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.
, 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.