November 2021 Newsletter
Impacted by Hurricane Ida? Researchers Need Your Help!
Were you impacted by Hurricane Ida? Emergency Management & Public Health Officials need to learn more about your decision to evacuate or not, and your experiences.

A study supported by the National Science Foundation and being conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida School of Geosciences is gathering information on whether COVID-19 risk perceptions affect a person’s decision to stay at home, evacuate to a shelter, or evacuate to an area outside of the threat. 

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is targeted to those 18 years or older who live in an area affected by Hurricane Ida. If you would like to take the survey, or learn more about it, please click here.
Adjusting the Public Health Workforce During COVID-19 
Utilizing Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Volunteers For Success of Mobile Clinics in Lubbock, Texas
During the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, the overwhelming number of people being tested and referred for case follow-up required the City of Lubbock Health Department to recruit additional people to increase the public health workforce. As a result, the Health Department was able to train local firefighters to conduct case follow-up, allowing Health Department staff to focus on critically needed services. 

When the COVID-19 vaccines first became available last winter, demand was high and dissemination was a fairly straightforward process. Setting up a mass vaccination center required recruiting additional healthcare personnel and volunteers, again, to help meet community demand. Through the use of additional volunteers, the City of Lubbock Health Department was able to distribute more than 100,000 doses of vaccine at the mass vaccination site.
As spring came and went, the need for a large vaccination clinic dwindled. While the mass vaccination site required huge numbers of volunteers and other resources, there was not enough demand to justify the continued operation of the site. The Health Department needed to change tactics in order to reach those who remained unvaccinated. Rather than rely on one large site, the Health Department switched to a mobile clinic model in partnership with Citibus, the local transit authority.
The mobile model required a different approach to reach the community, especially since many of those who remained unvaccinated at the time were vaccine hesitant or vaccine resistant. Many of these community members are typically underserved in the area, including black and Hispanic Lubbockites. In order to reach these individuals, the Health Department relied on a dedicated team of CHWs, staff, and volunteers. Staff included:

  • Community Messengers - We recruited trusted messengers from the community to allow their images to be used on the vinyl wraps for Citibuses that traveled around town and that were used as mobile clinics. These individuals were from both the black and Latinx communities and included a nurse, a priest, and a neighborhood matron. 

  • Volunteers - Volunteers worked with staff to block walk prior to many of the mobile clinic events. They would distribute flyers and engage in conversations with residents about the Covid-19 vaccine in the week leading up to a clinic in that neighborhood.

  • Mobile Clinic Staff - The mobile clinic was staffed by at least one Health Department staff nurse and one or more volunteer nurses, with whom the Department had established relationships during the mass vaccination event.

  • CHWs and other non-clinical staff were on hand to help recruit individuals to be vaccinated and to answer any questions they might have; nurses also helped answer more involved questions related to the vaccine.
These mobile clinics allowed the Health Department to engage more closely with members of the community that are typically hard to reach. The mobile clinics also allowed for a significant amount of staff development by encouraging planning and problem-solving with creativity, from staff whose jobs are often very proscriptive. Lastly, this clinic resulted in the hiring of a particularly dedicated volunteer who had never been involved in work in the public health sector but proved an invaluable asset during every stage of vaccine rollout.

The COVIC-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the community is willing to assist the Health Department in supporting the delivery of prevention and treatment services, particularly to those in their own neighborhoods. This temporary expanded staffing model has also lay the basis for future emergency responses, and additional of more permanent positions in the Health Department.
In The News
Tulane University to study water quality in Louisiana...

The National Science Foundation has awarded a Tulane University researcher a RAPID grant to study how pollutants from flooding caused by Hurricane Ida may have affected groundwater and water systems in south Louisiana. Louisiana and other coastal ...

Read more
Thanksgiving Safety Tips and COVID-19

This year's Thanksgiving gathering will look a lot different than our traditional Thanksgiving celebration as this COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the safest way to celebrate...

Read more
Thanksgiving Break - November 25-26, 2021
The Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center will be closed on Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th in observance of Thanksgiving.

Technical support for the Tulane Learning Management System will be limited during this time. If you require assistance, please email

We wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Course Spotlight:
Food Protection

Course Description:

Food Protection is a six module training that addresses the fundamental principles of food protection, the application of rules and regulations, food safety management systems, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), plan review, integrated pest management, and employee training.

Learning Objectives:

Food Safety Hazards

  • Review principles of microbiological growth & survival

  • Give examples of chemical, physical, and biological hazards found in food

  • Discuss control measures used at retail to prevent bacterial, viral, and protozoan food borne illness

HACCP Principles

  • Identify possible hazards associated with various foods and food preparation practices in retail and food service operations

  • Identify control measures available to prevent, reduce, or eliminate the hazards

  • Apply the process approach to HACCP in these operations to ensure that safe food handling and holding practices are in place to reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors

  • Identify appropriate techniques and methods for applying HACCP principles to inspections

  • Identify intervention strategies for controlling risk factors and offer recommendations to operators for immediate and long-term correction

For more information about this training,
please click here.
Featured Course Bundle:
Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals (VCEHP)

Course Bundle Description:

The Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals (VCEHP): The Importance of Integrated Pest Management course bundle contains 11 online courses and emphasizes the use of integrated pest management (IPM) to address public health pests and vectors that spread diseases, including the Zika virus and others. VCEHP includes several courses particularly helpful for understanding and addressing the Zika virus and other
mosquito-borne diseases.

VCEHP courses include:

  • Vector-Borne Diseases of Public Health Importance

  • IPM Basics for Environmental Health Professionals

  • Performance Assessment and Improvement of Vector Control Services

  • Tick Biology and Control

  • Mosquito Biology and Control

  • Toxicology of Pesticides for Environmental Health Professionals

  • Rodent Management

  • Public Health Insect Pests in Food & Housing Environments

  • Pest Management Considerations for Schools

  • Risk Communication Basics for Environmental Health Professionals

  • Bed Bugs - Identification, Biology, and Control

For more info about the Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals (VCEHPI) course bundle, click here.
Looking for more training on a specific topic in public health? Need additional training on a current public health hot topic? We want to help you address these needs. Please email us and let us know about your current training needs/interests/issues. We will evaluate our current trainings to see if we have something that can address your area of interest. 
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We look forward to your feedback!