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TB Notes Newsletter

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No. 1, 2011


Member Highlight

In this issue of TB Notes we highlight Beth Kingdon. Beth was the 2010 recipient of the TB Educator of the Year Award. This award recognizes an individual who has shown dedication and leadership in the field of TB education and training.

Beth Kingdon, MPH, is the TB Education Coordinator/Planner for the Minnesota Department of Health, TB Prevention and Control Program in St. Paul, MN. She is responsible for overseeing and implementing Minnesota’s TB Training and Human Resources Development Plan. Beth is also Minnesota’s TB Training Focal Point. She earned her MPH at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

tbn111 Beth and Deb 2 IMG_0006.jpg
Beth shows her TB Educator of the
Year award, as Deb Sodt looks on.

Beth’s program, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), partnered with the Heartland National TB Center and the American Lung Association of Minnesota to present a 1-day Advanced TB Nurse Management course in St. Paul, Minnesota, in October 2010. The course was attended by 18 Minnesota public health nurses with expertise in TB; these nurses manage approximately 90% of Minnesota’s TB cases. The course focused on practical information and strategies; the topics presented were largely chosen by the nurses who planned on attending the course, through a pre-training survey. Beth states that the course was very well received by the attendees. Other training courses she has helped implement include TB Nurse Case Management in 2006, Contact Investigations in 2007, and a TB Intensive course in 2008.

Beth points to the MDH TB Prevention and Control Program website as especially noteworthy. In 2010, the TB website had over 301,000 views and downloads. The site features resources for both health care providers and patients, including six patient fact sheets in English and 13 other languages; in 2010, the fact sheets were downloaded over 54,000 times. The patient fact sheet languages reflect the diversity of people who move to Minnesota as refugees or immigrants. Minnesota is one of only a few states that offer TB patient educational materials in such a wide variety of languages. The website also includes information about ordering a free “TB Awareness and Treatment” DVD in English and six other languages; over 2,800 DVDs have been distributed at no cost throughout Minnesota and other states. According to Beth, the MDH is currently reorganizing portions of its TB website to make navigating the site more intuitive. The reorganization should be completed by the middle of 2011. Beth encourages readers to visit and take a look later this year!

Beth learned of TB ETN through Deb Sodt, Minnesota’s TB Controller. She joined TB ETN so that she could learn more about available TB resources and methods for reaching healthcare providers and affected populations. “I have found networking to be the more important aspect of belonging to TB ETN,” Beth stated.

If you’d like to join Beth as a TB ETN member and take advantage of all TB ETN has to offer, please send an e-mail requesting a registration form to You can also send a request by fax to 404-639-8960 or by mail to TB ETN, CEBSB, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd., N.E., MS E10, Atlanta, Georgia 30333 or, if you would like additional information about the TB Education and Training Network.

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Training Tips: Adding Interaction to Your Trainings

Research and experience have shown that the more your training audience is engaged with the topic and material, the more they learn and retain. While we would all like to have speakers who WOW the audience, it is not always possible to have a “star” as a presenter.  A simple but very effective tool is available to educators to provide interactive and effective learning: the audience response system (ARS).

The basic audience or personal response system employs a computer and projector.  Presentation slides are built using audience response software (provided by the manufacturer of the hardware) and include various options of interactivity, analysis, and result sharing. Participants or audience members have a hand-held remote pad that conveys individual responses wirelessly; tabulated group results can be seen immediately.  Educational institutions have used them for a while — most college students are required to purchase their own personal response system or “clicker” for use in class. This tool is finally making its way into the arsenal of the public health educator!

Heartland National TB Center has incorporated the audience response system into many of its on-site trainings.  The software provided with the hardware allows easy manipulation of the slides to incorporate questions that assess knowledge, opinions, and even demographics!  We have used the system to gather demographics at the beginning of a course and help break the ice.  Questions have been added during didactic presentations to reinforce key points, assess audience comprehension, provide a change of pace to keep the audience engaged, and garner consensus on issues such as treatment regimens, next steps in case management, and even how many routinely do HIV screening.

Responses can be anonymous, or clickers can be assigned and used to assess individual responses, such as in pretests and posttests. Heartland is even developing a process that will allow participants to provide their evaluations of each presentation and the course through the ARS, thus reducing the need for paper evaluations and decreasing the turn-around time for assessment of each course; most ARS systems provide for file storage of responses and results, enabling reports to be generated.  Heartland has offered to lend its experience and ARS equipment to the states in its region, both to help health educators develop their own slides for presentation as well as to build capacity and encourage adapting the technology to local needs.

There are many ways to incorporate the ARS technology into health education; it takes just a little training and effort to bring this interactivity into teaching.  The learning experience is enhanced, participants feel engaged, and comprehension and retention is increased — true measures of a successful educational event!

—Reported by Mary Long
Director, Education and Training
Heartland National TB Center
San Antonio, Texas

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