Partners in Public Health Workforce Development
You can download a copy of the Spring 2015 NEPHTC Newsletter in PDF format.
The New England Public Health Training Center (NEPHTC) is a partnership among schools and programs of public health, public health agencies and related organizations. It works to strengthen the technical, scientific, managerial, and leadership competencies of the current and future public health workforce in New England. Its goal is to ensure that the region has the capacity to deliver high quality essential public health services over the long term.
An important part of the NEPHTC’s work is building partnerships across the region in order to understand and meet the training needs of the governmental public health workforce and community health workers. The NEPHTC engages state and local public health agencies and community-based agencies across the six New England states. Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) is the central regional office and also serves as one of the Local Performance Sites (LPS), representing Massachusetts and Vermont. In addition to BUSPH, the other LPS are Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice (New Hampshire), University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health (Community Health Workers), Yale School of Public Health (Connecticut and Rhode Island), and University of New England School of Community and Population Health (Maine). Each of the LPS has an extensive history of training the public health workforce in their area and partnering with other organizations and groups to achieve their goals.
Since 2010, Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) has been the host agency for the Local Public Health Institute of Massachusetts (Institute). The Institute has developed a range of training programs that cover a variety of topics important to effective local public health practice. Through the Institute, BUSPH actively partners with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the Local State Advisory Council (LSAC) on public health workforce development activities including long-term vision, scope of trainings offered, target audiences and curriculum development. The LSAC is comprised of local health experts and stakeholders that reflect the diversity of the local health workforce across the state. MDPH and LSAC members participate in an extensive peer review process for all online trainings developed by the Institute. These partnerships have led to the creation of 30+ online modules that meet the training needs of the public health workforce in Massachusetts. The Institute also partners with organizations like the DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness, the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards, the Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses, the Massachusetts Environmental Health Association, the Massachusetts Health Officers Association, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and the Western Massachusetts Public Health Association.
BUSPH also works in collaboration with the University of Vermont to coordinate workforce development activities with the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Area Health Education Centers.
Dartmouth has many partners, including the New Hampshire Area Health Education Center and the State of New Hampshire Division of Public Health. Their newest partner, the Health Promotion Research Center at Dartmouth, is one of only 26 academic research institutions nationwide that has been designated a Prevention Research Center by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC and the Prevention Research Centers work together to test and apply approaches that can improve the nation’s health.
One of Dartmouth’s goals for the upcoming year is to develop online trainings for the governmental workforce in New Hampshire. These trainings will build upon the in-person public health trainings previously provided by the former New Hampshire Public Health Training Center. From 2010 through the beginning of 2014, the New Hampshire Public Health Training Center had provided face-to-face training to the public health workforce throughout the state.
As a LPS, UMass’s goal is to strengthen the current public health workforce of New England. They are working toward achieving this goal by training community health workers (CHW) and providing internship opportunities for public health students. The training center has developed sessions to train community health workers. The class consists of 80 hours of training focused on meeting the ten core competencies that are required for certification in the community health profession.
Community health workers perform community-based outreach on public health issues. They may help enroll community members in health insurance plans, or help them navigate health care systems, or provide them with information about chronic health problems in the community. UMass is excited to offer this standardized training program for community health workers. Currently the in-person training is just focused on community health workers in Massachusetts; however, they plan to use blended online training so workers across all the New England states can participate in the near future.
UMass is currently wrapping up their first CHW training session. The 18 participants in the class include speakers of a wide range of languages including Albanian, Nepali, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The participating agencies include Edward M Kennedy Community Health Center, Family Health Center of Worcester, Greater Holyoke YMCA, Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke Medical Center, Western MA Physicians Associates, River Valley Counseling Center, Pediatric Primary Care at UMass Medical Center, St Paul’s Elder Outreach, and UMass Memorial Health Care, and UMass Memorial Medical Center.
University of New England (UNE) has assisted Maine’s state public health agency, Maine CDC, in the development and implementation of Maine’s first Public Health Workforce Development Plan. Beginning with a training needs assessment of state and local public health employees and their contracting agencies in 2011, followed by state-wide stakeholder sessions, and the release of a five-year plan in 2013. The plan recommended the creation of an infrastructure for workforce development including an oversight committee. UNE is part of that oversight committee that also includes representatives from Maine Public Health Association, Maine’s two local health departments, and other academic programs.
