Final Topics: Foundations for Local Public Health Practice

Training Overview

  • Audience: New and seasoned public health professionals who have an interest in advancing their knowledge and building their skills to practice public health in Massachusetts. Course participants may be Massachusetts local, regional, or state public health agency
  • Format: Online, self-paced
  • Price: Free
  • Length: 1.5 hours
  • Contact hours: REHS and Massachusetts CHO, RS, RN
    Important note: When you complete each required On Your Time course, you can print or save a certificate that lists the number of contact hours earned and your post-test score. If you didn’t print or save your certificates, you can get a copy in your learner profile (accessed from the Login/Register page by selecting Status of Training Participation). The final section of the Foundations Course (Final Topics) provides an additional 4 contact hours that will print on the Certificate of Course Completion.
  • Competencies: Analytical/Assessment
    Policy Development
    Program Planning
    Cultural Competency
    Community Dimensions of Practice
    Emergency Preparedness
    Public Health Sciences
  • Learning level: Performance
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Companion trainings:Mini-MPH for Local Boards of Health in MA
  • Supplemental materials:

No matter where people are in Massachusetts (at home, work, school, or play) local boards of health (LBOH) are responsible to ensure their safety and well-being. With a LBOH for each of its 351 cities and towns, taking a collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach to local public health practice is a key to success. Using the frameworks of the ten essential public health services and the foundational public health services, this course prepares local public health practitioners to: promote the physical, behavioral, environmental, social, and economic conditions that improve health and well-being; prevent illness, disease, injury, and premature death; and eliminate health disparities.

Important note: Due to COVID restrictions and funding limitations, the blended Foundations of Local Public Health Practice course is not currently available. This version is fully online and self-paced and does not include blended course elements (such as classroom sessions, discussion boards, and live webinars).

Enroll To receive a certificate of completion. This requires registration to establish a learner profile and completion of pre- and post-tests

What you’ll learn

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Plan for emergency communication, create effective messages, and interact with the media and community in times of crisis
  • Advocate for a public health issue using seven basic steps
  • Assess your agency’s public health infrastructure and programs as compared to the foundational areas and capabilities outlined in the FPHS model
  • Explain the key findings and recommendations from the final report of the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health (June 2019)
  • Apply lessons learned from public health problems of the past to inform efforts to overcome current public health issues

Subject Matter Expert

  • Kathleen MacVarish
    Associate Professor of the Practice
    Boston University School of Public Health


This training was supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) with funds made available by the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant 4500-1002. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.
This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP27877 “Regional Public Health Training Center Program.” This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.