Preparedness Center supports state and local agencies during H1N1
The North Carolina Center for Public Health Preparedness (NCCPHP)
provided assistance to state and local agencies responding to the
influenza A H1N1 “swine flu” outbreak in April and May
To provide just-in-time information about this emerging disease,
NCCPHP developed new influenza training materials and made them available
online for immediate public use. NCCPHP staff also worked with the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expedite review of
several recently completed training modules on pandemic, avian, and
seasonal influenza developed through a partnership with their Coordinating
Office of Global Health. All 25,000 registrants of NCCPHP’s
Training Web Site received an e-mail providing links to the newly available materials
and other relevant trainings on pandemic preparedness, influenza, and responder
On April 28, the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC DPH)
requested assistance from Team Epi-Aid, a volunteer group of students
at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, to aid in North
Carolina’s response to
the H1N1 outbreak. Team Epi-Aid, a program coordinated through NCCPHP, provides
local and state health departments with surge capacity during outbreaks and other
public health emergencies while allowing students to gain practical public health
experience. Six Team Epi-Aid student volunteers assisted NC DPH at the Public
Health Command Center in Raleigh from April 29 to May 6. After receiving training
on current H1N1 guidance, volunteers answered questions related to the H1N1 outbreak
from local health departments and clinicians across the state. NC DPH partners
noted that Team Epi-Aid volunteers were “tremendously helpful in this response.”
NCCPHP also provided consultation to UNC Gillings School of Global
Public Health administrators on appropriate response measures within
the incident command system used by the School’s All-Hazards Committee. In addition, NCCPHP staff participated
in a series of H1N1-associated conference calls with the North Carolina Department
of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the national network of Centers for
Public Health Preparedness.
Visit the NCCPHP Training Web Site nccphp.sph.unc.edu/training to
access influenza trainings or contact Rich Rosselli (email@example.com)
to learn more about NCCPHP influenza planning activities
New book offers management lessons to public health professionals
In 1983 Ken Blanchard captured the business world’s attention
with a small book called The One-Minute Manager.
A new book from the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, Managing
the Public Health Enterprise, promises similar to-the-point
lessons for public health managers and others in related professions.
Many of the book’s chapters first appeared as columns in the
popular “Management Moment” series in the Journal
of Public Health Management and Practice; others were written
specifically for this volume. The book covers topics such as how
to be an effective coach to maximize team performance, the essentials
of effective partnerships, how to create and sustain successful public
health initiatives using business skills, and how to run meetings,
manage electronic correspondence, and even how to manage your boss.
Journal editor Dr. Lloyd F. Novick of the Department of Public Health,
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, says, “The
Management Moment column has been immensely popular with our readers
from across the spectrum of public health practice. Having a book
with the columns organized around commonly encountered themes makes
this a highly useful reference for public health professionals interested
in demonstrating leadership and improving management within their
Dr. Ed Baker, director of NCIPH, Dr. Anne Menkens, program director
with NCIPH, and Dr. Janet Porter, COO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,
collaborated on the project and wrote most of the chapters. Other
authors include public health, health care, business, and fundraising
professionals and educators from UNC and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The book will fill an important niche by providing useful information
to managers at all levels of public health practice. Dr. Bill Roper,
CEO of UNC Healthcare Systems and dean of the UNC School of Medicine
says in the foreword, “Today’s public health manager
must keep both the big picture and the details in mind to envision
new projects and run longstanding ones. While looking out for the
next SARS or avian flu outbreak, the next hurricane, or terrorist
attack, while testing well water and immunizing babies, the public
health manager must balance budgets, hire personnel, run meetings,
communicate with staff and partners, learn to use new technology,
and find funding, all within the context of turbulent economic times,
new and re-emerging health and safety threats, and a growing burden
of chronic disease. Managing the Public Health Enterprise contains
concrete advice for these management challenges.”
Practicality is the authors’ goal. Baker says, “This
is a practical guide. We want new managers to use it as a resource
when a problem arises—‘I wonder what Managing the
Public Health Enterprise says about this?’”
Managing the Public Health Enterprise may be ordered through
the Jones and Bartlett Publishers website at www.jbpub.com or
by phone at 800-832-0034.
About Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC
Jones and Bartlett, an independent publisher headquartered in Sudbury,
Massachusetts, publishes text, professional, and reference books
and a variety of multimedia and online products. Jones and Bartlett
is widely recognized in the fields of medicine, nursing, life sciences,
physical sciences, health education, allied health, emergency care,
emergency medical services, fire science, criminal justice, mathematics,
and computer science.
