Category: Public Health Science

Primary Competency Area

COVID-19: From Pandemic to Endemic

Course Objective

  • Differentiate between “Pandemic” and “Endemic,” with examples from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
  • Describe examples from the HIV epidemic that may apply to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Explain implications for public health practice as the field transitions from a pandemic to endemic response to COVID-19

Date: April 5th, 2022

Presenter:
Dr. Jessica Justman
 Associate Professor of Medicine in Epidemiology
Columbia University Irving Medical Center


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Dr. Jessica Justman, Associate Professor of Medicine in Epidemiology at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, goes over epidemiology concepts and skills as illustrated by the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. She starts by defining the terms epidemic, pandemic, and endemic as they relate to infectious diseases. She then explains how COVID-19 went from an outbreak to an epidemic, and reviews the progression and classification of epidemics. In addition to the example of COVID-19, she speaks to the toll and spread of other pandemics in history. In particular, she highlights the similarities between HIV and COVID-19 pandemics, including spread, overall burden and disparities, public health and community-driven responses, communication challenges, and issues of uncertainty and fear. Finally, she summarizes lessons learned from the progression and response to COVID-19, commenting on how we could have been better prepared.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between “Pandemic” and “Endemic,” with examples from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
  2. Describe examples from the HIV epidemic that may apply to the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Explain implications for public health practice as the field transitions from a pandemic to endemic response to COVID-19
Confronting Barriers to Vaccine Acceptance: The Role of Effective Communication

Course Objective

  • Discuss root causes of vaccine hesitancy and inequities among different groups
  • Describe the role of effective communication in promoting vaccine acceptance
  • Identify promising equity- and community-driven strategies to address barriers to vaccine acceptance during COVID-19 and beyond
  • Discuss examples, case studies, and action steps to strengthen local communication systems and promote vaccine acceptance

Date: April 5th, 2022

Subject Matter Expert:
Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA, CCL
Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Founder and Board President, Health Equity Initiative
Principal, Strategies for Equity and Communication Impact (SECI) 


This course developed by the Region 2 Public Health Training Center (PHTC) focuses on the role of effective communication in confronting barriers to vaccine acceptance. It discusses root causes of vaccine hesitancy and inequities among different groups and describes the role of effective communication in addressing such root causes, including a focus on equity- and community-driven strategies during COVID-19 and beyond. It also provides an overview of examples, case studies, best practices, and action steps to strengthen local communication systems and promote vaccine acceptance among a variety of groups.

Participants will learn how to:

  1. Discuss root causes of vaccine hesitancy and inequities among different groups
  2. Describe the role of effective communication in promoting vaccine acceptance
  3. Identify promising equity- and community-driven strategies to address barriers to vaccine acceptance during COVID-19 and beyond
  4. Discuss examples, case studies, and action steps to strengthen local communication systems and promote vaccine acceptance
Developing and Implementing Climate and Health Adaptations: An Update from the NYSDOH BRACE Project

Course Objective

  • Describe the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects, or BRACE, framework for climate and health adaptation work.
  • Identify at least 3 resources for gaining knowledge about likely impacts of climate change on health in NYS.
  • Describe examples of climate and health adaptation-related activities that have been conducted in NYS.

Date: March 1st, 2022

Presenter:
Neil Muscatiello, MS
Director, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology,
New York State Department of Health


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Neil Muscatiello, director of the NYSDOH Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology reviews the importance and progress of the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework for climate and health adaptation work in New York. He starts by contextualizing the human impact on climate and New York State projections, including warming trends and increased precipitations. He then explains how the BRACE model builds on evidence such as the climate impact assessments from ClimAID, which summarize observed and projected impacts across 8 sectors, and the county heat and health profile reports, which correlate temperature increases to poor health outcomes. He then traces the climate change adaptations steps, and goes over some example adaptations, such as the benefit analysis of heating and cooling assistance on hospitalizations, the Climate Smart Community certification. He ends by sharing information about regional climate and health adaptation workshops, additional resources, and answering attendees’ questions.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Describe the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects, or BRACE, framework for climate and health adaptation work
  2. Identify at least 3 resources for gaining knowledge about likely impacts of climate change on health in NYS.
  3. Describe examples of climate and health adaptation-related activities that have been conducted in NYS.
Connecting the Dots With Systemic Thinking for Equitable and Healthiest Communities

Course Objective

  • Define key concepts, including: systems, systemic thinking, equity, social justice, and complexity.
  • Explain how systemic thinking links to existing frameworks for equitable and healthier communities.
  • Demonstrate use of two tools for exploring deep leverage points.

