The Public Health Associate Program (PHAP), which is managed by CDC's Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS), is designed to identify future public health professionals with undergraduate degrees and a passion for public service and public health. Throughout the two-year program, associates will gain hands-on, frontline experience that will serve as a foundation for their public health careers.
In 1948, CDC introduced the public health advisor (PHA) job series, which brought new public health workers to the frontlines of population heath in state and local agencies across the country. PHAs shaped the delivery of essential public health services and many of these positions grew into management roles in public health departments nationwide and within CDC.
PHAP was founded in 2007 to renew the frontline focus and to meet the need for a modern pipeline of field-tested, experienced, and passionate public health professionals. PHAP currently has 159 associates placed in host sites across 34 states, two tribal governments, one territory, and the District of Columbia.
Strengthening the Future of Public Health
To give associates the experience needed to grow into public health professionals, PHAP offers a variety of public health program areas throughout the two-year, term-limited appointment. Appointments include two program areas. Program areas focus on the nation's most pressing prevention and treatment priorities.
Host sites design their associate's assignments to meet their agency's unique needs and also provide the job experience and competency development that prepares associates for a future in public health. Associate assignments provide substantial skill-building activities in: analysis and assessment, critical thinking, communication, program planning, cultural competency, partnership and collaboration, public health practices, and leadership.
PHAP graduates are competitive candidates for entry-level public health positions at CDC, health departments, and non-governmental organizations. PHAP associates leave the program with a foundation for a successful, long-term public health career.
For more information on PHAP Alumni, please visit Alumni Success Stories.
CDC trains associates in core public health concepts and topics to provide the knowledge necessary to succeed in their assignment. PHAP hosts an orientation at CDC, annual public health trainings, and regular online learning programs.
Host sites orient their associates to the unique agency in which they work and train associates in a range of public health competencies. This training fulfills government requirements and enhances the associate's work performance.