Pfiesteria-related educational products and information resources available to the public, health officials, and researchers.
Public and political concerns about Pfiesteria from 1997 to the present vastly exceed the attention given to other harmful algal bloom (HAB) issues in the United States. To some extent, the intense focus on Pfiesteria has served to increase attention on HABs in general. Given the strong and continuing public, political, and research interests in Pfiesteria piscicida Steidinger & Burkholder and related organisms, there is a clear need for information and resources of many different types. This article provides information on Pfiesteria-related educational products and information resources available to the general public, health officials, and researchers. These resources are compiled into five categories: reports; website resources; state outreach and communication programs; fact sheets; and training manuals and documentaries. Over the last few years there has been rapid expansion in the amount of Pfiesteria-related information available, particularly on the Internet, and it is scattered among many different sources. (+info)
Strengthening the nation's public health infrastructure: historic challenge, unprecedented opportunity.
The nation's attention has been focused on the vital need for a strong public health infrastructure to protect community health. In this paper we provide an overview of progress during the past decade and point to immediate challenges and opportunities that resulted from recent events. Further, we highlight the need for continued vigilance and broad partnership development if we are to maintain public support for public health. Finally, we point to the need for better language, compelling case reports, and quantitative capacity assessment to guide policymakers and program leaders and to ensure long-term support. (+info)
The public health workforce.
Defining the public health workforce and specifying its performance requirements present equal challenges as the nation anticipates public health needs for the twenty-first century. The core group of professionals employed by government public health agencies works in close partnership with a wide range of public, private, and voluntary organizations. The wider circle includes almost all physicians, dentists, and nurses, plus many other health, environmental, and public safety professionals. The task of ensuring that this workforce is prepared with skills and knowledge to face both identified and emerging public health challenges is immense. (+info)
How adolescents use technology for health information: implications for health professionals from focus group studies.
BACKGROUND: Adolescents present many challenges in providing them effective preventive services and health care. Yet, they are typically the early adopters of new technology (eg, the Internet). This creates important opportunities for engaging youths via eHealth. OBJECTIVE: To describe how adolescents use technology for their health-information needs, identify the challenges they face, and highlight some emerging roles of health professionals regarding eHealth services for adolescents. METHODS: Using an inductive qualitative research design, 27 focus groups were conducted in Ontario, Canada. The 210 participants (55% female, 45% male; median age 16 years) were selected to reflect diversity in age, sex, geographic location, cultural identity, and risk. An 8-person team analyzed and coded the data according to major themes. RESULTS: Study participants most-frequently sought or distributed information related to school (89%), interacting with friends (85%), social concerns (85%), specific medical conditions (67%), body image and nutrition (63%), violence and personal safety (59%), and sexual health (56%). Finding personally-relevant, high-quality information was a pivotal challenge that has ramifications on the depth and types of information that adolescents can find to answer their health questions. Privacy in accessing information technology was a second key challenge. Participants reported using technologies that clustered into 4 domains along a continuum from highly-interactive to fixed information sources: (1) personal communication: telephone, cell phone, and pager; (2) social communication: e-mail, instant messaging, chat, and bulletin boards; (3) interactive environments: Web sites, search engines, and computers; and (4) unidirectional sources: television, radio, and print. Three emerging roles for health professionals in eHealth include: (1) providing an interface for adolescents with technology and assisting them in finding pertinent information sources; (2) enhancing connection to youths by extending ways and times when practitioners are available; and (3) fostering critical appraisal skills among youths for evaluating the quality of health information. CONCLUSIONS: This study helps illuminate adolescent health-information needs, their use of information technologies, and emerging roles for health professionals. The findings can inform the design and more-effective use of eHealth applications for adolescent populations. (+info)
A model curriculum for public health bioterrorism education.
Beginning with the spring semester of 2001, a course designed to prepare future public health leaders for potential bioterrorism events has been offered by the University of Connecticut Graduate Program in Public Health. Entitled "The Public Health Response to Bioterrorism," this popular course was one of the few developed by academic programs in the United States prior to the attack of September 11, 2001. The course utilizes innovative teaching methods and presentations by distinguished guest speakers to educate public health personnel, public health and medical students, and physicians and nurses about the complex issues involved in the public health response to bioterrorism. The instructional methods and curriculum can serve as prototypes for similar efforts. (+info)
An innovation in partnership among first responders and public health: bridging the gap.
To properly prepare for and respond to bioterrorism and other urgent public health threats and emergencies, response disciplines must work together in well coordinated efforts to address the preparedness needs of their communities and the nation. Traditional public health workforce and first responder roles have been challenged and new partnerships have emerged, increasing the need for innovative education and training. This article provides a review of an approach the Heartland Center for Public Health Preparedness took to foster these partnerships and increase the provision of competency-based, integrated responder education and training in the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area. (+info)
The practice community meets the ivory tower: a health department/academic partnership to improve public health preparedness.
When the local health department of Montgomery County, Maryland, was chosen to participate in Project Public Health Ready and was charged with the daunting task of providing a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan, training all 600 employees to carry out that plan, and conducting exercises to demonstrate the department's competency, it realized it couldn't do it alone. The department sought the assistance of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The first challenge for these unlikely partners, one a bastion of research and the other firmly immersed in the practice world of public health, was to figure out how to work together. This article describes the development of their partnership; outlines the preparedness plan, training, and exercises that resulted from the partnership; summarizes the challenges and benefits for each entity; and enumerates lessons learned that could be useful to other public health entities planning to undertake similar partnerships. (+info)
Transforming a Master of Public Health program to address public health practice needs.
The future of the constantly changing public health profession is tied to the development of practice skills through competency-based training. In this article, we describe a program change in the Master of Public Health program at East Stroudsburg University in northeastern Pennsylvania. The first goal of the program transition was to ensure that all program elements included the relevant vision, values, mission, goals, and objectives. The second goal was to use continuous data input and evaluation to incorporate opportunities for flexible assessments. The change process helped the university faculty define the program's vision and fostered an environment of community collaboration that guides training for public health professionals. (+info)