It has been a busy year for Boston University School of Public Health’s new lifelong learning initiative, Population Health Exchange (PHX). The resource hub and continuing education experience for health, which launched in February of this year, has positioned itself to be a key asset in an ongoing public health education.
“Even though the website went live in February, the process to create PHX started months before then,” said Leslie Tellalian, Director of Lifelong Learning at SPH. “What began as an initiative to address a need of our alumni, grew exponentially as we met with and interviewed SPH faculty, staff, and students as well as neighborhood community members, peers, and public health professionals.”
Through all of these conversations, PHX identified that many in the field are looking for ways to brush up on a skill that they might have learned in school (like SAS and R), learn a new skillset that would help advance their career (like Financial Management and Data Visualization), and network with public health professionals. Having the advantage of being online, as well as on the SPH campus, PHX set out to produce creative, innovative ways to address these needs.
Now, anyone can take three minutes to learn things like tips on how to use social media in an intervention through the Practically Speaking video series; or spend their lunch hour hearing from distinguished SPH faculty members about topics like engaging communities of faith in public health initiatives through the webinar series; or tune in bi-weekly to Free Associations, a journal club podcast.
PHX also hosts learning opportunities on the BU Medical and Charles River Campuses. This summer, they welcomed more than 100 participants to the South End for the inaugural Summer Institute in June 2017. The institute featured courses in many public health topics, ranging from data visualization and monitoring and evaluation to communications, pharmaceuticals and advocacy training.
In addition to the predetermined courses, PHX also created custom programs, tailored specifically to an organization’s needs. The courses included a SAS refresher for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and an American Health Policy Program, created for group of physicians and public health officials from China.
“We’re excited about what we’ve been able to accomplish this past year, but we’re even more excited about what comes next,” Tellalian said. “Be on the lookout for more innovative initiatives from PHX.”