• Partnership between academic and public health to train public health nurses new chronic diseases protocols

      Martin, Kathryn; Wood, Elena; Goggans, Stephen; Mulloy, Anthony; Brown, Shilpa; Wallach, Paul; Augusta University, East Central Health District (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Georgia (29% in 2013). Diabetes (DM) and hypertension (HTN) are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In 2013, the prevalence of diabetes was 11% and of hypertension was 35% of the state’s adult population. There are not sufficient healthcare providers to manage these patients. To address this concern, the DPH Chronic Disease Prevention Section contracted with the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University to design and implement an innovative training program for Georgia public health nurses on diabetes and hypertension protocols. Methods: The two days’ training consisted of lectures, workshops, case discussions, simulation, physical examination practice, and both written and clinical skills testing developed and presented by MCG faculty members in accordance with DPH DM and HTN protocols. The epidemiology, risk factors, disease process, and appropriate pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic management protocols were covered during the training sessions. Results: A post-training evaluation survey was conducted to evaluate accomplishment of the 10 learning objectives, the effectiveness of teaching approaches, appropriateness of training facilities, and whether personal learning goals were met. Participants rated “meeting program objectives” highly with 96% of responses “met”, 3.5% “somewhat met”, and 0.5% “not met”. Participants were asked to rate personal knowledge of HTN and DM before and after the training (5-1 Likert scale with 5 = most knowledgeable and 1 = least knowledgeable). Average for pre-training was 3.0, and after the training 4.2. Conclusions: A partnership between the DPH and a public medical school resulted in a successful training of public health nurses. Participants agreed that the training effectively improved knowledge and ability to provide care with diabetic and hypertensive patients. Evaluation of the training on public health nurses’ actual practice is desired, with the hope of disseminating better services to and improved healthcare for the population of Georgia.
    • Student involvement in curriculum development enhances medical education

      Griffeth, Jacline; Sawyer, Alexandra; Johnson, Nolan; Hashmi, Osama; Gupta, Neha; Swartz, Sarah; Martin, Kathryn; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: During the 2014 annual review of the curriculum for first year medical students at the Medical College of Georgia, the public health module was noted as an area that needed improvement. To address this concern, a Public Health Curriculum Workgroup was formed for the purpose of identifying specific areas to improve and developing a more robust and integrative curriculum. A small cohort of medical students with public health backgrounds were invited to be members of this workgroup and participate in the development and delivery of public health content to the next cohort of first year medical students. We hypothesized that having this type of student participation results in a more clinically relevant and engaging curriculum. Methods: The curriculum workgroup met weekly to establish learning objectives, prioritize topics, and design interactive activities. The student members contributed to both curricular planning and content delivery. First year medical students completed course evaluations following the public health curriculum. These evaluations included five Likert scale questions and three narrative feedback response questions. Evaluation data before and after student involvement in the curriculum was examined. Results: Student evaluations of the overall quality of the public health curriculum increased 38% from 2014-2016. The measure of how well the content contributed to development as a future physician increased 36%. There was a 33% increase in how well the instructional materials aided understanding of topics. Theming of narrative evaluation comments showed that student involvement in the curriculum was well received. In 2016, 28.4% of narrative comments cited student presentations as the most valuable aspect of their public health experience. Conclusions: Involving medical students with public health backgrounds in curriculum development and content delivery of a public health module for first year medical students led to improvements in overall quality, clinical relevance, and instructional materials.