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Rationale and Design of Distance-Based Training to Persuade Local Health Department Employees that Addressing Social Determinants of Health Is Their Job, Too

Bernstein, Melissa F. MPH, CHES, CPH; Cinnick, Samantha E. MPH, CHES, CPH; Franzosa, Emily DrPH, MA; Murrman, Marita K. EdD, MS, CHES; Freudenberg, Nicholas DrPH, MPH

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: September/October 2019 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 448–453
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000827
Research Reports: Practice Brief Report

Public health workers in local health departments frequently rate skills needed to address social determinants of health among their top training needs. These workers have the ability to impact social determinants of health, but many may believe this responsibility is not part of their job description or that they do not have the necessary skills or resources. Guided by the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion and employing the case study method of instruction, the Region 2 Public Health Training Center designed a 45-minute, self-paced, online training module, titled Strategies to Advance Health Equity: How Health Departments Can Promote Living Wages, to persuade public health workers that addressing social determinants of health, especially those related to income disparities, is part of their day-to-day responsibilities. This article describes the module design, promising preliminary assessment data, and the formal evaluation plan.

Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (Ms Bernstein); Region 2 Public Health Training Center, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, New York (Ms Cinnick, Dr Murrman); and City University of New York School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York City, New York (Drs Franzosa and Freudenberg).

Correspondence: Melissa F. Bernstein, MPH, CHES, CPH (

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP27878-01-00, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Public Health Training Centers for $705 000.00.

This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the US Government.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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