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CDCynergy — A New Training Opportunity for a Health Communications Tool

After four years of working with CDCynergy, a health communications tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) convened a Train-the-Trainer workshop on August 24-25, 2005, at the National Library of Medicine.

The main goals of the workshop were to enhance and expand the scope of CDCynergy trainings at the local, state, and regional level, and to establish partnerships bringing together the complementary skills between librarians and health educators to conduct more effective training sessions. The target audience for CDCynergy includes academicians, epidemiologists, health educators, health officers, health planners, hospital administrators, and public health program staff.

Delivered via CD-ROM, CDCynergy is a comprehensive, interactive, planning tool providing a systematic process for designing health communication interventions. It can also be used for health program planning and grant writing. The program includes a step-by-step guide with six phases and a template for writing a detailed intervention plan, as well as case examples from existing communication campaigns, reference materials, a diverse media library, a cumulative evaluation plan, and hundreds of embedded resources to assist the user through every step. Training sessions also include teaching critical skills for health information searching; how to identify, filter, and select health information resources; and using electronic and Web-based health information resources.

Two representatives from NN/LM PSR attended the workshop on August 24-25: Terry Henner from the University of Nevada Savitt Medical Library, and Michael Sholinbeck from the University of California, Berkeley, Sheldon Margen Public Health Library. Terry and Michael both feel that CDCynergy is a great resource for planning, managing, and evaluating public health communication programs. They also agree that having librarians and health educators work together creates a synergism of instructional talent. Terry and Michael are now official CDCynergy trainers, and they are available to teach half-day or full-day classes awarding four or eight hours towards Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) accreditation. SOPHE has also applied for Medical Library Association CE accreditation for the courses.

Additional information about the CDCynergy program, including a nationwide training calendar and list of trainers is available from SOPHE at http://www.sophe.org/. If you know of a group that is interested in CDCynergy training, please contact Alan Carr at NN/LM PSR. Also, please feel free to promote the availability of trainings to health educators you work with or contacts you have at local public health departments.

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