Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

One of our priorities at the de Beaumont Foundation is offering practical solutions to strengthen the public health system and workforce, enabling professionals to improve the health of their communities. With the emergence of COVID-19, public health organizations nationwide are compiling resources to help state and local employees who are on the frontlines of addressing the pandemic. Follow this post as we continue to update it with relevant resources.

Online Training for COVID-19-Specific Topics

The TRAIN Learning Network platform offers thousands of free quality training opportunities. The Public Health Foundation, which maintains the site, has curated and regularly updates a list of trainings related to COVID-19. Several of these online trainings are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) calls on Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity, which prepare clinicians to respond to public health emergencies.

There are also micro-learns (online trainings that take 15 minutes or less) from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on specific COVID-19 topics, such as non-pharmaceutical countermeasures for COVID-19. If you have never used TRAIN, sign up here.

For public health professionals interested in learning the basics of contact tracing, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the National Coalition of STD Directors have collaborated on an introductory online course for entry-level COVID-19 contact tracers. Learn more and register for the course here.

The Northwest Center for Public Health Practice also offers a free 90-minute training called Every Contact Counts. It is designed for public health professionals with little to no experience with contact tracing. Every Contact Counts also complements existing disease surveillance systems, programs, and trainings that organizations already use to help monitor public health.

Using Strategic Skills During a Public Health Emergency

Public health leaders need strategic skills such as systems thinking and change management to navigate the pandemic. The Public Health Learning Navigator has a list of online trainings on emergency preparedness strategic skills, including decision-making and managing change.

Communication is a particularly important strategic skill to hone amid COVID-19. ASTHO has an extensive risk communications guide for top questions regarding COVID-19.

For practitioners in rural settings, the National Rural Health Association has a “call first” communications toolkit to urge people to call before visiting a hospital or clinic, reducing the burden on rural health facilities. The customizable toolkit, which is based on CDC messaging, offers tools such as social media graphics and posts, radio scripts, and news releases.

Among other communications tools, the Frameworks Institute — a nonprofit think tank specializing in communications research and tools  for social and health issues — has been sharing approaches to discuss COVID-19. Their recommendations provide tangible ways to communicate about the pandemic “to explain health, enhance community, and offer hope.” You can explore their COVID-19 talking points here and sign up for email notifications when a new talking point is released.

Centering Health Equity in the COVID-19 Response

Human Impact Partners is crowdsourcing resources as a part of its Public Health Awakened initiative to center equity, racial justice, collective care, and community and power building in the public health response to COVID-19. In the second tab of this public Google spreadsheet, anyone can add resources on a host of topics related to the pandemic. Volunteers then sort the resources into categories such as racism and xenophobia, climate and environmental justice, and harm reduction and substance abuse. There is also a tab in this database especially for resources created by and for local health departments.

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) also has a resource page with articles, toolkits, and webinars discussing COVID-19’s disproportionate impacts on marginalized groups in the United States. This resource page is part of NAM’s Culture of Health Program, which is committed to studying and sharing evidence-based strategies to advance health equity and dismantle structural racism.

Leading During Challenging Times

During this public health crisis, leadership is more important than ever. The National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center has created a 30-minute video series with reflection worksheets to improve leadership during challenging times. The course helps participants develop creative problem-solving skills, step into leadership, recognize change preferences as individuals and in teams, and phase change during the COVID-19 crisis.

Where You Can Share Resources

The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) is currently gathering all resources and upcoming event information related to the COVID-19 outbreak. NNPHI will continually update this document to share with the network and partners. You can help by using this form to share resources for public health practitioners.

Please note: The COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve as more information becomes available, and new developments may make some content in these resources outdated. Check the CDC website for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19.

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