Continuing Education constitutes a core activity of the American Public Health Association. The mission of the Continuing Education (CE) Program at the Association is to maintain and enhance professional knowledge, to increase technical proficiencies, and to enable members to promote and protect environmental and community health.
Membership of the American Public Health Association includes a multi-disciplinary professional audience. The Continuing Education Program will continually seek to ascertain the ongoing educational needs of its discipline-specific membership including Physicians, Registered Nurses, Certified Health Education Specialists, and other public health professionals. Public health professionals are employed in a variety of settings including: government agencies, non-governmental agencies, clinical practice, academia, and industry.
The Continuing Education Program will develop and modify programs to meet these changing discipline-specific educational needs. The provision of quality health services by public health professionals is interdependent with other discipline-specific public health professionals. Hence, wherever feasible, educational programs will be interdisciplinary with knowledgeable public health professionals representing a variety of public health disciplines.
Quality comprehensive educational programming must be based on sound educational principles. The format of the educational programming being presented use a variety of modalities including but not limited to: lecture/discussion, institutes, panel discussions and small group presentations.
This comprehensive educational programming is currently limited to our Annual Meetings. Our Annual Meeting includes scientific sessions and an opportunity for in-depth learning at our half-day and full-day institutes. Future programming could expand beyond the scope of the Annual Meeting.
Purpose and Goals
The purpose of the APHA CE program is, "To develop, maintain, and increase the competency, skills, and professional performance of practitioners through the promotion of professional development, and strengthen public health practice within the core guidelines of the public health essential services."
APHA CE content areas have been expanded to include a model that emphasizes the linkages and relationships among multiple determinants affecting health. As such, APHA adopted the recommendations set forth in the Institute of Medicine's "Who Will Keep the Public Healthy? Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century (2003)" and have created courses dealing with the eight content areas recommended for public health education: informatics, genomes, communication, cultural competence, community-based participatory research, global health, policy and law, and public health ethics.
APHA CE programs target policy makers, physicians, social workers, health educators, public and environmental health professionals, state, county, and local health agency officials and staff; nurses and nurse practitioners, health care providers, school health personnel and teachers, managed care group personnel, and public health teachers and educators.
Types of Activities
The type of activities offered by APHA is listed as: Annual Meeting and Exposition. LPDP staff are developing a Learning Management Platform that will allow APHA to expand its offerings to journal-based, webinars, pod-casts and self-paced learning year-round. The system is expected to be operational by Winter, 2010.
APHA continues to participate in joint sponsorship relationships with APHA affiliate constituency and other health related organizations with consistent with our CE program mission and benefit to our members.
APHA continues to strengthen its evaluation tool to provide direction for the entire CE program. APHA expected three basic results from the CE program: (1) build the science base for health protection and improvement, by focusing core scientific resources on the most promising avenues for health promotion and prevention; (2) strengthen educational opportunities through research and service, by blending research and service activities in ways that enhance the learning process for public health practice; and (3) develop new alliance to bridge science and practice, by pursuing partnerships that facilitate the exchange of information, technologies, and ideas with public and private stakeholders within the health system.