The initiative will be co-designed and implemented by faculty at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health and at the USF Muma College of Business (MCOB). The partners are currently soliciting applications from around the country and will select 15 teams to participate in the program. Each team will receive a $100,000 grant and spend the year working separately and with other teams in the cohort; the goal of the program is to “help public health and community leaders build the skills they need to tackle the complex issues facing their communities today,” according to the announcement. (Applications are due on July 6, 2023).
It’s a unique program in the sense that three prominent health funders are coming together to patch up a struggling segment of the public sector. But it’s also aiming to build bridges between the sector and the public itself, thereby restoring trust and grounding the field in community.
Monica Valdes Lupi, managing director of Kresge’s health program, underscored its ambitious goal for the future of public health: “While the pandemic has definitely pushed their limits, this moment presents a truly unique opportunity for public health department leaders to reimagine their unique role in co-creating thriving community health ecosystems and delivering services that are explicitly centered in equity and racial justice,” she said.