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Dynamic, Skilled Supervisors Are Foundational to Successful Contact Tracing Programs

Date: 11/9/2020 9:33 PM

Topic: Workforce Development

Tag: Workforce Development, Training

Jennifer Breads and Chantelle Allen are Technical Advisors at Jhpiego, a global health nonprofit organization and affiliate of the Johns Hopkins University. 

SARS-CoV-2 is a highly-infectious virus the world has never seen before, but there is nothing new about one of our most powerful tools to combat this novel coronavirus: effective, rapid contact tracing. In public health, contact tracing is a decades-old tool employed to curb the spread of infectious diseases—and the establishment of high-functioning contact tracing programs is a key first step to safely reopening towns and cities across America, and around the world.

Crucial to the success of effective contact training programs is a skilled workforce of dynamic supervisors positioned at the helm to motivate, coach, monitor, and course-correct teams of frontline contact tracers. Upon deployment, these supervisors must be prepared across a range of competencies to:
  • use data to monitor individual and team performance and guide future directions;
  • develop, implement, and continuously refine protocols and processes for standardized workflows that facilitate the delivery of high-quality results;
  • manage people to perform effectively in their roles as case investigators and contact tracers; and
  • apply problem-solving and critical thinking skills when utilizing contact tracing platforms.

Jhpiego, in collaboration with the Baltimore City Health Department, Maryland Department of Health, and the Johns Hopkins University, created a two-day course designed to serve as a global learning resource package to prepare supervisors and managers of COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing programs with these critical skills. Grounded in best practices for adult learning, this interactive, case-based, and data-driven course facilitates learning and skills acquisition primarily through case studies, reflective dialogue, and small group activities.

The full package, including Facilitator Guidance, Slide Deck, and Supplemental Material (such as job aids and participant hand-outs), can be downloaded at no cost from this website.


The Public Health Foundation continues to support health departments by developing free customized contact tracing training packages. Learn more about this free service and request a training package today.


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