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Northwest Center for Public Health Practice

Public Health Training, Research, and Evaluation for the Northwest

Adapting Training for Frontline Health Workers in Washington

December 15, 2020

NWCPHP is collaborating with the Washington State Department of Health to adapt training from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that will support frontline public health professionals and health care workers, from nurses to program managers at local health agencies.

The CDC will provide curriculum intended to increase infection prevention and control knowledge, covering the basics — such as transmission risk and how to put on and take off personal protective equipment — with an emphasis on preventing the spread of respiratory infections. The curriculum is intended to help participants share information across health care and public health practice settings, as well as be able to know how to connect and partner with infection control experts within their local communities.

Using this basic curriculum, NWCPHP will work with the Washington State Department of Health to design, produce, and pilot an adapted version for training frontline public health and health care workers in Washington state. Potential training adaptions could include case-based scenarios and exercises, videos, simulation-based learning exercises, podcasts, audio-narrated exercises, and/or comics. The adapted training will be tailored to specific health care and public health audiences, while also providing continuing education hours for professionals.

The CDC curriculum and NWCPHP adapted training aim to deepen knowledge about infection control and expand public health capacity that will ultimately help save lives.

“NWCPHP has a long history of developing and adapting training materials to meet the needs of local public health professionals,” NWCPHP Director Betty Bekemeier said. “We are honored to continue this work. It fits with our mission and our partnership with the Washington State Department of Health to strengthen support for public health professionals on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 and infectious diseases that negatively affect the health and well-being of individuals and communities.”

The adapted training is expected to be available starting in the Summer of 2021.

This project is made possible thanks to $725,000 funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC awarded the Washington State Department of Health Services (DOH) the grant, and DOH has contracted with the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice to adapt the training.