241778 Hepatitis A knowledge among the public health workforce: Identifying areas for improvement

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Erika L. Chapman, MPH, CPH, CHES , Division of HIV, STD, Viral Hepatitis, Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis, IN
Amie May, PhD(c), MSBS, MPH , Epidemiology Resource Center, Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis, IN
Public health and medical providers are tasked with the challenge of ensuring a competent workforce while guaranteeing their own continuing education needs are met. This requires remaining current with knowledge of public health interventions, innovations, and continually changing information. The prevention of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection is one focus where further education efforts are vital to the successful prevention and eventual elimination of disease. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Division of HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis, in partnership with the ISDH Epidemiology Resource Center, developed a ten question, self-report, web-based HAV Assessment Survey to determine the public health workforce's knowledge of HAV. The survey was delivered to 430 public health professionals that had previously participated in ISDH training opportunities, particularly Viral Hepatitis 101 and Epi-Ready Enteric Disease Training. Ninety of the 430 (20%) providers participated in the survey. Results indicate that retention of information regarding transmission routes, case reporting guidelines, and secondary prevention procedures is low in spite of individualized training sessions specific to HAV. Although participants in the survey scored high on questions assessing potential risk factors, most do not routinely discuss immunization opportunities with clients at increased risk, including HIV positive persons. Low retention rates and high turnover among public health professionals indicates the need to improve delivery methods for the public health workforce, which might include an increase in funding to support more comprehensive training programs. An increase in public health workforce knowledge would help ensure a continued decrease of HAV.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1.Demonstrate the need for continued medical provider and public health workforce development concerning the viral hepatitides, specifically hepatitis A. 2.Demonstrate the need for skills based continuing education opportunities for public health providers to support referrals for additional appropriate services. 3.Demonstrate the effectiveness of collaborative approaches to continuing education program assessment.

Keywords: Hepatitis A, Resource Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the enteric epidemiologist for the State of Indiana
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.