206763 Using information technology to strengthen the public health workforce

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:15 AM

Thomas H. Reizes, MPH , Office of Public Health Practice, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Sylvia Pirani, MPH, MS , Director, Office of Public Health Practice, NYS Department of Health, Albany, NY
Nancy J. Blake, MPH, CPH , Office of Public Health Practice, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Marita Murrman, EdD, MS , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Guthrie S. Birkhead, MD, MPH , Deputy Commissioner, Office of Public Health, NYS Department of Health, Albany, NY
Recent updates to the New York State (NYS) Sanitary Code establish new job definitions, minimum qualifications and training requirements for key public health positions at local health departments (LHDs). These amendments ensure that LHDs are able to fill, and retain, positions with competent and well trained staff. To help implement the new credentialing standards, NYS is using a web-based Learning Management System (LMS). Through the LMS users can engage in self-directed study; complete competency self-assessments resulting in targeted course recommendations; or follow prescribed paths to access competency-based coursework and curriculums to meet their credentialing needs. Per changes to the Sanitary Code, as of August 20, 2008, all NYS Public Health Educators are required to complete 15 credit hours of continuing education during their first year of service. To simplify the credentialing process, a panel of veteran academic and state/local public health educators vetted courses and developed a curriculum deployed through the LMS. These curriculum courses are also linked to a competency self-assessment that can be used by educators to self-assess, identify and fill knowledge gaps. To help develop staff for leadership positions, a three-tiered competency set is available for self-assessment and is linked to vetted courses hosted through the LMS. A hybrid of these two approaches is planned for Public Health Nurses. These efforts demonstrate that a combination of regulation, collaboration and information technology can strengthen workforce development efforts, increase access to training, and provide context for the use of various combinations of competencies and curriculum to meet credentialing needs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain how changes in regulation can help to retain a competent workforce. 2. Describe how learning management technology provides context for linking competencies to training. 3. Describe how learning management technology increases access for competency–based training. 4. Design curricula, collaboratively, to provide credentialing opportunities.

Keywords: Information Technology, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the chief global administrator for the New York State Department of Health Learning Management System. My office took a leadership role in the collaborative effort that brought about changes to the NYS Sanitary Code; developed and tested competencies; and vetted curricula to meet new credentialing requirements.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.