What is the Epi Teams Training Curriculum?
Who is the intended audience for these trainings?
What types of training materials are included on this Web site?
How was this training curriculum developed?
Who should facilitate a case study for our Epi Team?
The Epi Teams Training Curriculum is a set of training materials designed to improve the functioning of local health department epidemiology teams. The curriculum includes individual and group activities addressing applied epidemiology competencies.
The intended audience is local Epidemiology Teams (Epi Teams) in North Carolina. Members of Epi Teams vary, but may include health directors, epidemiologists, nurses, environmental health specialists, public information officers or health educators, laboratorians, administrators, and information technology specialists. Epi Teams from other states may use these materials, but all examples are specific to North Carolina and the way its Epi Teams function.
Some training materials (e.g. Introductory Module, Activities) are designed for individual team members to complete on their own. Other materials (e.g. Team Building Exercises, Case Studies) are designed for the Epi Team as a group.
This Web site includes several types of training materials. “Introduction to NC Epi Teams” is a recorded presentation that should be viewed on an individual basis before beginning the training curriculum. Team Building Exercises are designed to improve communication among Epi Team members. Case Studies are scenarios based on actual disease outbreaks or other public health emergencies designed to guide the Epi Team through the actions necessary to respond to an emergency. Activities are short, interactive online modules designed to teach a specific skill, such as creating a line listing, that members should complete on an individual basis.
The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists published a list of applied epidemiology competencies for practicing epidemiologists in local and state government. The UNC Center for Public Health Preparedness (UNC CPHP) focused on a subset of these competencies when developing case studies and exercises. UNC CPHP worked with an advisory committee that provided feedback about the content and format of training materials, suggested pilot testing sites, reviewed this website, and provided overall guidance about the curriculum. In addition to review by the advisory committee, each case study was pilot tested by two local Epi Teams and revised based on local feedback.
One option is to choose a member of the Epi Team to serve as a facilitator. Team members who serve as facilitators will gain additional experience in guiding a small group discussion. A second option is to ask a colleague from a neighboring Epi Team or a member of the Public Health Regional Surveillance Team (PHRST) to facilitate the case study.
Whoever is planning to facilitate should review the case study in advance using the facilitator’s version, which includes tips for small group facilitation and suggested answers to discussion questions and activities. During the Epi Team meeting, the facilitator will guide the group through the case study using the facilitator’s version and other Epi Team members will follow the participant version.