MARCH 1, 2013
From August through October 2012, Professor Leslie Wolf helped train public health practitioners and lawyers in public health ethics at several conferences around the country. The training program developed out of efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Ethics Subcommittee to the Advisory Committee to the Director, on which Wolf served from 2008-2012, to support state, local, territorial, and tribal health officials.
“We spent a year holding webinars with different groups of health officials to learn how the CDC could help them with respect to public health ethics,” Wolf explained. Based on the feedback received through those webinars, Wolf began working with CDC staff, members of the Ethics Subcommittee, and public health practitioner representatives on public health ethics training. The goal was to develop training materials that ultimately could be used by public health departments to train their staff.
The training is flexible enough to be used in a number of different contexts. “We presented in a number of different venues to different audiences for different lengths of time,” Wolf remarked. For Wolf, this included three presentations in Atlanta, at CDC, the National Association of Local Boards of Health, and the Public Health Law Conference, as well as in San Francisco at the American Public Health Association annual conference.
Wolf commented, “Participants seem particularly to appreciate that the problems we used in the trainings were realistic, so they could imagine using the training in their work.” The CDC has made the training materials available to the public to facilitate their use in building capacity in public health ethics.
Stacie P. Kershner, JD
Associate Director, Center for Law, Health & Society