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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 244

Applied Topics in the Essentials of Public Health: A Skills-Based Course in a Public Health Certificate Program Developed to Enhance the Competency of Working Health Professionals

Department of Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire, USA

Correspondence Address:
R M Caron
#319 Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way Durham, New Hampshire 03824-3563
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20029749

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Introduction: In addition to understanding core public health fundamentals, health professionals must also be equipped with the skills necessary to implement strategies to promote population health. In response, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has developed a unique Public Health Certificate (PHC) Program designed to strengthen knowledge and skills in basic public health competencies of working health professionals. A distinctive feature of this program is its culminating course "Applied Topics in the Essentials of Public Health," which entails a practical, applied learning experience where students explore a variety of essential public health services (EPHS) relevant to their career goals. Objectives: 1) Explain the rationale for educating working health professionals about public health; 2) Describe the UNH graduate PHC Program, its framework and innovative process for implementing a skills-based course to improve the competency of practitioners to perform the EPHS; 3) Review the benefits and challenges of implementing a skills-based course for working health professionals; and 4) Evaluate the PHC Program. Discussion: The UNH PHC Program and its capstone course serve as a model for providing a unique, skills-based learning opportunity for working health professionals pursuing advanced public health education in U.S.-based or international public health education programs. This novel course design allows for students to develop the skills necessary to perform the EPHS.

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