Header photo: Cholera outbreak investigation (Karen Lonogan, Philippines FETP)
Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) is a global network of field epidemiology training programs (FETPs) and their trainees and graduates. Our member programs encompass all three training levels of the pyramidal field epidemiology training model (basic/Frontline, intermediate, and advanced). Our network includes several programs that conduct laboratory and/or veterinary training beyond the standard field epidemiology curriculum to help countries strengthen their public health laboratory systems and their ability to detect and respond to diseases of animal origin.
Our network consists of 71 programs actively training field epidemiologists in more than 100 countries. On a global scale, our network includes more than 12,000 trainees and graduates who play a critical role in improving global health security by strengthening country capacity to detect and respond to disease outbreaks.
With a secretariat based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and a global Advisory Board, TEPHINET is the only global network of FETPs and spans multiple regional FETP networks, sub-regional (multi-country) programs, and national programs.
All people are protected by a field epidemiology workforce capable of detecting and responding to health threats.
To empower and mobilize a competent field epidemiology workforce for all people through standardized training, experiential learning, training program quality improvement, mentoring, and knowledge exchanges in order to connect epidemiologists better, faster and with quality across the globe.
Beginning in the 1980s, in response to the need to develop their public health capabilities and infrastructure, several countries have developed field-based training programs in applied epidemiology and public health with financial and technical support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other funders and partners. The primary goal of these training programs has been to foster the development of field-trained epidemiologists who are competent in the practical application of epidemiologic methods to a wide range of public health problems in their respective areas.
Various models exist for these field-based training programs, including the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the CDC, the three-tier Field Epidemiology Training Program model, Public Health Schools Without Walls, and the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training. Regardless of the model used, all field epidemiology training programs subscribe to the maxim of “training through service.” In addition, each program is adapted to meet the health needs of the country or region in which it functions.
In the 1990s, several directors of these programs recognized the benefit of working together and began an initiative to organize themselves into a global network to share experiences and resources. With support from the World Health Organization, the CDC, and the Fondation Merieux, this network was formalized in 1997 as the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network, or "TEPHINET."
TEPHINET was incorporated in 1999 in the U.S. state of Georgia as a non-profit organization with the aim of strengthening international public health capacity through the support and networking of field-based training programs that enhance competencies in applied epidemiology and public health practice.
In October 2008, TEPHINET merged with The Task Force for Global Health, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Atlanta. The Task Force's mission is to help public and private organizations promote health and human development by building coalitions, forging consensus, and leveraging scarce resources. The organizational structure of the Task Force provides TEPHINET with administrative and management support and allows TEPHINET to achieve better economies of scale for supplies and services.