The Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies was established in 2009 to conduct research on the size, composition, and capacity of the U.S. public health workforce. Initially funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Public Health Foundation, the Center of Excellence has received additional funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, The Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop and implement local and national surveys on segments of the public health workforce, and analyze existing public health workforce data sources.

The Center has focused primarily on studies that enumerate and characterize segments of the public health workforce, including epidemiologists, public health laboratorians, and maternal and child health workers. CEPHS will expand its studies to other public health disciplines, including public health nurses, while continuing to develop models to analyze workforce capacity.

The Center works closely with numerous public health organizations, including those represented on its Advisory Committee, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, the Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations, City Connect Detroit, and others.