD), Texas Association of City and County Health Officials (TACCHO), Louisiana Office Of Public Health (LOPH), Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center (AASTEC), Oklahoma Public Health Association (OPHA), Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Public Health Program.
The South Central Public Health Training Center has provided high quality professional development courses to public health professionals for more than 20 years.
The SCPHTC has used distance learning technologies since its beginning as a way to reach front-line public health workers across a wide region. Initially, the SCPHTC also held regular face-to-face training sessions that brought together professionals and stimulated networking. However, the cost and time constraints limited participation and the training need was greater than could be satisfied by face to face training. Drawing on the technical infrastructure for distance learning at Tulane, the SCPHTC focused on developing online training that could be accessed by anyone anytime. The flexibility of online training allowed the SCPHTC to reach a much larger and broader audience in a more cost effective way. Online training also produced enduring materials that allow professionals to access the needed training at the right time. The online access provides just in time training in disasters and other critical situations as well as being available for new employees.
The SCPHTC has build a course catalog of over 200 online professional education courses and has reached over 60,000 practitioners.
The South Central Public Health Training Center was established in the year 2000 in collaboration with University of Alabama at Birmingham along with four state health agency partners: Alabama Department of Public Health, Arkansas Department of Health, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health, Mississippi State Department of Health and three local public health agencies – Jefferson County, AL; Mobile County, AL; New Orleans, LA.
Under the umbrella of South Central Public Health Training consortium, Tulane also managed other funding from CDC and developed the South Central Center for Public Health Preparedness (SCCPHP) and the South Central Public Health Leadership Institute (SCPHLI).
In 2014, HRSA reorganized the public health training centers with a regional focus and Tulane reconstituted the South Central Public Health Training Center to focus on the five state Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The initial partners were the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, University of New Mexico College of Public Health. In 2018, new partners were added and included: Southern Plains Tribal Health Board, Oklahoma Public Health Association, Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center, Nuestra Salud (New Mexico), Texas Association of City and County Health Officers, New Orleans Health Department and Louisiana Public Health Institute. In 2022, additional partners included Louisiana Office Of Public Health (LOPH) (rejoined), Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (rejoined).