Training and Education

In an effort to support the current workforce, SPH provides specialized opportunities for professional development and education. Our staff works closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to prioritize new training options that we keep up to date with today’s technology so that they reflect current workforce needs. Collaborators across MDH have contributed their time and subject matter expertise to identify and address current and future public health workforce demands.

person typing at laptop.

Continuing Education

This course was designed as an overview of the concepts and applications of psychological first aid as it applies to assisting survivors and fellow responders impacted by a disaster or emergency event, particularly in the field during a response. This training is recommended for Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers, hospital personnel, disaster responders, and first responders. It may also be useful to individuals dealing with a personal crisis situation in their family, community or workplace.

Register: PUBH X327 Psychological First Aid: A Minnesota Community Supported Model

A SCORM version of an e-learning module that can be uploaded to a learning management system (LMS) to educate learners on the concepts and applications of psychological first aid. Individual learners should register for the course through the link in the self-paced e-learning and games section.

Apply for a license for Psychological First Aid.

This training provides an initial orientation to the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) for individuals who plan to volunteer during an emergency or disaster. The course is designed to help volunteers understand the standardized organizational structure and communication system they are likely to encounter while responding to a crisis. Additionally, this training can serve as a ‘just in time’ review of these basic principles.

Register: PUBH X320 NIMS (National Incident Management System) and ICS (Incident Command System): A Primer for Staff and Volunteers

This course teaches a basic understanding of how the constitution distributes power and gives states the authority to take public health actions, which is an essential component of the practice of public health across our nation. It is designed for anyone working in a public health related setting or interested in this topic.


This course will provide basic tools to develop a greater appreciation and understanding of the legal authority we have to protect the public health while maintaining the appropriate respect for individual rights that must be balanced in any of our actions.


This course is currently under development and will provide an understanding of how to implement health equity in the forefront of responding to emergencies and disasters.

E-learning Games

The need for public health professionals has never been greater. But what is “Public Health” anyway? This interactive game will introduce you to the world of public health as you help discover the source of the outbreak that has hit the small community of Watersedge and stop it before more residents get sick.

Register: Outbreak at Watersedge

In this interactive game, the learner will assume the perspective of various public health professionals responding to a natural disaster. They will make decisions on behalf of a county public health director, a public health nurse, an environmental health specialist, and other public health professionals. By approaching emerging public health issues from these perspectives, the players gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand, the decisions that colleagues in other disciplines face, and how those decisions impact their areas of expertise.

Training Opportunities

A tabletop exercise was developed for local public health and tribal health departments to test their preparedness activities in response to a severe weather event. The exercise was facilitated at 2 in person events; one in Minneapolis (23 attendees) and one in Willmar (17 attendees). There was also one exercise facilitated virtually via Zoom (23 attendees).

This exercise is now available as a “Tabletop in a Box”. The materials include; scenario powerpoint, facilitator’s guide and the executive summary.

Download materials: Severe Weather Event Tabletop

Funding through Minnesota Prepared offers scholarships for local public health professionals to attend emergency preparedness and response-related courses at The Public Health Institute (PHI). PHI is a program held during summer session that offers academic and continuing education courses for students and professionals in public health and related fields. Participants can build or expand their professional expertise, learn best practices, broaden career options, network with other professionals, or explore a new area of interest. Minnesota Prepared Scholarship Awardees have the option to attend both online and in-person courses on topics that include data, behavioral health, and health equity.

In 2023, 47 public health professionals from across the state received scholarships to attend graduate-level courses and received one academic graduate-level credit. Full-time students enjoyed having experienced professionals with working knowledge of the field alongside them in their courses. Scholarships will be offered again for courses that will take place in May 2024, check back for more information to come.

SPH offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in Public Health Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, which helps to prepare public health workers and others to respond to incidents of bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and other emerging public health preparedness and response issues.

Early in 2023, the Minnesota Prepared team worked closely with the Advisory Committee members to gain an understanding of the importance of maintaining such an offering; therefore, the certificate is undergoing redevelopment and is designed for both traditional MPH students and working professionals. Information on the revised certificate is coming later this summer.

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