Rural South Public Health Training Center Awarded Grant Funding
The Rural South Public Health Training Center was recently awarded additional grant funding. This will be the 4th year of the center’s existence. They have trained over 3,000 public health workers, including over 1,000 last year.
The funds will be used to address three aims:
- Carryover funds will be used to increase the type of online CE programs offered. Currently, we offer 1- 2 online sessions monthly. The group proposes to expand their current topics to include those identified in the community needs assessment. These include the Affordable Care Act, updates in upcoming trends in drug and tobacco use and adolescent pregnancy. To facilitate this increase in CE offerings, they will hire experts in the topic areas who will conduct the presentations. Consistent with the current model, they will establish an agreement with the Suwanee River AHEC to provide continuing education credits at no cost to the trainees.
- Needs Assessment Efforts. The center will expand on current needs assessment efforts including continued community resident focus groups and key informant interviews among counties they have not currently contacted. Of the 12 medically underserved counties originally identified for this program they have successfully conducted needs assessments with three counties (Suwanee, Madison and Lafayette) They will continue these efforts and conduct assessment activities with three more counties (e.g. Bradford, Union and Taylor counties). They will hire four program assistants to assist in our efforts as they attempt to complete needs assessment efforts with the aforementioned counties during the remaining months of funding.
- During the final phase of the project the team will collaborate with the State of New York Health Department in the development of The HIV Avatar Program. The program consists of a web-based portal that will provide an online interactive module for public health workers seeking continuing education and answers to frequently asked questions, with topics including testing, medications, and symptom, and a range of HIV related questions from the perspective of medical personnel and newly diagnosed patients to serve as an access point for patient education. It will use gender and ethnically diverse avatars in consultation settings to deliver respective information.
Congratulations to Dr. Hart and the rest of the RSPHTC team!