Another key player in Maine’s public health workforce implementation has been the Hanley Center for Health Leadership. The Hanley Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting health care leaders to work more collaboratively and effectively together. Representatives from UNE and the Hanley Center has been coordinating the implementation of the state’s public health workforce plan and meet regularly with Maine CDC staff to prioritize training and collaborate on projects. A combination of in-person trainings led by the Hanley Center and online trainings by UNE is being developed to address the current priority of health equity and cultural competency for the public health workforce. The online trainings will be put on the state’s training server that is free and available to state and local public health employees and others working in the public health field.
Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) works in collaboration with partners on the state and local level to prioritize and respond to continuing education needs in Connecticut. YSPH is advised by the Connecticut Partnership for Public Health Workforce Development, which is composed of members of the University of Connecticut, Southern Connecticut State University, and the Connecticut Area Health Education Center. The Partnership also includes key stakeholders in the practice community, like the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH), the Connecticut Association of Directors of Health, the Connecticut Public Health Association, the Connecticut Association of Public Health Nurses, the Connecticut Environmental Health Association, and the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut.
Through focus groups and comprehensive surveys, YSPH and their partners have identified priority training needs for their disciplines as well as cross-cutting needs impacting public health agencies. These assessments have entailed a variety of approaches such as focus groups with professional subgroups, e.g., sanitarians, public health nurses, health educators, and comprehensive individualized surveys for CT DPH employees designed to measure competencies and identify knowledge and skill gaps for emphasis in program development. YSPH uses grant funding to develop training projects and programs and collaborates with partners to market them. Projects have included a Disaster Field Manual and a “train the trainer” program (emergency preparedness), an award-winning webinar series with the CT DPH on healthy homes topics, a series on “Quality Improvement Learning Collaboratives”, and a soon to be released orientation course for governmental public health workers in Connecticut that can be adapted for use in other states. Master of Public Health students, supported by stipends from PHTC, also worked at local health departments throughout the state on health equity, accreditation and other projects.
The School of Public Health at Brown University is YSPH’s partner in the state of Rhode Island, which has a centralized public health system and no local health agencies. Brown University works highly collaboratively with HEALTH, Rhode Island’s state health department. Based on a 2011 needs assessment of HEALTH workers, Brown identified training needs to meet PHAB accreditation standards. Brown also conducted a needs assessment of community health workers in 2012 and provided a series of training programs in 2013-2014 in collaboration with the Community Health Workers Association of Rhode Island. In addition to offering webinars and trainings programs on HIV topics, Brown managed student field placements and projects at HEALTH and in other Rhode Island governmental agencies. YSPH provided HEALTH with technical assistance in posting streaming courses on RI TRAIN.
News and Resources
- Measles Rises Again: The Science and Policy of a Preventable Outbreak (Videos) February 2015. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Ebola and Role of PHTCs: Lessons Learned Dialogue4Health Webinar (Video) Access Video+Audio or Audio January 2015. NNPHI and Dialogue4Health
- Ebola and the Role of Public Health Training Centers (Video) November 2014. National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training. Throughout the nation, the public health workforce, at all levels of government and in the private sector, are working to shore up prevention efforts focused on Ebola. Regional Public Health Training Centers (RPHTCs) have a unique role in providing relevant and timely training opportunities to serve the needs of the workforce. This webinar, brought to you by the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training (NCCPHT) in collaboration with RPHTCs Boston and Emory Universities, aims to enhance the capacity of RPHTCs to support the workforce training needs related to Ebola, and to the extent relevant, other infectious diseases
- Ebola Resources for Public Health Workers and Training Centers (Web) NNPHI is committed to supporting CDC and its public health partners in the Ebola response. The resources listed are for public health workers dealing with Ebola. While, the list is not comprehensive, it does include a variety of helpful resources.
2015 NCCPHT-RPHTC Meeting 5.11.2015 – 5.12.2015, New Orleans In conjunction with the 2015 NNPHI Annual Conference, May 12th – 14th, the first in-person National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training-Regional Public Health Training Centers (NCCPHT-RPHTC) Network Meeting will be in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to the Network Meeting on Monday, May 11th, 2015, Site Visit meetings with HRSA staff will take place on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015. All Program Directors along with one staff are encouraged to attend. Updates and additional information about the 2015 NNPHI Annual Conference will be posted to the NNPHI Annual Conference page located on the NNPHI website.
Online trainings available now!
You can download a copy of the Spring 2015 NEPHTC Newsletter in PDF format.