December 14, 2023
Photograph of seated student raising hand with other students in the background

Essentially Public Health

As more people join the ranks at health departments to support their communities, there is a growing need for training about concepts like health equity and how it is centered in this work.

Many new agency staff are also wondering about all the public health acronyms and what exactly people mean when they say, “use an equity lens” or “go upstream.”

In response to these changes and questions, NWCPHP is excited to announce the launch of a new course, Essentially Public Health, which focuses on the foundations of public health and equity and, yes, a few acronyms.

The three-part learning series is specifically designed for people who are new to working in public health or have no formal training in the topic area. Each of the 2.5-hour live sessions is grounded in one of the three Public Health Core Functions—Assessment, Policy Development, and Assurance—as they relate to health equity and to the 10 Essential Public Health Services.

A quick search will reveal that there are a lot of self-paced materials on this topic already, but that few opportunities exist for live learning with others. Essentially Public Health is a unique chance to gather with peers from around the region to learn together and work through questions. Organizations can also use this training to ground staff across various teams and backgrounds with a shared language and a common understanding of public health’s role in the community and may supplement this material with additional information about their own agency's specific activities.

Barbara Obena, MPH, who currently serves as a Senior Consultant with the National Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity team at Kaiser Permanente and teaches a graduate-level population health course at the University of Washington, will lead this public health foundations-focused training. She brings to this role her expertise to drive the development and implementation of initiatives, systems, and processes to a desired future state where EID is part of everyone's role.

Essentially Public Health will be offered quarterly in 2024, with the first two offerings being held on February 22, March 7 & 21 and May 23 & 30, June 6, both from 9:00 am – 11:30 am (Pacific). Registration for these sessions closes February 2, 2024. Priority will be given to people working in state, local, and Tribal health departments in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Additional sessions will be held in September and December with registration for those offerings opening later in 2024. This training can also be delivered as a one-day, in-person workshop for groups of 30-50. Contact NWCPHP to learn about pricing options if your organization is interested in bringing this training to your area.

To learn more about this opportunity visit Essentially Public Health. Contact Christine Ector with questions.