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Training Programs to Strengthen Pennsylvania's Public Health Response

By Nkuchia M. M'ikanatha, R. Elliott Churchill, Ebbing Lautenbach, Lindsay E. Mactavish, Timothy R. Pollock, Crystal L. Weand, Catherine Polachek, Stanley M. Reynolds and Stephen M. Ostroff


This report describes Pennsylvania's 9-year experience in implementing training programs to strengthen public health response to emerging infectious diseases. During the biannual 3-5-day-long Pennsylvania Public Health Institute (PHI) events, which have been held since 2000, courses have covered topics such as emerging infectious disease outbreaks, monitoring of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens in retail food, and zoonotic diseases commonly associated with companion animals. Core competency courses include the legal basis for public health and epidemiology for nonepidemiologists. Emerging infectious disease seminars offered to clinicians since 2005 have focused on the emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Complementing the PHI, the Pennsylvania Department of Health's monthly Epidemiology Journal Club offers additional interactions with presenters from academic institutions and federal agencies. Lunch-time forums also provide a venue for health department staff to share their work with colleagues. Innovative use of modern communication technology increases participation of frontline health workers in Journal Club events, and video conference capability offers flexibility in the selection of presenters. Pennsylvania's experience over the past 9 years demonstrates that with political will, commitment from content experts, and adequate administrative support, modest state and federal resources can be used to sustain public health training programs tailored to local needs

Topics: Original Articles
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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