Public Health Practitioners Raise the Bar for Quality Online Learning

In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about the evolution of public health practice needed to respond and prevent today’s leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries and overdoses, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. We’re seeing major calls to action for the public health workforce to think and act more strategically, and in partnership with other sectors.

At the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training, we believe that life-long, continuous learning – in settings other than full-time degree programs – is absolutely essential to effectively prevent and respond to today’s public health challenges. Yet, due to limited budgets, lack of federal coordination, and shifting administrative priorities, quality learning is often given little attention, if any. When it comes to the current availability of learning opportunities for the workforce, we often hear, “Well, it’s not perfect, but we did the best we could with the money we had…”

We understand. And, we still believe the workforce deserves better. We believe we deserve better. We value the important work that public health professionals engage in every day, and believe they should have access to high-quality, continual learning opportunities, not just “we did what we could with the money” learning opportunities.

That’s why we launched the Public Health Learning Navigator in partnership with the Public Health Learning Network. The Learning Navigator is a workforce-driven, designed, and managed effort, aimed at transforming the way public health learners access quality learning opportunities. Hundreds of public health professionals have informed the development of the Quality Standards for Training Design and Delivery, and are serving as peer reviewers to identify high-quality learning. It’s because of these exceptional volunteers, that we have a process and platform for bringing quality online learning opportunities to you.

Public health professionals like you now have a place to go for a quality online learning experience to support your work or your own personal growth. At the Learning Navigator, you can rest assured that the learning opportunities have been screened and thoroughly vetted for quality by your peers. Or, if you’re searching other online platforms, keep your eye out for the Learning Navigator Quality Seal – your indicator that you can count on the quality of the resource.

And, if we don’t have what you’re looking for, we have a Learning Librarian that’s ready to respond to your training requests. Here’s what your colleagues are saying about the Learning Navigator…

“[The Learning Navigator] ensures that the Public Health Workforce will have continuous opportunities to build and retain a workforce that is sustainable, competitive, and knowledgeable.”

Myra Lowe, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Public Health, Center for Finance and Operations, Louisiana Department of Health

“E-learning is here now, and will only increase in importance.It is vital public health staff learn how it should be best developed.”

Ray Strikas, Leader, Education Team at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The momentum behind the Public Health Learning Navigator is picking up. There’s no better time than now to join your colleagues already nominating their favorite trainings, serving as a training reviewer, and most importantly, taking advantage of the great learning opportunities featured on the Navigator, like the Region 2 Public Health Training Center’s Advanced Program Evaluation or Planning for Financial Success produced by the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. We are committed to supporting the public health workforce and growing the Public Health Learning Navigator.

Our success so far can be credited in large part to public health workers have a vision for seamless access to quality learning. We invite you to join us.

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