Center for Healthy Communities

The Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) is an integrating structure designed to contribute positively and measurably to the community through university and community collaboration. Founded in 2013, the mission of the CHC is to foster collaborations that address community-identified issues of interest to improve the health and well-being of communities in Southeastern North Carolina. The CHC connects faculty, staff and students with community agencies to provide the following services:

  1. Community Collaborative Support – Development and Organizational Backbone Functions: The CHC provides the essential functions of a backbone organization in support of collective impact. Currently, the CHC serves as the backbone organization for the Southeastern North Carolina Regional Health Collaborative.
  2. Community Health and Human Services Assessment and Program Evaluation: Community health assessments and program evaluations
  3. Health and Human Services Resources: Technical assistance and cultivating meaningful community engagement in support of community needs
  4. Training and Continuing Education: The CHC houses the North Carolina Public Health Training Center (PHTC), a Community-Based Training Partner of the Region IV Public Health Training Network. The PHTC provides training programs for the current and future public health workforce
  5. Applied Scholarship and Learning: The CHC provides internship opportunities for public health students through the Pathways to Practice Program and identifies community-based projects for faculty, student, and staff involvement.  

Center for Workforce Development

The Center for Workforce Development (CWD) is an integrating structure designed to provide support for health and human services professionals working in the field.

  1. Continuing Education: Develop educational opportunities for health and human services employees, such as workshops and seminars driven by demand and industry needs; short courses designed to fill skills gaps and cover new developments in methodology and/or regulations; and credit-bearing courses and formal certificate programs in skill areas of need, as determined by the industry;
  2. Industry Experience for Students: Generate learning opportunities to better prepare UNCW students for employment in the health and human services industry. Students can also expect modification of current degree programs to provide coursework and field work more directly related to job skills; and a fellowship program to provide support in the field for advanced applied learning projects, both in the university and in the field; and
  3. Industry-Specific Workforce Enhancements: Initiate customized support programs to serve, in a more targeted way, the specialized needs of local industry partners.

Currently, the CWD focuses its efforts on the following programs: 

FuseCR is a collaborative designed to ignite a new synergy between UNCW and the field of clinical research. By fusing resources and knowledge from academia and industry, FuseCR is energizing the local clinical research talent with powerful career- and industry-enhancing services. The general objectives of these programs and services are as follows: build connections between academia and industry, enhance our existing workforce, prepare students for the workplace and educate the next generation of talent. FuseCR was formed by UNCW faculty from the School of Nursing’s Clinical Research Program and the Math and Statistics Department, in partnership with the NC Biotechnology Center Southeastern Office and the NC Coast Clinical Research Initiative. This project was partially funded by a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to strengthen the workforce for the local clinical research industry. Click here to meet the FuseCR Team.

The North Carolina Public Health Training Center (NCPHTC) is our training and development initiative designed to provide training to the state’s public health workforce. The NCPHTC provides in-person and virtual trainings to meet the demands of practitioners working in population health. In addition, the NCPHTC offers field placements/internships for students through the Pathways to Practice Scholars Field Placement Program. The field placement program provides an opportunity for current public health students to gain practical experience working with seasoned public health practitioners (mentors) serving or working on behalf of underserved communities or populations. All field placements are intended to enhance a student’s professional skills and knowledge while giving them the opportunity to use skills learned in the classroom. Broad areas that might be addressed by a field placement experience are epidemiology or biostatistics, health policy, health management, health promotion and education, global health. health communications, environmental health, or refugee health. A limited number of awarded student scholars are placed in organizations in the Region IV Public Health Training Center’s (PHTC) eight states, which are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

This program is part of the Region IV Public Health Training Center (PHTC), one of 10 regional PHTCs in the Public Health Learning Network. The Region IV PHTC is comprised of the Central Office located at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; seven Community-Based Training Partners (CBTs) and three Technical Assistance Providers (TAPs). The designated service area for the R-IV PHTC is the eight states in HHS Region IV. The priority populations for the R-IV PHTC services are public health and other health professionals in governmental organizations that serve medically underserved populations. The services provided by the Central Office and seven partner institutions known as Community-Based Training Partners (CBTs) within the R-IV states, include workforce trainings, faculty and student collaborative projects, and student field placements.

North Carolina is the only state within Region IV PHTC that offers field placements or Pathways to Practice Scholars to undergraduate public health students. Junior and senior public health students from accredited schools and programs of public health are placed in rural, underserved agencies, such as local health departments.