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State changes to alcohol availability during COVID-19: What can state/local public health departments do to protect communities’ health?

Course Objective

  • Describe trends in alcohol use and related harms over the last two decades.
  • Explain state level changes to alcohol availability during the pandemic.
  • Summarize state and local public health strategies to curtail industry sponsored efforts to increase in alcohol availability to protect population level harms.

Date: May 4th 2021

Presenter:
Sean J. Haley, PhD, MPH
Asst. Professor of Health Policy and Management
City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy


In this month’s Log-in2Learn webinar, Sean J. Haley, PhD, MPH, addresses the alarming increase in alcohol availability and consumption over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. He starts by providing context to the state of Alcohol Use Disorders amongst the U.S. population over the years. In detail, he then discusses the changes in attitudes and behaviors towards alcohol as the pandemic began to worsen and stay-at-home orders were placed. He highlights the unique characteristics of this increased consumption, identifying individual, social and structural factors. Dr. Haley makes sure to emphasize that this is not a temporary problem and substantiates his statement with research from past disasters, decade long trends and industry motivations. He then switches to what can be done to control this problem. He walks us through the many action steps, at varying levels, that can be taken by state and local public health departments in order to protect communities’ health.

Participants will learn the following:

  1. Describe trends in alcohol use and related harms over the last two decades.
  2. Explain state level changes to alcohol availability during the pandemic.
  3. Summarize state and local public health strategies to curtail industry sponsored efforts to increase in alcohol availability to protect population level harms.
Breaking Through Public Health Bureaucracy: tools and tips to successfully navigate internal administration and processes

Course Objective

  • Describe how the federal government appropriates funding to public health agencies and other entities
  • Describe the key challenges faced by health departments implementing federally funded programs
  • Identify 3 strategies to overcome challenges and enhance efficiency in program implementation

Date: April 6, 2021

Presenter:
Jennifer McKeever, MSW, MPH
Founder and Principal of WE Public Health, LLC

&

Rishika Desai, MPH
Senior Analyst at the Association of State and Territorial Health Official (ASTHO)


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Jennifer McKeever, MSW, MPH & Rishika Desai, MPH, discuss the complexities of public health bureaucracy and the best ways to navigate it. They start by talking about what these bureaucratic issues might look like, how the pandemic has impacted them and the type of problems they might create at different levels. Jennifer and Rishika go on to describe how the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) tried to assess this in their recent qualitative study and highlight some of the key findings and recommendations for overcoming administrative bottlenecks that slow down program implementation. Through a conversation with the audience on what difficulties they’ve experienced, our presenters try to determine the common root causes. Lastly, they share ways in which agencies have responded to these challenges, now and in the past, and guide us through the unique steps that research has helped identify as tools to solve at least some of the bureaucratic problems we face in public health.

Participants will learn  the following:

  1. Describe how the federal government appropriates funding to public health agencies and other entities
  2. Describe the key challenges faced by health departments implementing federally funded programs
  3. Identify 3 strategies to overcome challenges and enhance efficiency in program implementation
Vital Records and Vital Statistics: The Backbone of Public Health in America

Course Objectives

  • Outline the history of civil registration in what is now known as the United States of America.
  • Identify the Constitutional, legislative, and regulatory foundations that govern the functioning of the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS).
  • Describe methods for accessing vital event data for research purposes
  • Analyze the forces that have made vital records important.
  • Describe the process and parties involved in registering a death.
  • Describe the process and parties involved in registering a birth
  • Explain the importance of records management to the maintenance of vital records and the operations of vital records offices.
  • Characterize the importance of the integrity of the information on birth and death certificates
  • Give reasons for the basic principles of vital records corrections and amendments.
  • Describe how vital statistics laws are modified in the United States.
  • Analyze frequently-proposed legislation.

