Center for Public Health Practice Activities
Our practice work is in several functional areas: assessing community health assets and needs, planning and policy development, researching best practices, designing new programs, evaluating existing programs, and training in the public health core competencies. The CPHP is the a site of the federally funded Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center, a collaborative with the University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health to increase the technical skills of the public health and health care workforce.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center
The CPHP also engages in mutually beneficial partnerships with diverse civic and community groups in a variety of areas, drawing upon the skills and expertise of Dornsife School of Public Health faculty and staff, as well as outside expertise when necessary. Some examples include:
Building the Public Health Infrastructure
Health Department Feasibility Studies: Faculty, students and staff have been actively engaged in projects to build local public health infrastructure in Pennsylvania, largely through the development of studies to assess the fiscal and programmatic feasibility of local health departments in Lancaster, Dauphin, Berks and Adams Counties. This work has involved community needs assessment, legislative and policy analyses, and business and financial planning. These reports have been used and disseminated by local communities in their work to establish health departments as well as referred to by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in assessing potential funding needs for local public health.
Preparing for Accreditation: Through our Public Health Training Center, the CPHP works with local health departments on preparing for PHAB accreditation. Work has included development of Community Health Improvement Plans, Community Health Assessments, and Workforce Development/Training Plans.
Building the Public Health Safety Net
In addition to work in health department development, the CPHP has developed research/practice projects aimed at improving access to primary health care and building the public health and medical safety net for communities in Pennsylvania. These projects have included a feasibility study of developing a Project Access Program in Berks County (a program to enlist physicians to provide care to the uninsured), a feasibility study on developing a Federally Qualified Health Center in Reading, PA (one of the poorest communities in the nation), and the submission of a federal application to support this FQHC and a feasibility study to establish a school based health clinic in Southwest Philadelphia (in progress).
Assessment and Evaluation
The CPHP has conducted several assessments and evaluations of specific public health programs and multi-system initiatives aimed at improving health. These assessments have been largely based on qualitative data gathering from key stakeholders to make program and policy recommendations. These projects include evaluation of 5-sites of the National Health Corps, an assessment of safety net provider program strategy for the North Penn Community Foundation (in progress), and an evaluation of Multiplying Connections, a cross-system initiative for children with trauma. Other projects include a community indicators report for the Berks County Community Foundation which reported data and analysis on 28 indicators of health and well being for residents of Berks County, PA, a maternal and child health resource guide for Montgomery County, and a food and fitness assessment for Pennsylvania.
Workforce Training and Development
Training Needs Assessment: Through the Public Health Training Center, the CPHP has conducted informal training needs assessments with health departments in Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Montgomery County, Allentown, and Bethlehem. A formalized training needs assessment tool is currently being piloted with the Bethlehem City Health Department. The findings from each of these assessments are broken down and categorized into the core public health competencies (Council on Linkages) and a training plan is developed to address the specific needs of the department.
Partnerships: In order to share resources and reach a wider audience, CPHP collaborates with other public health organizations throughout south eastern Pennsylvania to train public health professionals. In addition to providing content experts from the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, the CPHP also has access to classrooms, videoconference, webinar, meeting space, AV, recording technology, and an LMS registration system. Together, we work with partners to identify the right target audience for the training and the best way to disseminate the information.