Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center Newsletter

September 2016 Newsletter

Partner Spotlight:

Dr. Amanda Janitz

Dr. Janitz is currently an Assistant Professor of Research in Epidemiology in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health. She works with the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board, the Association of American Indian Physicians, and Region VI South Central Public Health Training Center. During her doctoral program, she worked with these organizations as a Graduate Research Assistant and consultant. Her dissertation research, which she completed in 2015, focused on the association between congenital anomalies and any childhood cancer and the association between air pollution and childhood acute leukemia. Her areas of expertise include the epidemiology of childhood cancer, public health program evaluation, and epidemiologic methods. After graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she worked as a pediatric oncology nurse. In 2009, she completed a Master of Public Health in the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health with a focus on childhood cancer. Upon graduation, she worked as a Research Nurse in pediatric oncology before returning to the University of Oklahoma in 2010 to complete her doctorate with a goal of contributing to cancer research in Oklahoma.

Texas Local Health Department Readiness in Pursuing PHAB Accreditation

Texas stands as an outlier in the number of full-service health departments compared to the other four states covered by Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center (SCPHTC). There are 63 full-service, local health departments (LHDs) active in Texas, in which the variability among the health departments has a significant range. Texas Health Institute and the Texas Association of City & County Health Officials conducted a Texas Public Health Accreditation Board Readiness Study during the 2016 summer months. The project assessed the status, knowledge, and attitude of the 63 LHDs on pursing accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).
The 63 LHDs were divided into two groups based on their accreditation readiness status. The status of the two groups varied widely. Five LHDs were either accredited or in-review of accreditation. Key informant interviews were conducted with this group. The second group, or general group, was comprised of LHDs who answered an online readiness survey. Approximately a third of the general group was split into three distinct sub-groups: 1) indecisive in pursuing PHAB accreditation; 2) will pursue PHAB accreditation but have not yet initiated any actions; and, 3) will not pursue PHAB accreditation.
The knowledge of the two groups was congruent. At least 50% of respondents reported collaborating with local health organizations within their community to conduct a Community Health Assessments (CHAs) and Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) within the last five years. Furthermore, at least 75% of respondents reported obtaining PHAB information from both the PHAB organization and from other health departments.
The attitude between the two groups ranged considerably, especially in allocating resources to pursue accreditation. A second subset explored the likelihood of PHAB accreditation becoming mandatory within the next 10 years. This subset also varied greatly. Key informants reported obtaining and allocating soft and hard resources as practical means to pursue accreditation. However, the general group reported limitations in monetary, time, and labor resources as three deterring factors in pursuing PHAB accreditation. In addition, the majority of key informants reported the likelihood of PHAB accreditation becoming mandatory within the next 10 years as somewhat unlikely to unlikely. Conversely, the majority of the general group reported somewhat likely to likely. Both groups were analogous in reporting an increase in potential funding; an increase in efficiency in their services to their community; and, an increase in credibility from the community as the main three supporting factors to pursue PHAB accreditation.
The Texas Public Health Accreditation Board Readiness Study was funded by HRSA Grant #UB6HP27874 and a Region 6 SCPHTC MPH Faculty-Student Collaborative project with Yoonhwi Cho, MPH student at Texas A&M University School of Public Health as study leader.
Featured Course Bundle

First Responder Preparedness

The First Responder Preparedness bundle consists of 5 courses. Topics covered include communication, field exercises, handling of chemical agents and biological response preparedness.

First Responder Preparedness bundle courses:
  • Recognition and Safe Handling of Chemical Terrorist Agents - 2 credit hours
  • Practice-based Scenarios for Recognition, Detection and Exposure Assessment of Chemical Terrorist Agents - 3 credit hours
  • Biological Response Preparedness for Emergency Medical Services - 4 credit hours
  • Communication Gap: Linking First Responders and First Receivers - 3 credit hours
  • Planning, Implementation and Exploitation of a Field Exercise - 6 credit hours
For more information about the First Responder Preparedness course bundle, click here

We Want To Hear From You!

Looking for more training on a specific topic in public health? Need additional training on a current public health hot topic? We want to help you address these needs. Please email us and let us know about your current training needs/interests/issues. We will evaluate our current trainings to see if we have something that can address your area of interest.

If we don't have the resources already available, we will look into the possibility of developing those resources for you. Please send us an email at [email protected] and let us see if we can be of help. Thank you.

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Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center | 1440 Canal Street, Suite 800 | New Orleans | LA | 70112