Illinois Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (IPERLC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, develops, delivers, and evaluates competency-based preparedness training and education services and offers technical assistance to enhance the preparedness capacity and performance of public health workforce partners in Illinois. Activities have also grown out of partnerships with other programs within the School’s MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice (MCPHP), home to IPERLC, and with other departments in the School. A number of these are highlighted below.
- Ten years ago, MCPHP identified a training gap that was successfully filled by the Southern Illinois Rural Public Health Institute, which includes a Preparedness track, which continues to be a major draw to this annual event. Interviewed participants note that the Institute is the closest place (“and location matters”) for health departments in Southern Illinois to receive training in the state, especially in emergency preparedness: “…this is one of the few downstate opportunities…that will offer the newest, greatest, updated information when it comes to preparedness and skills building needs.” Others note that the Institute consistently invites staff from small health departments to lead sessions, which is a professional development opportunity that is not offered in other settings. Those that have contributed to organizing the event add that it was built with and for them, and it has become something they proudly “own” as a resource for rural public health professionals.
- In partnership with the Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation, MCPHP developed and launched the Institute for Faith and Public Health Leadership, three years ago, to equip faith and public health leaders to work together more effectively to improve the health of their communities. This series brings together faith and public health approaches to guide the vision of community health transformation. Practitioners learn how to identify and utilize the unique assets that both disciplines use to eliminate the root causes of health inequities. A preparedness team is currently participating in the seven-month series.
- MCPHP is actively recruiting for the twenty-second Annual MidAmerica Regional Public Health Leadership Institute starting in October. IPERLC is offering up to six scholarships to form a Preparedness Team that will explore the impact of ACA on preparedness. To learn more about the institute, visit http://www.midamericacphp.com/marphli/.
- Faculty and staff in the School’s Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Department are acting as agents for the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop a Climate and Health Adaptation Plan for Illinois as part of the CDC-funded project called Building Resilience Against Climate Effects in Illinois (BRACE-Illinois). IPERLC is a member of the BRACE-Illinois Training and Education Workgroup charged with developing strategies for meeting education and training needs for various stakeholders and is currently assisting in the development of an informational video on climate and health for waiting rooms in local health departments.
- The Department of Community Health Sciences is home to the four-course online certificate program in emergency preparedness and response. It was based on the Master’s Level Public Health Preparedness and Response Competency model, developed by IPERLC and launched in January, 2013. The courses in this certificate program will allow an individual to complete an online MPH degree with a specialization in public health preparedness and response. Visit bit.ly/1A1Ruj9 to learn more about the certificate.
For more information about IPERLC, please go to: www.midamericacphp.com.