Scholarship Application for Local Health Department Certification in Infection Control

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and cases in the United States revealed critical needs and opportunities to improve infection control in both healthcare and community settings. In addition to emerging infectious diseases, ongoing outbreaks of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) also highlight these needs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 700,000 HAIs occur each year in the United States, and reducing that number will require improvements in infection control expertise, infrastructure, and practice. These challenges demonstrate the urgency of the situation as well as opportunities for local health departments to work with healthcare facilities to improve infection prevention, control, and outbreak response.

To increase the capacity of local health departments in infection prevention and control, NACCHO, in partnership with CDC, is offering a scholarship opportunity for up to 35 active NACCHO members to support local health department staff in obtaining certification in infection control. To learn more about NACCHO membership and member benefits, please refer to the Membership section of NACCHO’s website. More information about the exam, including eligibility requirements and guidelines for taking the exam, can be found on the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.’s (CBIC®) website. Scholarship recipients will be reimbursed up to $2,500 for exam fees and study materials (including books and/or training courses). Staff must register for the exam and all reimbursable expenses must be incurred by June 24, 2016 (the exam itself can be taken after this date, but needs to be within 90 days of CBIC confirmation of eligibility). Scholarship recipients will be expected to provide feedback on the certification process and demonstrated impact of certification to NACCHO to inform future project activities supporting local health departments in infection prevention and control.

To apply for this scholarship opportunity, please complete the application at this link by April 27 at 5:00PM ET. Please email infectiousdiseases@naccho.org with questions.

 

Frequently asked questions:

  • Does a staff member have to complete the infection control certification testing by the end of the grant period?
    • No, but they must be registered to take the exam. All reimbursable grant activities, such as payment for exam fees and study materials, need to be completed by the end of the contract.
  • What happens if a staff member fails the exam?
    • The cost of one exam is covered by this scholarship. Additional exams are not covered by this scholarship.
  • By when does a staff member have to sit for the exam?
    • All reimbursable grant activities, such as payment for exam fees and study materials, need to be completed by June 24, 2016. Please refer to the CBIC website for more information about candidate eligibility and scheduling the examination.
  • Does an individual staff member apply or an organization?
    • Local health departments who are active members are eligible to apply for the Certification in Infection Control scholarship.
  • What is the process for reimbursement?
    • Organizations must purchase materials (including registration for the exam and enrollment in trainings) and submit a single invoice to NACCHO for reimbursement by June 30, 2016.
  • What criteria are used to select applicants?
    • The goal is to maximize the impact of the scholarships, so selections will be based on the need for certification and potential impact on the organization and the community they serve.
  • Can we see the questions included in the application to prepare before entering the survey?
    • The survey asks for the following information:
      • Name of organization:
      • Organization population served (choose one): <50,000; 50,000 – 499,999; 500,000+
      • HHS Region:
      • Contact Name:
      • Email:
      • Phone:
      • Address:
      • If you plan to take a course or training to prepare for the certification exam, please provide the details below (who is offering it, eligibility requirements, etc.)
      • Please demonstrate need, capacity, and ability to leverage funding to strengthen your capacity in infection control by responding to the following questions. Answers to each question should be less than 500 characters (about 250 words).
  1. What will the impact of this certification be on your organization and the community?
  2. How will certification complement/benefit your current infection control activities?
  3. What is the current need for certification at your health department?
  4. Who will be certified? Demonstrate that they meet (or will meet within the project period) the eligibility requirements.
  5. What is your plan for sustainability? (How will the information learned be passed on to others at the health department? How will the knowledge continue if the individual certified leaves your health department?)

 

 

About Christina Baum

Christina Baum serves as a Program Analyst for infectious disease at NACCHO. Her work includes projects on surveillance, epidemiology, and emerging infectious diseases.

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