TRAIN, the nation's premier learning resource for professionals who protect the public's health, is a network founded on strong partnerships. Through 25 states and three national organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ), and the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), the TRAIN Community has built a resource of over 26,000 courses/trainings from more than 4,000 course providers. Collaborative partnerships within the TRAIN network allow TRAIN learners to connect to quality courses/trainings in both online and classroom-based formats. The TRAIN network links both state and national affiliates (public health organizations who have purchased a customized TRAIN portal) in order to make participant organizations as efficient and effective as possible with their workforce development efforts. With the high cost of travel and health department budgets being slashed, TRAIN provides a cost effective option to organizations in need of trainings within the performance/quality improvement or workforce development subject areas, as well as 58 other public health-related subject areas, for their employees.
Current TRAIN affiliates have used the tools TRAIN provides, such as the training plan feature and reporting functionality, to gauge and improve the performance of their public health workforce. For example, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), a longtime TRAIN affiliate, used TRAIN to determine that DPH had not offered quality improvement (QI) training since 2004, and no managers had received any online QI training through TRAIN. They then implemented QI training provided by the Public Health Foundation (PHF) to correct this problem and as of May 2011, 85% of DPH management had basic QI training. TRAIN learners can earn continuing education credits which may be mandatory for licensure often at no cost, after successfully completing trainings. These are just some examples of the many ways that both affiliates and learners can benefit by using TRAIN.
In managing the training aspect of the performance/quality improvement process of an organization, TRAIN provides a selection of tools that support both inputs and outputs to that process. The functionality of TRAIN allows affiliate administrators to generate reports on participation by course name, participation by course format, course availability by course topic, and many other data points on the public health workforce. Many courses/trainings on TRAIN are assigned one or more of the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals by the providers offering those trainings. These competencies can serve as a starting point when an organization creates training plans and identifies training needs for employees. The progress of these employees can also be tracked over time through TRAIN to measure improvement and competency in particular subject areas or topics. By utilizing the many tools TRAIN has to offer, the efficiency and effectiveness of training in public health organizations can be measured and improved.
TRAIN has been acknowledged for its efforts in creating and maintaining strong partnerships. Recently, PHF was presented the 2012 Outstanding Leadership and Partnership Award, for the partnership between MRC and TRAIN. MRC-TRAIN provides MRC unit leaders and volunteers access to thousands of trainings. In addition to this partnership, the PHF-TRAIN team was instrumental in utilizing TRAIN to introduce minority students to public health. This initiative allowed PHF-TRAIN to partner with four universities (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Florida International University, University of Arizona, and Morgan State University) to use TRAIN as a venue to motivate students to pursue a career in public health. By creating partnerships such as these, TRAIN is able to provide access to educational opportunities for health departments, academic institutions, volunteers, and other public health workers.
Already, organizations and individuals across the country are using TRAIN to enhance knowledge, build competence, and improve performance. Expanding awareness of the tools and information available through TRAIN remains central to its partnership model. Inquire about partnering with TRAIN or become a part of the TRAIN network today.