Date: January 11th, 2022

Presenter:
Priti Irani, MSPH
Research Scientist

Office of Public Health Practice, New York State Department of Health


In this month’s Log-in2Learn, Priti Irani, MSPH connects system thinking to the revised 10 Essential Public Health Services, which put health equity at the center. She begins by introducing the New York State Prevention Agenda, and defining key concepts of justice, systemic thinking, and targeted universalism. She then illustrates a concrete application of systems thinking by going through the example of food insecurity in New York State as a complex problem. She demonstrates how to use the iceberg model to look for hidden structures and mental models, as well as a causal loop diagram to find deep leverage points that guide interventions for greater impact. Finally, she shares additional online resources to continue the learning and application of systems thinking, and answer questions from live webinar participants, including incorporating paradigm shifts into different jobs.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Define key concepts, including: systems, systemic thinking, equity, social justice, and complexity.
  2. Explain how systemic thinking links to existing frameworks for equitable and healthier communities.
  3. Demonstrate use of two tools for exploring deep leverage points.
Open Season on Ticks

Course Objective

  • List different tick species and what diseases they may transmit
  • Describe methods to reduce tick bites and identify symptoms of tick-borne disease
  • Identify ways to engage partners to help raise awareness and prevent tick-borne diseases in your community

Date: November 9th 2021

Presenter:
Faith Lustik
Public Health Planner

&

Lisa Lagos
Public Health Educator

Jefferson County Public Health Service


In this month’s Log-In2Learn webinar, Lisa Lagos and Faith Lustik from the Jefferson County Public Health Service introduce the management of tick-borne disease from the perspectives of community education and planning. Lisa begins by reviewing the history of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease, from its initial community identification to its known geographic and seasonal distribution today. She described tick-bite identification, Lyme disease symptoms and incubation period. She then introduces other tick-borne diseases, including anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Powassan virus disease. Individual techniques of protection are reviewed. Faith wraps up the presentation by focusing on stakeholder engagement. She explains how to use surveillance data to alert providers, and explains the importance of including students, outdoor workers and trail users in outreach.

Participants will be able to:

  1. List different tick species and what diseases they may transmit
  2. Describe methods to reduce tick bites and identify symptoms of tick-borne disease
  3. Identify ways to engage partners to help raise awareness and prevent tick-borne diseases in your community
Managing NYC death reporting from the epicenter of a pandemic: COVID-19 in Spring 2020

Course Objective

  • Describe the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS)
  • Describe the process and parties involved in registering a death.
  • Describe the operational, and other, factors that make timely, accurate registration of death possible

Date: October 5th, 2021

Presenter:
Gretchen Van Wye, PhD, MA
Assistant Commissioner & City Registrar
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH)
Bureau of Vital Statistics, Division of Epidemiology


In this month’s Log-in2Learn webinar, Gretchen Van Wye, PhD, MA, discusses the challenges and importance of increased death reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic. She begins by recognizing death registration both as a fundamental right of persons, as well as instrumental to monitoring disease outbreaks. She highlights the contextual obstacles of the beginning of the pandemic, which was marked by initial denial and limited testing, but followed a geometric progression and the corresponding response needed. She then explains how death registration works in New York City, and shares the NYDOHMH’s plan to respond to its increased need, including staff, system, policy, and data changes.

Participants will learn about the following:

  1. Describe the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS)
  2. Describe the process and parties involved in registering a death.
  3. Describe the operational, and other, factors that make timely, accurate registration of death possible
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
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.
Region 2 Public Health Training Center