History of TEPHINET
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 Decatur, Georgia, United States. From TEPHINET's humble beginnings operating with fewer than five staff at the secretariat and fewer than 25 member programs, we have now grown to a secretariat of more than 20 full-time staff members and more than 70 member programs.