University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine—Northwest Center for Public Health Practice
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: CHARLES TRESER, MPH
PROJECT MANAGER: CARL OSAKI, MSPH
The purpose of this project is to develop a training module to assist local and state public agencies integrate the Ten Essential Services of Environmental Health into their practices. Interactive exercises and case studies are provided to practice or teach principles.
Goals and Objectives
By the end of the training, the participants should be able to
- describe the history and rationale for the Ten Essential Services of Environmental Health,
- explain the value and benefit of these essential services to environmental health practice,
- describe how to write performance indicators for each essential services
- identify the organization’s challenges or barriers to incorporating the essential services,
- describe strategies for action to address the challenges or barriers,
- describe next steps in incorporating the essential services into their organizations, and
- describe methods to evaluate the action steps resulting from the training.
Products and Outcomes
Training will be completed using a training manual on CD-ROM that can be used by educators, practice professionals, and trainers. The CD-ROM includes an audio-accompanied PowerPoint slide presentation. Several sources were used to develop the module, including
- 179 practitioners in the Pacific Northwest who responded to a questionnaire about their knowledge and practice of the essential services;
- focus groups; and
- documented experiences by agencies incorporating the essential services into practice.
Four pilot sites were trained and monitored to identify the challenges and successes from integrating the essential services. A 10-member project advisory committee provided input and guidance.
Impact to the Community
It is estimated that over 1,000 public health workers heard about this project in a 2-year period. As a result, Washington and the U.S. Indian Health Service developed their West Nile virus plans using the essential services as their template. The Ten Essential Services of Environmental Health model was used to communicate to state legislators the role of public health in food safety. As a result, Oregon adopted State House Bill 3156 in 2003, clarifying the state’s food safety program responsibilities.
Feedback from Customers
“Thinking about services in a comprehensive, population-based way utilizing public health principles keeps the focus on the vision, instead of the current methodology.”—Lila Wickham, Multnomah Health Department, Portland, Oregon
“As new staff become trained and capable of independent work … we plan to refocus on this (Essential Services) project over the next year as part of a comprehensive strategic planning exercise.”—Bill Emminger, Benton County Health Department, Corvallis, Oregon
“Our department has been conducting a strategic planning effort within the EH [environmental health] Division. With our limited resources we are trying to evaluate what we currently are doing as a division and determine what we should be doing in the future. The Essential Services have played a big part in this planning exercise.”—Art Starry, Thurston County Health Department, Olympia, Washington