You can email the authors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wheel success on the road to combating obesity
Each year the Management Academy for Public Health (MAPH) welcomes teams from
local health departments eager to use their business lessons to solve a community
A Wilkes County, North Carolina, team developed “Y on Wheels”, a
childhood obesity prevention program for under-served Latino children.
The program is a collaboration between the Wilkes Family YMCA, Wilkes
County Health Department, Wilkes Partnership for Children (Smart
Start), and HOLA of Wilkes County (a non-profit organization for
Latinos). The mission of “Y
on Wheels” is to serve Latino children and their families who otherwise
might not be able to attend the YMCA.
Latino children are at greater risk of obesity than other children
due to higher rates of poverty, lack of exercise, and poor food choices.
Cost and transportation are huge issues for a lot of Latino families;
therefore, the program provides transportation from two schools,
for those children who need it, to the facility in order for them
to participate in physical activities and receive nutrition education.
The Wilkes County team, Melissa Black, Rose Marín, Donna Shumate, and
Judy West, have already started executing their plan and have more than 80 children
enrolled in the program (with an additional 32 parents, grandparents, or volunteers
who attend when they are able).
All of the children get weighed and measured upon entering the program.
BMIs and weight percentages are then determined. Approximately
two-thirds of the children are overweight at this time. Another
BMI measurement is taken at the end of the year.
Recently, another program was initiated for teens. “Teens on Wheels” focuses
on the needs of older Latino children and is meant to encourage better attendance
at school. BMIs are also monitored.
As Rose Marín says, “Our mission is to encourage children to participate
in fun activities while exercising their bodies and minds. Hopefully, we can
fight against childhood obesity and, at the same time, encourage older children
to stay in school.”
Gaston Family Health Services, the community health center that works
with the Gaston County Health Department and participated with Gaston
on a MAPH team last year, received 1.3 million dollars from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund its new health center known
as Highland Health Center.
For more innovative business plan ideas, go to maph.unc.edu.
Gaston Family Health Services, the community health center that
works with the Gaston County Health Department and participated with
Gaston on a MAPH team last year - 2007-2008, received 1.3 million
dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund its
new health center known as Highland Health Center.
STD Nurse Clinician Training is now online
The long-standing continuing education course STD Nurse Clinician
Training course is now available online. The revised course offers
students the opportunity to learn at their own pace without having
to travel to an off-site location in pursuit of quality training. The
first offering began May 11.
Designed to provide a standardized STD nurse clinician training
curriculum for local health departments, the course prepares public
health nurses to implement a comprehensive STD screening and management
program to reach patients who are at high risk for STDs in their
A variety of methods and media are used in the course, such as synchronized
audio/slide presentations, video, handouts, and activities. The course
instructor is available to grade assignments and answer questions
during the two months the course is available. The six week web course
is followed by a six month STD clinical practicum with a preceptor
at the local health department.
Students are benefitting from the new format. "I love having
access to so many references online available for me during the course
and knowing where to go back to them after the course," wrote
one student in the program evaluation. Another reports, “I
like being able to work on things anytime and also the fact that
I can get online from my home computer.”
The course is a collaboration between the Office of Public Health
Nursing and Professional Development of the NC Division of Public
Health and the Office of Continuing Education at NCIPH. It is part
of the Enhanced Nurse Training Program, designed to provide nurses
in local health departments with the skills they need to perform
physical assessments and to function under standing orders.
For more information about this program, go to oce.sph.unc.edu.
NC accreditation news
Two North Carolina local health departments were awarded the status
of re-accreditation at the Accreditation Board meeting held in Raleigh
on April 9, 2009. The health departments--Harnett and Craven--were
accredited by the Board after hearing the reports from their site
visits held in February and March, 2009. The process of accreditation
is designed to ensure that local health departments are capable of
providing all of the essential public health services for its citizens.
NC now has a total of 44 accredited health departments.
Two new NC Local Health Department Accreditation Board members:
Noah Woods, chairman, Robeson County Board of Commissioners, and
Rosemary Summers, Health Director, Orange County Health Department.
For more information about NC Local Health Department Accreditation,
visit the website at nciph.sph.unc.edu/accred.
From the director
It has recently been said that a “crisis is a terrible thing
to waste”. As the world stops holding its collective breath
about the H1N1 influenza, it is the time to take stock and prepare
for what may lie ahead. Indeed, this year’s flu outbreak may
very well be back with us in a few short months: research shows that
the virus may mutate and return in the fall or winter and pack a
much bigger punch. That’s why it is important that we
think about our public health system’s capacity to respond
to future outbreaks and the urgent health threats that may come with
I was part of the national effort to respond to the anthrax attacks
of 2001; based on that experience, I’ve been very impressed
with the public health community’s response to this year’s
influenza outbreak. Our Institute has worked within the Gillings
School of Global Public Health, with others in the university, and
with the NC Division of Public Health to monitor and share resources
related to H1N1 in our state.
