Federal Grant to Fund Public Health Training Center in Wyoming – Wyoming Institute of Population Health to Administer Grant

January 8, 2015

Cheyenne, WY—Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s population health division has been awarded a four-year $800,000 federal grant to establish a public health training center in Wyoming.

The center will identify the learning needs of Wyoming’s public health workforce; provide user-friendly, accessible training; and help Wyoming public health organizations meet their strategic planning, education and resource needs.

The grant will be administered by the Wyoming Institute of Population Health (Institute), the division of Cheyenne Regional Medical Center focused on improving the health of Wyoming residents through several statewide initiatives. These initiatives include the development of patient-centered medical homes and a virtual pharmacy, the use of transition care nurses to coordinate the care of patients with chronic diseases and the creation of a telehealth network linking more than 50 Wyoming hospitals and clinics.

Wyoming’s training center is an extension of the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center, managed by the University of Colorado School of Public Health.

The Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center recently received $3.4 million from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to create and fund public health training centers in Wyoming, Utah, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. A training center in Colorado has already been in place for several years.

The state training centers will partner with the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center to strengthen skills and improve public health practice among the region’s public health workforce.

“The goal of the Wyoming center is to assess how we can support the training needs of our public health workforce and to then develop the infrastructure and the information to meet this need,” said Phyllis Sherard, Ph.D., Cheyenne Regional’s chief strategy officer and vice president of population health.

The Institute will work closely with the Wyoming Department of Health and other Wyoming public health organizations, hospitals, clinics and tribal governments on this effort.

To start, Institute employees will assess training needs and opportunities across the state, will establish a system for bi-directional video training and will then create an online learning system. The next step will be to develop and deliver educational opportunities to the state’s public health workforce.

“Strong, collaborative relationships between public health, academia, state and local public health practitioners and primary care providers are vital to Wyoming’s efforts to build and sustain effective public health systems for preventing disease and promoting health for all Wyoming residents,” Sherard said.

“Having a public health training center linked to a network of other centers in the Rocky Mountain region will give us access to resources and ideas that should help us as we build and develop this new resource in Wyoming,” Sherard said.