Skills Online:Public Health Professional Development for the North
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Skills Online:Public Health Professional Development for the North



Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

NAHO 2009 National Conference



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Skills Online:Public Health Professional Development for the North Skills Online:Public Health Professional Development for the North Presentation Transcript

  • Skills Online: Public Health Professional Development for the North NAHO Conference: Our People, Our Health Ottawa, November 2009
  • 2 Outline • Overview – Skills Online & Capacity Building among First Nations, Inuit and Métis – Marnie Bell, Northern Coordinator, Skills Enhancement Program • Pilot for Northern Aboriginal Workers – Tom Axtell, National Coordinator, Naasautit, NAHO • Discussion – Jamie Rossiter, E-learning Advisor, Skills Enhancement Program
  • 3 The Need to Strengthen the Public Health Workforce • Public health major events • Health disparities (North & Aboriginal) • Lack of workforce capacity
  • 4 Skills Enhancement for Public Health • Flagship programs: – Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada – Skills Online • Are these appropriate to Canada’s North – Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and for First Nations, Inuit and Métis learners?
  • 5 What is Skills Online? • Internet-based continuing professional development program for front line public health practitioners • Facilitated modules in English & French • Offered at no cost to public health professionals since 2002 • Over 3,500 individuals have completed one or more modules
  • 6 Modules Available • Principles of Epidemiology • Surveillance Practice • Application of Methods • Biostatistics • Public Health Practice • + others under development • For online demonstration - Visit PHAC Skills Enhancement Exhibit Booth #4 Crowne Plaza, Grand Salon
  • Number of Learners Completing Skills Online Modules Yukon, Nunavut and NWT, 2004 to Spring 2009 35 33 30 25 Number of Learners 20 15 16 16 14 10 5 6 6 0 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Source: BCIT, Skills Online database, extracted Sept Year 2009
  • Focus Group: Skill Development of First Nations, Inuit and Métis for Public Health • Held in Yellowknife, July 11, 2009 • 17 participants – 2 discussion groups • Topics: – Assets and gaps in public health education & training – Approaches to strengthen capacity – Identification of potential partners
  • Focus Group Findings • FN/I/M development for public health – priority for sustainability • Professional & paraprofessional skills needed • Consider diversity of culture, language, learning style – adaptations and accommodations • Build upon existing learning structures and tools • Engagement and partnerships essential
  • 10 Adaptations of Skills Online Modules • English-speaking Caribbean countries – Public health professionals at a distance – Similar learners, different culture – Adapted through delivery and discussions • Benefits of accessing high quality learning in remote areas very compelling “It’s the wave of the future. The less we have to dislocate people from their settings to teach them something, the better off we’ll be.” - Caribbean participant
  • 11 Next Steps for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Public Health Workers • Paraprofessionals: – Explore role of Aboriginal community health workers (e.g. CHRs) in relation to core competencies for public health – Assess learning needs of community health workers – Work with partners to strengthen existing curricula • Professionals: – Explore further adaptations of Skills Online – Work with partners to strengthen relevance and appropriateness – PHAC-NAHO Pilot Project in January 2010 – Visit PHAC Skills Enhancement Exhibit Booth for information and to pre-register!
  • Pilot for Northern Aboriginal Workers Public Health Professional Development Online NAHO Conference, Ottawa Nov 24, 2009 Tom Axtell Naasautit: Inuit Health Statistics
  • Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services Inuit Tapiriit Inuit Tuttarvingat (NAHO) Kanatami (ITK)
  • Required health analysts to describe data
  • 15 Designed a small pilot project
  • 16 Employee-Learner Profile • 2 years of college • little or no previous public health education or experience • responsibility for public health information or services
  • 17 Participation Rates Fall 2008 • 3 Inuit enrolled (1 completed) • 2 First Nations Nurses (1 completed) Spring 2009 • 2 Inuit enrolled (2 completed EPI2) • 3 non-Inuit enrolled (2 completed) Fall 2009 • 1 Inuit enrolled (1 completed EPI3) • 2 non-Inuit enrolled (1 completed)
  • 18 How did we do this? • EPI 1 mentoring and tele-conference with an Epidemiologist and co-workers • organizational support from supervisors • some had copies of the Dictionary of Epidemiology
  • 19 Learner’s experience "... this course (EPI2) has given me the confidence to move forward as a health data analyst“ • The newcomer to the field found it very challenging, but very rewarding • Was intimidated to post in the discussion forums because of the experience gap with co-learners (i.e. nurses, managers) • FN Nurse found it at the right level • Those who did not complete had workplace and family issues competing for their time
  • 20 Exchange between Learners in EPI1
  • 21 Learner Survey Findings (3 people) • All want Northern First Nations/Inuit/Métis examples featured in the readings/assignments • All want their classmates to be from the North and a mixed Inuit, First Nations and Métis group was acceptable to most • 2/3 felt that the teleconferences provided an opportunity to network • 2/3 said that the teleconferences did not reduce feelings of isolation November 09
  • 22 Conclusion • Naasautit and NAHO staff are among the many public health workers in the Aboriginal public sector who do not fit the mould of the traditional health professionals, but who need the skills and knowledge • Skills Online works fairly well the way it is • Find ways to reduce feeling of isolation among learners who are geographically dispersed • Strengthen modules with more Northern and Aboriginal content with facilitators from the North
  • Marnie Bell, Northern Coordinator Tom Axtell, National Coordinator Jamie Rossiter, E- Learning Advisor
  • To pre-register for the January offering of Skills Online for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Community Health Workers visit PHAC’s Skills Enhancement Exhibit Booth or contact one of the presenters