Online Program

Building the Modern Public Health Worker: Professional Development and Opportunity

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Ilya Plotkin, MA, TRAIN, Public Health Foundation, Washington, DC
The public health workforce is rapidly changing, yet we often have little information about who the modern public health worker is. One thing we do know is that developing expertise and experience is more decentralized than ever. Today, a health worker may have a variety of backgrounds and experiences, but, more importantly, they can also gain knowledge, skills, and competencies through a variety of learning formats, ranging from formal education, to webinars, to MOOCs.

Health departments can play a vital role in maximizing the opportunities that exist to train the workforce. The first step is to embrace learning networks, which allow connections between different systems, resources, and trainings. TRAIN, one example of such a network, connects 29 health agencies, including 25 states and four federal agencies (Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and Veterans Health Administration (VHA)) to 29,000 training opportunities developed by nearly 4,000 providers of training to over 900,000 professionals. In learning networks, health workers can explore various topics that build their expertise and knowledge in a competency-based environment while completing required, agency-oriented training in parallel. There is opportunity within professional development that learning networks can help tap.

Current TRAIN data suggest that health workers participate in training that interests them. In 2014, a professional on TRAIN registered for a training every 28 seconds - over one million registrations in 2014 alone, double the 2012 figure, and 4.5 million during TRAIN’s lifespan. What we learn about workforce training can help us better prepare the modern public health worker.

This session will illustrate how learning networks such as TRAIN provide access to thousands of competency-based training opportunities for the public health workforce. This presentation will also demonstrate how connections between different agencies can develop within learning networks.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify and compare online training resources available to the public health workforce Describe data on training accessed by public health workers Demonstrate opportunities to integrate competency-based instruction across training resources

Keyword(s): Training, Workforce Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on public health workforce capacity development for over seven years, largely on the TRAIN program at Public Health Foundation. I have helped to analyze data on the workforce and summarize the types of trainings that are taken and completed.
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.