Registration for the winter and springs sessions is now closed. Please join the waitlist to be notified about registration details for future sessions.

This three-part training series focuses on the foundations of public health and health equity. Each 2.5-hour session is grounded in one of the three Public Health Core Functions – Assessment, Policy Development, and Assurance – as they relate to health equity and to the 10 Essential Public Health Services. Through interactive activities and tools, learners will explore practical applications of this framework to their role, organization, and community. This training will also help people who are new to the field of public health better understand their organization’s role within the larger US public health system.

Learning Objectives

Learners in this series will:

Session 1: Assessment

  • Articulate the primary goal of public health practice.
  • Recognize examples of public health assessment activities.
  • Summarize how and why a root cause analysis is conducted in the field of public health.
  • Differentiate between upstream or downstream public health interventions.

Session 2: Policy Development

  • Give an example of “Health in all Policies”.
  • Articulate the connection between policy development and assessment in public health work.
  • Summarize how and why a stakeholder power analysis is conducted.

Session 3: Assurance 

  • Describe two ways to help ensure that actions taken to improve community health are safe, effective, and accessible to everyone.
  • Evaluate the potential impacts of a policy or program on equity using a health equity assessment tool.
  • Produce at least one example of how they can center health equity in their current job role or activities.


Barbara Obena, MPH
Senior Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Consultant at Kaiser Permanente 
Population Health Clinical Instructor, University of Washington

Intended Audience

This training is designed for public health professionals who are new to the field or have no formal public health training. There are limited seats available, so priority will be given to people currently working in state, local, and Tribal public health agencies in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. Complete the application form and you will be contacted about your registration.


    This live training will be offered quarterly in 2024 and occurs via Zoom.

    • Winter session: February 22, March 7, March 21, 2024 (9:00 am – 11:30 am Pacific) 
    • Spring session: May 23, May 30, June 6, 2024 (9:00 am – 11:30 am Pacific)
    • Fall session: Additional sessions will be offered in September and December 2024. Registration for these times will open later in 2024.

    This training can also be delivered as a one-day, in-person workshop for groups of 30-50. Contact NWCPHP to learn about pricing options if your organization is interested in bringing this training to your area.

    Cost and Deadlines

    The training is being supported by the Public Health Infrastructure Grant and is currently available at no cost. Registration for the winter and spring sessions is now closed.

    Time Commitment

    Essentially Public Health is designed with busy public health professionals in mind and is meant to be a bite-sized, highly interactive learning opportunity. Readings and other resources will be provided for those who want to go deeper into the topics covered, but there is no required homework. Join the live sessions to learn and grow with your colleagues from around the region. Participants are expected to attend all 3 sessions.

    Technical Requirements

    This learning opportunity requires the following: 

    • Install the Zoom meeting client before the first session.
    • Webcam, speakers/headphones, and microphone are needed for the live sessions, which will not be recorded. If you are able, please be prepared to be on camera for small group discussions.  
    • Miro will be used for interactive learning. Watch a short tutorial before the first session. 

    Diversity Statement

    Diverse backgrounds, embodiments, and experiences are essential to the critical thinking endeavor at the heart of education. NWCPHP brings this principle to our programs and trainings. As such, participants are expected:

    1. To respect individual differences, which may include but are not limited to, age, cultural background, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender, immigration status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and veteran status.
    2. To engage respectfully in the discussion of diverse worldviews and ideologies embedded in readings, presentations, and artifacts, including materials that are at odds with personal beliefs and values.
    3. To talk to the instructor or program manager if they have concerns about he program climate.



    This training includes live learning sessions where closed captions will be automatically generated. If you need additional accommodations in order to participate, contact Christine Ector, and we will do our best to make sure the content is accessible to you.

    Continuing Education Credits

    People who participate in all three sessions will receive a certificate of completion. Certified in Public Health (CPH) recertification credits may also be earned by participating in this training. Visit the National Board of Public Health Examiners to learn more.


    For more information, contact Christine Ector.

      Photograph of seated student raising hand with other students in the background
      Vulnerable Populations & Health Disparities
      Virtual Learning Series
      7.5 hours
      Competency Domains: 
      Analytical/Assessment Skills
      Policy Development/Program Planning Skills