The Rutgers University School of Public Health  – Office of Public Health Practice (OPHP) has served as New Jersey’s ‘Public Health Training Center’ since 1991, when it first partnered with Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.  Providing continuing education opportunities for public health professionals for more than 25 years, OPHP particularly targets governmental sector. Now serving as a Local Performance Site for the Region 2 Public Health Training Center, OPHP remains the ‘go –to organization’ for this state’s public health workforce.  In addition, the OPHP provides occupational safety and health training for those working with hazardous waste, asbestos, lead, and in construction.

The faculty and staff of OPHP have expertise in training, adult learning, survey research, occupational safety, environmental health, and public health accreditation, and draw from the office’s expertise in issues surrounding LGBT health disparities.

Mitchel Rosen

rosenMitchel Rosen is the Director of the Office of Public Health Practice at the Rutgers School of Public Health and the NJ LPS Director for the Region 2 Public Health Training Center. Since 1988, he has managed the training of over 475,000 workers in occupational safety and health, environmental health, and public health education. He was the PI of the NJ Public Health Training Center (2011-2014), which provided training to public health professionals in NJ and increased the capacity of the target populations. Prior to the establishment of the NJPHTC, Mitchel was the PI of the Rutgers portion of the NY/NJ PHTC. Through his existing work projects, Mitchel has extensive interactions with the Public Health community in NJ. Mitchel is the PI of several programs, including the NJ/NY Hazardous Materials Worker Training Center (funded by NIEHS), and the Continuing Education and Outreach Programs for the NY/NJ Education and Research Center (funded by NIOSH). He was additionally the Co-Director of the New Jersey Center for Public Health Preparedness (funded by ASPH) and Principal Investigator for the development of a terrorism preparedness training program (funded by NJ Department of Health and Senior Services).


PhD, Rutgers University

MS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

BA, University of Rhode Island

Memberships and Certifications



What are the most important areas for public health workforce development?

Management and leadership development—we need to continually provide tools for current managers to improve their leadership skills, and provide for training for others to move into management and leadership roles in public health.

Colleen McKay Wharton

whartonColleen is a Project Manager at Rutgers University School of Public Health and manages projects for the NJ LPS of the Region 2 Public Health Training Center. In her previous role managing the NJ PHTC, she oversaw multiple training needs assessments with the membership of several public health organizations, and the development and implementation of more than 100 classroom and live-stream learning opportunities, which have engaged all tiers of the New Jersey public health workforce. In addition, Colleen has helped develop and enhance numerous strong partnerships through collective program planning, and shared public health initiatives in which the NJPHTC played a lead role. As a Masters-level Certified Health Education Specialist, she is well versed in adult learning theory and practice, curriculum development and program implementation. In addition, with 20+ years of experience in local and state level public health organizations, Colleen has a keen understanding of the community services and programs provided by governmental public health agencies and the many challenges now facing those organizations.


MA, Montclair State University

BA, Rutgers University

Memberships and Certifications


What is your favorite training program you managed, taught, or attended?

It is difficult to select one. In general, however, I will say that any training that allows time to apply what is being learned—within the timeline of the training itself—is always my preferred way of participating in and/or providing trainings. The immediate application of new knowledge and/or skills helps to assure its ongoing application outside of the training space in the “real world.”