Date: March 2021

Presenter:
Gretchen Van Wye, PhD, MA
Assistant Commissioner and Registrar, Bureau of Vital Statistics, 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


If you had to develop a public health intervention designed to protect basic human rights, connect your target population with upstream social determinants of health like education, housing, and income, and ensure that their existential drive to exist were acknowledged, a birth certificate just might be it. Invisible and mundane to most of the world, birth certificates – and death certificates, as well – document the stories how of humans come into and go out of this world. And, come and go they do. Vital records are the documents that catalog these experiences millions of times each year in the U.S., and vital statistics are the subset of the information on these records that public health students and professionals know and love.

This course focuses on the history, policy, management, and protection of vital records and vital statistics in the United States and will open learners’ eyes to the surprisingly fascinating world of vital events.

Learners who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Outline the history of civil registration in what is now known as the United States of America.
  • Identify the Constitutional, legislative, and regulatory foundations that govern the functioning of the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS).
  • Describe methods for accessing vital event data for research purposes
  • Analyze the forces that have made vital records important.
  • Describe the process and parties involved in registering a death.
  • Describe the process and parties involved in registering a birth
  • Explain the importance of records management to the maintenance of vital records and the operations of vital records offices.
  • Characterize the importance of the integrity of the information on birth and death certificates
  • Give reasons for the basic principles of vital records corrections and amendments.
  • Describe how vital statistics laws are modified in the United States.
  • Analyze frequently-proposed legislation.
The Challenge of Vaccine Hesitancy in the COVID Pandemic

Course Objective

  • Describe the continuum of vaccine acceptance and hesitancy
  • Identify the concerns that underlie hesitancy toward vaccination in general and COVID vaccination in particular 
  • Critique different approaches for achieving high uptake of COVID vaccines

Date: March 2nd, 2021

Presenter:
James Colgrove, PhD, MPH
Professor of Sociomedical Sciences,
Columbia Mailman School of Public Health
Dean of the Postbac Premed Program,
Columbia School of General Studies


This month’s Log-in2learn webinar comes at an opportune time, in the midst of a national vaccine rollout. Our presenter, James Colgrove, PhD, MPH, covers everything you need to know about vaccine hesitancy in the U.S.. He starts off with a brief history of the roots of vaccine hesitancy in the country and explains how these views have developed into the spectrum that we see today. He then shifts his attention to the COVID-19 pandemic, discussing the available vaccine options, their development process and the public’s response to them. He carefully walks us through the different concerns regarding the vaccine and breaks down the demographic characteristics of each group. He lays a heavy emphasis on the need to address hesitancy using targeted strategies that meet the unique needs of each group. He shares a number of approaches to do this and highlights key messages that have been effective. He ends by reiterating the main challenges and the importance of addressing broken relationships and mistrust as we attempt to address vaccine hesitancy during COVID-19.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the continuum of vaccine acceptance and hesitancy
  2. Identify the concerns that underlie hesitancy toward vaccination in general and COVID vaccination in particular 
  3. Critique different approaches for achieving high uptake of COVID vaccines
Strategic Storytelling: Using Data to Tell a Story and Telling Stories with Data

Course Objective

  • Describe how to find a story within a set of data points and how to use data effectively within a story. 
  • Summarize different ways to use data both ethically and effectively in a story.
  • Explain how to tell stories of structure change.
  • List Edward Tufte’s six guidelines for the visual display of information.

Date: February  2, 2021

Presenter:
Mark Dessauer, MA
Vice President of Learning
Spitfire Strategies


In the final webinar of our Strategic Storytelling series, Mark Dessauer, MA, shows us how public health practitioners can use data points to build a story and demonstrate impact. He walks us through the steps of finding a story in data and provides clear guidelines to ensure that the story we choose is engaging. He introduces the seven different types of data stories, while highlighting their strengths and weaknesses along the way. Mark emphasizes the most important dos and don’ts of using data in stories and shares vital infographic tips. After reviewing several examples of data stories, he explores how to tell stories about structural change and provides an overview of Tufte’s guidelines of the visual display of information. Finally, he shares a number of valuable resources to help enhance the use of data in creating effective stories.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe how to find a story within a set of data points and how to use data effectively within a story. 
  2. Summarize different ways to use data both ethically and effectively in a story.
  3. Explain how to tell stories of structure change.
  4. List Edward Tufte’s six guidelines for the visual display of information.
Policy Making and Systems Thinking: tools to help the public health workforce address challenging times

