Open Forum for Quality Improvement and Innovation in Public Health

Building a Community of Practice for Public Health Improvement (COPPHI).

About the Open Forum for QI and Innovation in Public Health

For the past twenty years, NNPHI has been convening public health experts to improve our public health system performance. The Open Forum Meeting for Quality Improvement (QI) in Public Health served as one of the signature communities we support to build knowledge together. Under NNPHI’s leadership, the Open Forums have fostered the development and growth of a thriving Community of Practice that has prepared local, state, Tribal, and territorial public health departments for accreditation, while building the capacity of these departments to apply frameworks and tools to public health practice. We have learned many lessons after holding 17 national Open Forum events that engaged more than 2,000 public health practitioners working in state, Tribal, local, and federal governments across 50 states, 22 Tribes, and 5 territories. In response to the changing needs of the public health workforce, NNPHI’s National Coordinating for Public Health Training is proud to launch Open Forum Next Generation (NxGen).

The Open Forum Next Generation (NxGen) provides public health practitioners an opportunity to learn and engage with peers around critical topics currently facing both the public health workforce and the healthcare workforce. Through robust content and design, NxGen establishes a learning continuum that strengthens the capacity for practitioners to respond to future public health needs, as well as providing skills and resources to bolster the new generation of public health workers.

NxGen was held virtually in January 2022 and offered (3) learning tracks: 1) Infection Prevention and Control; 2) Vaccine Access and Distribution Across the Life Course; and 3) Improving the Public Health Infrastructure. This new version of the Open Forum featured nearly 300 registrants from state and local health departments, academia, and national organizations such as ASTHO, NACCHO, PHAB and PHINCI. We had 20 presentations on subjects ranging from performance improvement, community vaccine equity initiatives, addressing staff burnout and more. NxGen also launched new session formats (lightning sessions and interactive networking activities) and featured several experts as plenary speakers, including Dr. Laura Magaña, President & CEO at Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and Rebecca Rehr, Director of Climate Policy and Justice, and Mary Otto, medical journalist and author of Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America.

Infection Prevention and Control
Infection prevention and control has moved to the forefront of public health surveillance, education, and outreach efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This track will explore the role and influence that public health has in the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections including lessons learned, quality improvement, and building stronger connections with healthcare.

Vaccine Access and Distribution Across the Life Course
This track will offer sessions focused on the various aspects of the monitoring and evaluation of vaccination programs including how to improve program targets, monitor vaccination across the life-course, routinely monitor issues related to equity, and will discuss the importance of vaccination not only during a pandemic, but throughout life.

Public Health Infrastructure
This track is focused on innovations to support a capable and qualified workforce, up-to-date data and information systems, and agencies that can assess and respond to public health needs. Sessions in this track will offer specific tips, tools, and techniques that public health departments can use to strengthen capacity, performance, and effectiveness.

In addition to the tracks, we also highlighted (5) five cross-cutting topics relevant to public health post-COVID:

  1. Health and racial equity;
  2. Workforce development for the next generation of the public health workforce;
  3. Public health law and policy;
  4. Performance management and quality improvement (PM/QI); and
  5. Emerging issues or hot topics.

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