Public Health Practice Program Office
PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE PROGRAM OFFICE
The Public Health Practice Program Office (PHPPO) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was created in 1988 to strengthen the nation's public health system by enhancing work force capacity, building information and communications systems, improving laboratory quality, and conducting systems research. The
Work Force Development Programs. The PHPPO has pioneered the use of distance-based training through the Public Health Training Network (PHTN) as a means of improving the competency of the domestic public health work force. The PHTN is a distance-learning network that has reached over 400,000 people since its creation in 1992. The National Laboratory Training Network (NLTN) provides laboratory training courses throughout the United States. The Public Health Leadership Institute was created in 1991, and has provided training to over five hundred public health leaders and spawned a national network of state and regional leadership development programs. The Sustainable Management Development Program (SMDP) provides intensive management training for public health professionals from around the world and technical assistance to program graduates. In 1999, in cosponsorship with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Management Academy for Public Health, managed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was created to provide management development experiences for managers in governmental public health agencies in four southeastern states. Finally, in 1999 the creation of a CDC Leadership and Management Institute was formed to address needs of CDC leaders and managers.
Information and Communication Systems. In 1991 the PHPPO pioneered the use of information technology in public health practice through its national award-winning program, the Information Network for Public Health Officials (INPHO). Subsequently, through support for CDC's bioterrorism program, the Health Alert Network initiative was created to further enhance information communications systems capacity, improve work force competency, and utilize performance standards to assess organizational capabilities.
Laboratory Quality. The PHPPO provides leadership in developing regulations under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1988, working closely with partners at the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to provide a comprehensive policy framework for assuring the quality of clinical laboratory services throughout the nation. Innovative activities in genetics testing, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing, and tuberculosis testing have also contributed to the success of prevention programs in the United States and around the world.
Systems Research and Development. In 1990, working closely with NACCHO, PHPPO developed the APEX planning tool. Today, this is the most widely used comprehensive planning tool for local public health agencies in the United States. Further, PHPPO is leading the development of performance standards for local and state public health systems and for conducting systems research.
EDWARD L. BAKER