1. Fincham, Jack E. PhD

Article Content

Facilitation and Collaborative Efforts of Enhancing Clinical Prevention and Population Health

Two of the stated objectives1 of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice are to examine the role of prevention in a healthcare delivery system undergoing changes of managed care and healthcare reform and provide a guide to the implementation of population-based health programs to meet preventive needs not otherwise supplied by healthcare delivery systems in the era of healthcare reform. A recently established Web-based resource ( provides an opportunity to help meet these needs for this journal, contributors, and readers by enhancing the sharing of educational materials promoting clinical prevention and population health.


Most notably, Healthy People 20102 has called for attention to be placed on education efforts to enhance clinical prevention and population health by including an objective to increase the proportion of schools of medicine, schools of nursing, and healthcare professional training schools whose basic curriculum for healthcare providers includes the core competencies in health promotion and disease prevention Calls have been made to move our collective healthcare professions from "the current treatment-oriented focus to a prevention-oriented focus."3(p478) In addition, there are many examples of where a public health focus has been shared in an interdisciplinary fashion. One such groundbreaking example is the initiation, deliberation, and outcomes of the Healthy People Curriculum Taskforce (HPCT).


The Healthy People Curriculum Taskforce

The initiation of the HPCT was begun by the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine (now the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research [APTR]) and the Association of Academic Health Centers. The HPCT was convened in 2002 to promote the achievement of the Healthy People 2010 objectives 1-7 of increasing the teaching of health promotion and disease prevention in healthcare professional education. The following clinical healthcare professional education associations are represented on the task force: Association of American Medical Colleges, American Dental Education Association, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Physician Assistant Education Association, Undergraduate and Graduate Public Health, Global Health, and the Student Health Alliance. The Association of Schools of Public Health and Community-Campus Partnerships for Health serve as resource groups. A representative from Allied Health would be named at a later date. The functioning and outcomes of this multidisciplinary group are noteworthy for its success and successful outcomes. The initial product of the HPCT was the Clinical Prevention and Population Health Curriculum Framework.4 The goal of this framework is to "provide a structure for (1) communication and collaboration within and among healthcare professions, (2) organizing curriculum, and (3) monitoring curriculum."5(p477)


Table 1 provides a list of 4 components and 19 total domains suggested for the Clinical Prevention and Population Health Curriculum Framework. Another outcome of the HPCT has been the initiation of the Web-based Prevention Education Resource Center (PERC). The benefits of this framework enable the opportunity to bridge disciplines and professional specialties.6

Table 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowTable 1. Healthy People Curriculum Taskforce components and domains

Prevention Education Resource Center

In 2005, Dr David Garr as principal investigator received a 3-year grant from the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation to fund the project "Educating About Prevention."6 The purpose of this grant was to support the development of a common curriculum framework for education about prevention among seven healthcare professions and establish a Web-based PERC.


The PERC ( was launched in October 2006 by the APTR. Figure 1 depicts the PERC Web site home page. The PERC is a Web-based repository of education of educational materials related to clinical prevention and population health. The site promotes wonderful collaboration across healthcare disciplines, professions, and institutions both by facilitating the exchange of teaching resources and through connecting educators with other faculty and many points of interactive opportunities. The PERC is currently funded by APTR and continued to be funded as the initial Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation grant expires. The board of directors of APTR thought that PERC was sufficiently important to continue funding.

Figure 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure 1. The Prevention Education Resource Center (PERC) Web site (

Utility of the PERC

Registration through the PERC Web site allows users to submit materials for inclusion on the Web site, download materials for use, and/or evaluate the quality of materials. The PERC is envisioned to fulfill the identification of accessible relevant syllabi, teaching materials, examination materials, and curriculum evaluation approaches that may be used to teach each of the 19 domains identified in the Clinical Prevention and Population Health Curriculum Framework and curriculum frameworks developed for introductory undergraduate (college level) public health courses (Public Health 101, Epidemiology 101, and Global Health 101 Curriculum Framework). Included in the features of the PERC is a multiple search capacity to identify materials by particular prevention and population health domains, disciplines, and/or types of teaching methods; and a special emphasis on interprofessional education, undergraduate public health education, and global applications. Figure 2 shows a diagrammatic representation, suggesting how the PERC Web site may be used, and the presentation of options for users.

Figure 2 - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure 2. Accessing Prevention Education Resource Center (PERC) and user options

One of the expected outcomes for the PERC includes the provision of a searchable Web site, allowing the user to identify materials that are relevant to particular domains of the curriculum framework that are applicable to specific clinical healthcare professions, multidisciplinary collaboration, and that would be allowed for utilization of particular types of teaching methods and materials. Working with the APTR to maintain and sustain the PERC are an editor and associate editors, representing each of the healthcare professions constituency groups.


Benefits of the PERC Web site

The PERC has the potential to provide benefits for many, both individually and collectively. The true benefit for the PERC platform is for public healthcare practitioners, faculty, students, and, most important, for patients. Practitioners can share resources and use resources posted on the site by others. Faculty can learn from others and teach others through the mechanisms facilitated by the PERC. Students can learn from each of the sections available for use through the PERC. Carey and Roper,7 when highlighting the benefits of the HPCT and the curricular components, stress among other points the importance of professionalism in healthcare professional schools. Professionalism in this context refers to the duty of healthcare professional faculty and students to understand the tenets and limitations of the current healthcare system and how to constructively funnel frustration with the system dealing with healthcare policy, interplay between public and private components, and practice opportunities to efforts toward improvement and enhancement of the future healthcare system.


Most important, the public at large would benefit from the fruits of interactive options facilitated by the PERC, used by faculty and others, and its multidisciplinary segments.8 Multidisciplinary collaboration cannot help, but enhance the care that individual professionals provide to both patients and society at large. Enabling clinical prevention and population health education and collaboration is a very tangible outcome of the HPCT framework and this can be facilitated through the PERC and its widespread use.




1. Instructions for authors. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2007;13(5):535. [Context Link]


2. US Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010: Objectives for Improving Health. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 2000. Accessed September 3, 2007. [Context Link]


3. Carmona RH. Healthy People Curriculum Taskforce: a commentary by the Surgeon General. Am J Prev Med. 2004;27(5):478-479. [Context Link]


4. Allan J, Barwick TA, Cashman S, et al. Clinical prevention and population health: curriculum framework for health professions. Am J Prev Med. 2004;27(5):471-476. [Context Link]


5. Riegelman R, Evans CH, Garr DR. Why a clinical prevention and population health curriculum framework? Am J Prev Med. 2004;27(5):477. [Context Link]


6. Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. Annual Report of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation; 2005. [Context Link]


7. Carey TS, Roper WL. Clinical prevention and population health: getting there from here. Am J Prev Med. 2004;27(5):480-481. [Context Link]


8. Brown JP. A new curriculum framework for clinical prevention and population health, with a review of clinical caries prevention teaching in U.S. and Canadian dental schools. J Dent Educ. 2007;71(5):572-578.