CHI Subcontract: Bridging the gap: Bringing distance learning to IPC volunteers in rural communities
Consumer Health Initiative Subcontract: Volunteers play an essential role in providing poison prevention education and outreach in their communities and raising the awareness of the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) and its services. Last year alone, IPC volunteers participated in 493 events to educate 64,200 community members and distributed hundreds of cases of the IPC's outreach materials such as brochures, refrigerator magnets, and telephone stickers. However, the IPC volunteer program can be strengthened through enhanced training and testing of new volunteers and the establishment of ongoing educational opportunities for established volunteers. IPC proposes to partner with St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield to develop an interactive volunteer training and testing module that leverages online resources such as Toxtown and PubMed to increase the effectiveness of the IPC's volunteer outreach and education efforts. By partnering with St. John's, the IPC will have the opportunity to develop, test, and implement the module among volunteers from rural communities traditionally underserved by health care organizations.