After 9/11, our country made critical new investments in our public
health infrastructure. Today those investments are paying off by
making us much more prepared to deal with flu outbreaks and other
health emergencies. Our laboratories are stronger; our workforce
is better trained; our information and communication systems are
more robust; and our laws are more up to date.
Unfortunately, those improvements are now at risk. Unless we act
soon, we may well be under-prepared for the next, and possibly more
severe, wave of H1N1 influenza. The recent recession and the
reductions in state, local and federal funding for public health
are having a pervasive and destructive impact.
central to assuring that health agencies are doing what needs to
be done. Now is not the time to eliminate the accreditation program,
a product of years of thought and deliberation about evaluating and
recognizing certain performance standards. Just as we
invest in physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges, we must
now invest in the public health infrastructure if we are to protect
the public’s health in the future.
It would be a mistake to take no action to assess the state of the
public health system and to address its weaknesses through a reliable
accreditation system. We will miss an unprecedented opportunity
to get ahead of the next public health crisis. Because when another,
more severe flu epidemic strikes, it may, in all likelihood, be too
late to do so.
Edward L. Baker, MD, MPH
Director, North Carolina Institute for Public Health
Professor, Health Policy and Epidemiology
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Professional education to North Carolina public health practitioners
In recent communiqués to key stakeholders, Steve Hicks, director
of the Office of Continuing Education, and Monecia Thomas, the director
of the Management Academy for Public Health, described changes in
their programs due to budget cuts.
OCE has already reduced its staff by five people and “we stand
to lose more capable staff with next fiscal year’s budget,” says
In danger are OCE’s public health nursing courses that target
nurses who often serve in rural counties. Courses such as Introduction
to Public Health Nursing, Child Health, Physical Assessment, and
Sexually Transmitted Disease Nurse Clinician Training may be reduced
Hicks adds, “Without rostered enhanced role nurses, health
departments will not be able to bill Medicaid for certain services,
potentially reducing health department income.”
Environmental health programs such as daycare sanitation, wells inspection,
and food safety, may be curtailed if instructors are unable to travel
and increased registration fees do not cover staff and materials.
Thomas listed the streamlining measures applied to the Management
Two retreats during the year instead of three, fewer days per retreat,
smaller team size, and all materials provided electronically.
The Office of Executive Education has already
suspended enrollment in its Emerging Leaders in Public Health training
program due to lack of funding.
Further details will be made available as budgets are finalized.
See www.maph.unc.edu and www.sph.unc.edu/oce.
Upcoming occupational safety and health continuing education
The NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center
is busy with plans for two upcoming continuing education programs.
The annual Occupational Safety and Health Summer Institute will
be held August 2-7 in Norfolk, Virginia. It is designed to provide
practical information and a forum for the exchange of ideas among
participants with widely diverse backgrounds. More than 25 courses
dealing with a wide range of occupational safety and health and environmental
issues will be offered. Courses range from one to five days and are
designed for industrial hygienists, safety personnel, occupational
physicians, occupational health nurses, managers, supervisors, personnel
specialists, union health and safety professionals, and others with
the responsibility of providing a safe and healthy work environment.
OSHERC is also cosponsoring the South Eastern Atlantic College of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine Annual Symposium September
17-19 in New Bern. The program will feature presentations on
a variety of topics in occupational and environmental medicine, including “Functional
Testing and Return to Work for Injured Workers”, “Psychological
First Aid in Disaster Response”, and “The Value of Health
and Power of Prevention”.
For more information about OSHERC and its offerings, go
Academy trio published in National AHEC Bulletin
“Responding to Local Public Health Training Needs” by
Janet Place, MPH, Adrienne Joines, MPH, and Paula Dickson, MS, appeared
in the Spring/Summer 2009 National AHEC Bulletin.
The article described the NC Public Health Academy process of assessing
professional development needs of local public health departments
across the state and linking them to the most appropriate learning
resources and tools. A vital part of the Academy’s work is
the relationship between the NC AHEC (Area Health Education Centers)
system and the NC Institute for Public Health, a collaborative relationship
that coordinates training to match the needs reflected in the assessment
“This data,” says Place, “helps both AHEC and
NCIPH make the right decisions when evaluating where to allocate
limited public health training resources.” Both the poor economy
and the number of public health workers of retirement age portend
a shortage of skilled public health practitioners, another reason
for the Academy response.
