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June, 2007

Hispanic Health Program

                            PUBLIC HEALTH


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In 1997, the HHS Public Health Functions Committee Report found a large proportion of the Nation’s front line public health workers lacked formal training in public health.

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There is a shortage of trained personnel in all areas of public health practice.

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The public health workforce must reflect the diversity of the population.


In 1997, CDC established the Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) -- a three-year program of comprehensive service and training designed for graduates of masters degree programs who have 1-2 years of public health experience in operations and programs. The program consists of two rotations at CDC followed by a two-year assignment at a state or local health department. Experiences include: program development, management, translating science into practice, and direct, hands-on work with communities.

Example of program in action:
  Prevention Specialists work in a variety of areas during their assignments, many of which involve Hispanic health activities. One Prevention Specialist worked with PAHO on a summary report of the "Health Municipalities Evaluation of Policy Recommendations in Latin America" and distributed it to the various Ministries of Health. A Prevention Specialist in the California Office of Binational Border Health collected data on asthma and unintentional injuries among Latinos in Imperial County and designed prevention projects. Another Prevention Specialist assessed occupational exposure to pesticides as a risk factor for Hispanic migrant farm workers and presented these data at a meeting of States. The information will be used to make programmatic decisions.


The need for specially trained public health workers will only increase in the years to come. Since the PHPS Program’s beginning, there have been only seven Hispanic Prevention Specialists. CDC plans to increase future PHPS classes to accommodate more Prevention Specialists per class with new Prevention Specialists more representative of the population. This will be accomplished by increased marketing efforts in minority areas, including work with the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools, Inc.

For more information, contact the Epidemiology Program Office, Division of Applied Public Health Training, Mailstop D18, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30333: (404) 639-4087:

Back to the Hispanic/Latino Populations Page



Hispanic Health Program
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ATSDR Hispanic Health Program
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Assessing Hispanic Health: Data Activities
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Immigrant/ Hispanic Agricultural Worker Safety & Health
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Preventing Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies Among Hispanic Women
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