Course Objective

  • Define policy making in public health and how it can be used to achieve public health goals
  • Identify how systems thinking can strengthen public health policy development
  • Discuss how some of the essential steps in policy making and systems thinking can help address “wicked” public health challenges

Date: January  12th, 2021

Presenter:
Sylvia Pirani, MPH, MS
Public Health Practice Consultant

Helen de Pinho, MBBCh, FCCH, MBA
Assistant Professor
Population and Family Health
Columbia University Medical Center


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Helen de Pinho, MBBCh, FCCH, MBA, and Sylvia Pirani, MPH, MS, walk us through the process of policy making and the role of systems thinking in combating complex challenges. Sylvia starts by highlighting the steps required to craft good policy and emphasizes the importance of incorporating community members and stakeholders in the process. She then identifies some of the common obstacles seen during this process and shares instances of the same. Helen goes on to unpack the concept of systems thinking, explaining how it can be used and why it is such an essential tool for policy makers and the public health workforce. She demonstrates the ways in which systems thinking can be used to address complex situations and tricky relationships in the policy making process through a series of examples. Finally, they both identify the next steps in policy making and share useful resources for policy identification and systems thinking during challenging times.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Define policy making in public health and how it can be used to achieve public health goals
  2. Identify how systems thinking can strengthen public health policy development
  3. Discuss how some of the essential steps in policy making and systems thinking can help address “wicked” public health challenges
Collecting, Creating and Sharing Ethical Stories

Course Objective

  • Describe why framing and narratives of stories are the building blocks to changing hearts and mindsets. 
  • Explain ethics in storytelling and identify how to collect, create, and share stories in a manner that is respectful for the protagonist and community. 
  • Summarize different ways to find and collect stories from their staff, partners, and community.

Date: December 1st, 2020

Presenter:
Mark Dessauer, MA
Vice President of Learning
Spitfire Strategies


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Mark Dessauer, MA, is back for part two of the storytelling in public health series. Following his October webinar on the power of storytelling, he now shifts the focus on how to share the stories of others in an ethical way. He first discusses how stories can and have gone wrong in the past. He explains in detail the components that make up a good story, including the framing, narrative, influencers etc. Next, he emphasizes why ethical storytelling is so important and walks us through the 4 elements that can help achieve this. He goes on to talk about how to find these stories and where they can and should be shared. Throughout the session, Mark reiterates ways to keep the subjects of the story involved in the process and how to navigate the balance of power. Finally, he ends by sharing a number of tools that are effective in creating narratives around health equity.

Following the webinar participants will be able to:

  1. Describe why framing and narratives of stories are the building blocks to changing hearts and mindsets.
  2. Explain ethics in storytelling and identify how to collect, create, and share stories in a manner that is respectful for the protagonist and community.
  3. Summarize different ways to find and collect stories from their staff, partners, and community.
Succession Planning and Change: Growing and Developing Talent in Public Health

Course Objective

  • Define “succession planning” for public health agencies
  • Explain the rationale for succession planning in public health
  • Identify the key elements of the succession planning process
  • Describe the link between change management and organizational succession planning
  • Explain the critical success factors for succession planning in public health

Date: November 10, 2020

Presenter:
Emil J. Sadloch, MA
SADLOCH DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANTS


