The Center's mission is to strengthen the public health workforce in Florida and elsewhere.
The Center's purpose is to contribute to the health of the public by developing educational, developmental, and training programs, services, and products for public health workers in Florida, nationally, and internationally.
The organizing framework for these activities includes the Public Health Essential Services and the Core Competencies of the Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice.
The purpose is fulfilled through collaboration with the Florida Department of Health, other organizations and associations in Florida and nationally working to improve public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and similar centers in other accredited schools of public health.
The Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice was approved as a State University System Type 2 Center in the University of South Florida College of Public Health in 1999. It is placed in the Dean's Office to signify its college-wide significance. The Center was established to give organizational structure to a growing number of activities within the College, primarily in cooperation with the Florida Department of Health. These activities are in response to national and state recommendations for strengthening the public health workforce, including leadership development, more partnerships between public health practitioners and schools of public health, enhanced training in critical skills for public health workers, and increased use of distance education methods to make such training accessible.
The Center’s activities are supported by a variety of funding sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Florida Department of Health, and the College of Public Health. The most recent important accomplishments are the Center's designation and funding by the CDC as the USF Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (USF PERLC) and by the HRSA as the Florida Public Health Training Center (FPHTC).