Every Contact Counts: Training Contact Tracers for the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH

Today, I’m talking with Dr. Betty Bekemeier, director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice at the University of Washington about a new 90-minute contact tracing training program that is now available. The training, Every Contact Counts, will support public health agencies’ ability to expand contact tracing efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

It is designed for public health professionals who may have little to no experience with contact tracing. They will be able to learn the basics to be successful as they reach out to community members and help save lives. Every Contact Counts also complements existing disease surveillance systems, programs, and trainings your organization is already using to help monitor public health.

In the following podcast, we discuss what kinds of persons and their experience Dr. Bekemeier’s team is looking for,  where she sees these persons working — and under whose supervision, required confidentiality protections, and much more.

Please feel free to forward this information to other public health professionals and agencies who could benefit!

Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH

Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Previously, he was chair of this Department. He has served as the Commissioner of Health and Secretary for Human Services of Vermont, Director of Health Services for Arizona, and Director of the Office of Public Health for New York State. Previous academic positions include Professor and Director of the Preventive Medicine Program for SUNY Upstate Medical University, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the University of Albany School of Public Health, and Clinical Professor and Director of the Teaching Program in Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. He is the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. [Full bio]


Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, is associate professor at the University of Washington (UW) School of Nursing and Director of the UW School of Public Health’s Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. She is a distinguished public health systems researcher and has worked extensively toward improving the effectiveness of our prevention systems and related workforce. She has led numerous studies regarding local health department (LHD) services and their impact on health outcomes and health disparities. Dr. Bekemeier is PI of the Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) Study, initiated through the RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars Program. PHAST is now a highly regarded, growing database of uniquely detailed and linked data regarding LHD services, has supported several important studies, and involves an interdisciplinary team of researchers. [Full bio].

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