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California Pathways into Public Health Initiative

California Pathways into Public Health Initiative (Cal-PPH)

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly illustrated the need for a well-trained and versatile public health workforce. To respond to this need, the California Pathways into Public Health Initiative (initially launched as the California Public Health Corps or CA-PHC) was created. The program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Epi and Lab Capacity grant and was developed in partnership between the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and California’s Local Health Jurisdictions (LHJs).

​The Cal-PPH Fellowship Program is a paid training and job placement program for early-career public health professionals to gain experience working at LHJ host sites. In addition to a competitive salary, fellows receive full benefits. 

Fellows support LHJ host sites by conducting communicable disease prevention & control, community engagement, and emergency response activities. Key job duties include but are not limited to: 

  • Core communicable disease control activities 
  • Engagement and collaboration with communities and partner organizations 
  • Attendance at Cal-PPH training and workforce development sessions 
  • Other relevant activities as assigned by LHJ
The Cal-PPH Internship Program is a paid semester-long internship program for community college, undergraduate, and/or graduate students from historically underrepresented and diverse backgrounds to gain exposure to public service at LHJ host sites. Cal-PPH Interns work part-time during the school semester and are paid by CDPH.
Cal-PPH is a partnership led program that created 45 jobs to support LHJs from Aug 2021 through July 2023

Cal-PPH Mission and Vision

  • Mission Statement: The California Pathways into Public Health Initiative mission is to increase the workforce capacity of local health departments across California by providing training, support, and work experience for professionals from historically underrepresented and diverse backgrounds. 
  • Vision Statement: The California Pathways into Public Health Initiative vision is a representative public health workforce capable of effectively responding to public health priorities, promoting health equity, and advancing the health and safety of California’s diverse people.  

Current Cal-PPH Fellow Cohort

Fellow applicants were recruited from local communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Applicants were not required to have a college degree as long as they had work experience. California state employees who had been redirected to deploy to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency response, and other individuals who had experience serving as contact tracers during the pandemic, were encouraged to apply. The inaugural cohort of 45 Cal-PPH fellows were selected from over 900 applicants.

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Cal-PPH LHJ Assignments

There are 37 participating LHJ Host Sites, representing a diverse set of jurisdictions: 

  • Northern California (4): Del Norte, Modoc, Shasta, Tehama 

  • Bay Area (11): Alameda, City of Berkeley, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma 

  • Greater Sacramento (7): Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Plumas, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo 

  • Central Valley (6): Kern, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare 

  • Southern California (9): City of Long Beach, Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura

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Cal-PPH Fellow and LHJ Support

Cal-PPH fellows and host site preceptors receive ongoing support from the program team comprised of public health professionals at CDPH, UCSF, and UCLA.

Prior to being deployed to their LHJs, fellows participate in a three-week intensive training focusing on the foundations of public health, cultural humility, professional development, case investigation, and contact tracing. Continuing education builds on their public health knowledge and incorporates professional development. Fellows meet regularly with Cal-PPH program staff for ongoing coaching and mentoring.

For More Information

Learn more about the Cal-PPH program by visiting our VTA+ partner webpage.

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