A UCLA Fielding School of Public Health program that introduces a diverse group of undergraduates to the public health field received more than $3 million in funding over the next five years from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity.

The UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program, which accepted its first cohort in 2018, was one of seven selected in the U.S. as part of the CDC’s 2023 John R. Lewis Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program. UCLA’s program works with the Fielding School’s community partners to provide hand-on public health experience, educational workshops, professional development and mentorship.

With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes, the need to boost diversity in the public health workforce is urgent, says Michael Prelip, professor in the community health sciences department and principal investigator of the UCLA program. “Eliminating opportunity disparities by engaging underserved and underrepresented students in the possibilities of rewarding, impactful public health careers is critical in developing a public health workforce that is more representative of the diverse U.S. population,” he said.

Read the full story about the CDC funding on the Fielding School website.