Online Program

Connecting the Dots in Preparedness and Response: A Comprehensive Approach to Workforce Competency Development

Monday, November 2, 2015

LT Diane L. Downie, MPH, Assigned to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Madison, WI
Brian Kaczmarski, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Madison, WI
Since 2001, significant resources have been allocated to state and local public health agencies to increase capacity and competency to respond to various public health incidents. Fourteen years later, the readiness of local public health agency staff to respond to emergencies nationwide is still widely unknown primarily due to variations of competency development assessment, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Given these challenges, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (WDPH) initiated a comprehensive competency development and training improvement process. By linking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Preparedness (PHP) Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning with the Association of Schools of Public Health’s (ASPH) Public Health Preparedness and Response Core Competencies, WDPH created a statewide competency assessment for public health staff in 88 health departments and 11 tribes in preparedness roles. After conducting the assessment, data was analyzed to identify training needs, and individual preparedness training plans for staff were developed. The management of this process was completed using an automated, robust, learning management system. Additional results of this approach were an annual reassessment of staff skills, and enhanced training and exercise plan at both the state and local levels, especially as tied to public health accreditation and measuring the achievement of CDC's PHP capabilities.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe local public health agency challenges and opportunities to developing a competent, ready public health workforce. Describe the process of comprehensive competency development and training improvement. Discuss the importance of aligning competency development with trainings, exercises or drills, and planning and policy. Explain how this process is helpful for public health accreditation.

Keyword(s): Workforce Development, Public Health Curricula & Competencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the co-lead of this project.
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.