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About Us

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Universities of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Los Angeles (UCLA), joined together in April of 2020 to rapidly train, scale, and sustain a workforce to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we built the California Virtual Training Academy (VTA) to equip a diverse group of state and local health jurisdiction (LHJ) staff with the knowledge and skills to provide crucial services in case investigation and contact tracing.

As the pandemic evolved, so did the VTA, quickly pivoting to meet the needs of local health jurisdictions (LHJs) by creating additional training and support mechanisms to address remote workforce management, outbreak management, vaccine communications, school reopening, and more. Our trainings use adult learning modalities that focus on skill development through a mix of interactive webinars and skills-labs. While these foundational trainings build core competencies, we quickly recognized the need for on-going workforce support and now offer various virtual connections, such as Communities of Practice, Townhalls, and Learning Collaboratives, that allow for peer-to-peer learning, mentorship, wellness support, and in-service training. We also have a technical assistance team that works directly with LHJs to support their teams with implementation. These expanded offerings led us to adopt a new name that better aligns with our mission: VTA+ Partnership for Public Health Workforce Development.

By Elisabeth Fall CULTIVATE VR and two members of UPIEA Nova WIlson, Lynhea Anicete, Taytum Sanderbeck and and Katrina Parshad

“We want people to appropriately respond to this moment, but the skills learners gain are forever.”

– Dr. Alina Dorian, VTA+ Lead

Photo by Elisabeth Fall

Our Areas of Work


Foundational public health competency-based trainings with a focus on practical skills-building.

Continuing Education and Support

Forums designed for in-service learning, peer-to-peer support, and advanced trainings.

Workforce Development

Providing pathways and training to enhance California’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies

Technical Assistance

Enhancing the capacity of local health jurisdictions and schools through direct technical assistance, program support, and training from our subject matter experts and public health professionals

Devon Low recording for UPIEA training. Pilar Deer and Taytum Sanderbeck nearby. By Elisabeth Fall

Devon Low records a video for our Vaccine Communications training. Photo by Elisabeth Fall

Our Mission

We are a transdisciplinary coalition of public health and education specialists committed to strengthening and maintaining workforce capacity through collaborative partnerships, quality training, and on-going support for program implementation.

Our Vision

A transformed community-based public health system with a prepared, skilled, and representative workforce committed to preventing and responding to emergent health issues, with preferential focus on responding to the needs of underserved communities.

Our Values

We strive to center our values in our approach to training and workforce development by engaging local health jurisdictions and the communities most affected by COVID-19 in our design and programming. This model of community engagement helps to ensure our learners are equipped with skills to deliver culturally humble, trauma-informed care.

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