The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) proudly announces publication of “U.S. Public Health Learning Network: Innovative Competency-Based Training for the Public Health Workforce,” a special supplement of its peer-reviewed journal Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
The May 2017 supplement features 12 articles, three commentaries, and one guest editorial on the latest innovative approaches and programs being used by U.S. Public Health Training Centers (PHTC) to equip front-line public health workers with the latest knowledge and skills needed for emergency preparedness and other 21st century challenges. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration throughout the country since 1999, PHTCs work to strengthen the technical, scientific, managerial, and leadership competence of the current and future public health workforce.
The supplement highlights contributions of the PHTCs in 10 regions in developing, implementing and evaluating competency based curricula, interprofessional education, certificate programs, student field placements, and distance education offerings on a variety of public health topics, including assisting local health departments to prepare for accreditation. Innovative online learning approaches, such as Distance Education And Learning (DEAL) and Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO), make the most effective and efficient use of technology to reach public health workers, especially those in rural communities. The vital role of PHTCs in assessing knowledge, beliefs and attitudes with priority populations, such as refugees and students, also are addressed.
Writing in a commentary in the issue, Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo, former Acting HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, outlines five essential components of a new vision for public health, dubbed Public Health 3.0, to keep people healthy. She cites the essential role of regional public health training centers in building the capacity of “dedicated public health leaders and professionals who serve as their community’s chief health strategists and represent local voices” to address contemporary challenges such as Zika, diabetes, and the opioid epidemic.
The supplement, supported by SOPHE and HRSA’s Region IV Public Health Training Center headquartered at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, is available open access for one year and includes articles for approved for continuing education credits by certified health education specialists and those certified in public health. Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (PHP) is a quarterly journal that advances the art and science of teaching and learning, and how it contributes to the formation and ongoing development of the health promotion professional working in any site and population.