For more information and to read the entire article, go to www.ncpublichealthacademy.org.
Core Certificate celebrates 500 graduates
A celebration is underway for the Certificate in Core Public Health
Concepts. The program has surpassed 500 graduates since its inception
Created with working professionals in mind, the Certificate allows
students to continue their education while furthering their careers.
The unique online format of the program attracts both local and international
public health professionals across multiple disciplines. From veterinarians
to social workers to biologists to pharmacists, the Certificate program
prepares students for future employment in public health.
Certificate graduate Sharon Loza stated, “I had the chance
to meet and work with some great students with so many different
career paths and perspectives, which really brought home the discipline
of public health.”
In order to address the interrelated public health fields, the Certificate
program utilizes group assignments which foster robust classroom
discussions. Gina Gloria Raineri, a spring 2009 certificate graduate
and Chilean resident, commented that although the group work was
challenging, it was “also an excellent experience to work with
classmates that belong to different countries and cultures.” This
divergence of opinions improves the student’s ability to work
in a group and encourages the exchange of differing opinions, according
to Ms. Raineri.
While some students choose the Certificate to enhance their current
careers, many others view the Certificate as a gateway to bigger
dreams. “The Certificate program was an avenue towards my entering
the Master’s program. There are many online degree programs
out there, but I believe this program offered by UNC is far superior,” said
Linda Cook. Approximately 25% of the certificate graduates have continued
their education at UNC in an SPH degree program.
The 500-graduate milestone will be acknowledged during the Certificate
program graduation ceremony in August 2009. Join us in celebrating
as we look forward to educating future public health professionals
in North Carolina and beyond.
For more information about NCIPH’s certificate programs, go
Public Health Projects make NC "shovel ready" for
Health IT Stimulus Funds
Several key technology and communication projects around the state
have competitively positioned North Carolina’s local public
health for federal funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act (ARRA). The North Carolina Division of Public Health (DPH), NCIPH,
and local health departments through the Public Health Incubator
Collaboratives have been working on information technology projects
to improve how local health departments, clinics and individuals
record and share vital health information.
DPH is currently piloting a new state-wide clinic management system
known as HIS. HIS is a first step toward a comprehensive electronic
medical record (EMR) of a patient’s medical history. At
the same time, the Southern Piedmont Partnership and the South Central
Partnership for Public Health (two of the public health incubators)
have developed a comprehensive set of requirements necessary
to describe and effectively automate practice management and clinic
processes and to establish a comprehensive EMR.
Over 70 subject matter experts from eight counties in the Southern
Piedmont Partnership, four counties from the South Central Partnership
for Public Health and DPH were trained to collaboratively analyze
and redesign business processes in the areas of billing, child health,
child services coordination, communicable disease, family planning,
intensive home visiting, maternal care coordination, maternal health,
registration, and checkout.
“By evaluating the HIS pilot version against the system and
functional requirements, future enhancements to HIS have been identified
to develop a comprehensive EMR/practice management system,“ said
project leader Tracy Lockard of the Cabarrus Health Alliance. In
addition, says Tracy, “The analysis, reengineering, and requirements
work to define the clinical work of public health will also be shared
and disseminated nationally. Other state and local public
health departments will benefit from this systematic approach and
will save time and money. They will be able to focus their
attention on customizing features to meet their specific local needs.”
A second ARRA priority is the Health Information Exchanges (HIE). An
HIE is a mechanism that enables healthcare providers to exchange
secure patient information electronically. The Southern Piedmont
Partnership is currently designing an HIE for North Carolina public
health known as SoPHIE (Southern Piedmont Health Information Exchange.).
The project competitively positions local public health to leverage
Effective HIEs require high-speed networks. To this end the Southern
Piedmont Partnership has initiated the NC TeleHealth Network project. Funded
by the FCC, the project links public health departments and free
clinics with a dedicated high-speed broadband network.
Health information technology extension services are a third ARRA
priority. Over 30 local health departments, led by the Northeastern
NC and South Central Partnerships, have assessed their IT capabilities
and needs. The training priorities identified by these
assessments point to the most important services that should be provided
by a proposed public health IT extension service. The assessments
inform an extension service that would be of particular and substantial
value to smaller, rural health departments.
According to David Kirby of Kirby Information Management Consulting,
LLC, project lead for the SoPHIE and the Telehealth Network projects, “The
implication of all this IT groundwork is that North Carolina public
health has been working to improve health services through new technologies
and that the strategies are in place. We are indeed,
as the President has specified, “shovel ready”.
For more on these projects, visit the partnerships involved at www.publichealthincubators.com.