142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Gillings Global Implementation Laboratory: Teaching students to implement solutions to practical problems in health services delivery

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Rohit Ramaswamy, PhD, MPH , Public Health Leadership Program, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Suzanne Hobbs, DrPH, MS , Department of Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Anita Farel, DrPH , Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
We launched the Gillings Global Implementation Laboratory in Spring, 2014. This three-credit  interdisciplinary, field-based course pairs teams of graduate students with local and global practitioners to improve the delivery of public health programs. Students develop, test and implement plans for change using the well-known Model for Improvement developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. One team is improving data quality in an HIV prevention telephone hotline in India partnering with an international NGO; another is reducing the number of patients turned away at a walk-in STD clinic in a county health department in North Carolina.

This hybrid course involves theoretical learning, project planning and field work. The theoretical component is presented online; students read the literature and participate in discussion forums. Project planning occurs face to face every few weeks with coaching by faculty, statistical consultants and guest lecturers to help students collect and analyze data and identify improvement solutions.  They implement one solution over Spring Break in a rapid process improvement trial , assess the extent of improvement achieved, and   recommend other solutions for ongoing   improvement to the partner organizations. In addition, students document approaches, reactions and implementation lessons using multimedia reaction logs, which are also used for blog posts on the school’s Global Gateway website.

Staff from partner organizations also join enrolled students in online discussions, Skype and telephone conference calls. These participants receive certificates of completion from UNC. All students meet regularly in a new classroom featuring  ceiling mounted microphones to facilitate state-of-the-art web and video conferencing.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe how the Gillings Global Implementation Lab teaches students to solve real world public health problems Explain the hybrid nature of the course that allows didactic education and practical work Discuss how field practitioners and students are jointly engaged in learning and problem solving

Keyword(s): Public Health Curricula & Competencies, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the designers of the course and am also one of the instructors.
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.