Yale Helping to Train Connecticut Health Care Workers about Bioterrorism
Yale and several other Connecticut institutions have formed a partnership to develop a statewide plan to train public health and medical workers about bioterrorism and emergency preparedness.
The group, known as the Connecticut Partnership for Public Health Workforce Development, was awarded a $320,000 first-year contract by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The state received $12.5 million of $1 billion in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Preparedness and Response to Bioterrorism Cooperative Agreement.
“Preparing Connecticut’s public health workforce to respond to bioterrorism is a tremendous challenge, but also an opportunity,” said Elaine Anderson, director of special studies in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) at Yale School of Medicine and principal investigator on the project. “By bringing together the collective assets of academic and real world public health practice, the partnership is uniquely qualified to develop strategies and training programs to meet both immediate and long-term workforce training needs.”
The target date for completion of the master training plan is March 2003. Most of the actual training will take place after that date and will include a mix of traditional courses, workshops, lectures, symposiums, satellite broadcasts and web-based learning modules. Practical training will be emphasized.
“One of our top priorities is to identify the best mechanisms to deliver continuing education to the staff of Connecticut’s 98 local public health departments,” Anderson said. “These are our front-line public health responders.”
Yale formed the Connecticut partnership two years ago as part of a larger initiative, the New England Alliance for Public Health Workforce Development. The alliance includes the schools of public health at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Boston University and the master’s in public health program at Tufts University.
The Connecticut partnership has undertaken several projects, among them assessing the educational resources of its academic partners; studies of the local public health workforce’s training needs; and a formal assessment of core competencies of the state public health workforce.
In addition to Yale, the partnership includes Area Health Education Centers; the Connecticut Association of Directors of Health; the Connecticut Department of Public Health; the Connecticut Environmental Health Association; the Connecticut Public Health Association; the Connecticut Public Health Nursing Association; the Southern Connecticut State University Public Health Program and the University of Connecticut Health Center Graduate Program in Public Health.