UNE receives $300K grant to boost Maine’s public health workforce

Public Health Grant Graphic

The University of New England has received a generous gift of $300,000 from the Cornelia Cogswell Rossi Foundation to support scholarships for UNE Online’s Graduate Programs in Public Health.

Maine faces a public health workforce shortage that is projected to get larger in the near future. This is of greatest concern to many Maine communities where public health resources and services are already limited. 

The three-year grant will support scholarships for professionals to pursue public health graduate certificates and master’s degrees, provide them with field experiences working in Maine’s underserved communities, and make the professional and community connections for them to continue to work in Maine after graduation.

UNE will partner with public health providers and organizations statewide to recruit candidates for this program. Partners will provide meaningful field experiences with their organizations as part of the student’s education experience. Partners in turn will have a pool of qualified candidates for leadership positions within their organizations.

“We are looking forward to recruiting candidates from across Maine to enroll in this unique scholarship opportunity that will strengthen Maine’s public health system,” stated Edmund Cervone, director of business development at UNE Online.

Students who apply and are accepted to the program will receive the scholarship money. The University expects the grant will serve between 15 and 30 students.

Funding for the grant comes from the Cornelia Cogswell Rossi Foundation. The foundation carries on the philanthropic vision of Joseph and Connie Rossi, a couple with a strong love of Maine.

“The Rossi Foundation is delighted to provide the initial funding for these public health scholarships, which we want to benefit as many people in the state as possible.” said John Raben, president of the Cornelia Cogswell Rossi Foundation. “The COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately illustrated the critical need to provide more and improved public health services throughout Maine, specifically the need to address the state’s public health workforce shortage. Consequently, this program is designed to serve health care professionals who currently work or plan to work in Maine — in other words, to enable Maine to “grow its own” through enhanced education and career pathways in order to sustain and enhance Maine’s public health system.”

UNE is now seeking interested public health partners and prospective students with the aim of starting the education programs in April 2023.  Interested parties should contact Ed Cervone at ecervone@une.edu for more information.