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Emil J. Sadloch, MA, highlights the importance of succession planning and why it is so relevant for public health today. While acknowledging the incredible contributions of public health officials during this pandemic, he underscores the aspects of leadership, change management and workforce resilience that enabled this. He goes on to discuss the necessary shift in focus needed to address the future of public health and how leaders can recover and adapt from times of crisis. Emil elaborates ways to strengthen the current workforce in preparation for new challenges, while simultaneously grooming the next generation for the same. He walks us through 10 important goals of succession planning and what the existing barriers look like. Lastly, he shows us how to create an effective succession planning system by walking us through crucial practices and providing us with important tips to develop future leaders.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Define “succession planning” for public health agencies
  2. Explain the rationale for succession planning in public health
  3. Identify the key elements of the succession planning process
  4. Describe the link between change management and organizational succession planning
  5. Explain the critical success factors for succession planning in public health
Strategic Storytelling for Public Health

Course Objective

  • Describe the value and power of using stories to engage audiences in a strategic manner
  • Identify six different types of stories to use when engaging audiences
  • Explain techniques for creating powerful stories, including both the process of telling stories and the content

Date: October 6th 2020

Presenter:
Mark Dessauer, MA
Vice President of Learning
Spitfire Strategies


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Mark Dessauer, MA, discusses the power of storytelling and how to optimize it. He emphasizes the importance of using stories as a public health tool to engage diverse audiences. He talks about the impact stories can have on changing existing narratives and addressing cultural norms. During this time of uncertainty, Mark stresses the need to use stories to connect people by sharing emotions and experiences that reflect their communities. He reiterates the use of this strategy to shed light on untold stories and to encourage equitable visibility. He also makes use of a variety of examples to demonstrate the effective use of this strategy to influence changes in attitudes and behaviors. Lastly, Mark walks us through the “storyteller’s toolbox”, providing insights on the types of stories to share, what angles to take and how to best showcase them.

Participants will learn how to the following:

  1. Describe the value and power of using stories to engage audiences in a strategic manner
  2. Identify six different types of stories to use when engaging audiences
  3. Explain techniques for creating powerful stories, including both the process of telling stories and the content
A public health perspective on dismantling systemic racism: What role for health departments?

Course Objective

  • Explain why state and local health departments have the opportunity, mandate, capacity and imperative to take action to dismantle elements of systemic racism that harm health
  • Give examples of specific actions health departments can take to interrupt pathways by which racially disparate access to healthy food, criminal justice policies, and educational policies contribute to the health burdens of Black, Latinx, indigenous, and other populations of color.
  • Identify one or more ways that they can take action now within their institution to strengthen its actions designed to dismantle systemic racism

Date: September 1, 2020

Presenters
Nicholas Freudenberg, DrPH, MPH

Erinn Bacchus, MPH

Craig Willingham, MPH

City University of New York Urban Food Policy Institute


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, participants learn about three distinct approaches to address the intersections between public health and systemic racism in the United States. Dr. Nicholas Freudenburg, DrPH, MPH, discusses the relationship between the key determinants of health and racism and the need to end the inequitable provisions of education, housing and healthcare by creating communities of opportunity. Errin Bachhus, MPH, addresses racism in the criminal justice system and the role of public health organizations. In light of recent incidents of police brutality, she highlights the need to reevaluate the role of police departments and the best ways for health departments to intervene through programs and policy. Craig Willingham, MPH, examines how food policy can be crucial in increasing racial equity. He reviews the Good Food Purchasing Program and other city-wide efforts and shares how they can be targeted at minority groups to help alleviate inequities. Lastly, the speakers suggest a to-do list for public health organizations to actively make changes to current structures, provide creative examples to inspire action and recommend books to further broaden perspectives.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Explain why state and local health departments have the opportunity, mandate, capacity and imperative to take action to dismantle elements of systemic racism that harm health
  2. Give examples of specific actions health departments can take to interrupt pathways by which racially disparate access to healthy food, criminal justice policies, and educational policies contribute to the health burdens of Black, Latinx, indigenous, and other populations of color.
  3. Identify one or more ways that they can take action now within their institution to strengthen its actions designed to dismantle systemic racism.
Region 2 Public Health Training Center