TEPHINET Holds Its 2018 Program Directors Meeting in Johannesburg

Tina Rezvani

Right: Participants at the 2018 TEPHINET Program Directors Meeting

From July 16-18, the leadership of approximately 50 of TEPHINET’s member programs convened in Johannesburg, South Africa for the 2018 TEPHINET Program Directors Meeting. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), host organization of the South Africa Field Epidemiology Training Program, graciously hosted this event, which drew roughly 60 total participants.

“Our program directors meetings are intense working meetings,” says Dionisio Herrera, director of TEPHINET. “There’s no substitute for bringing everyone together in person to dive into the common challenges facing our programs. The direct feedback and outcomes from the meeting have been invaluable for the TEPHINET Secretariat as we align our priority activities with our strategic plan.”

Ramphelane Morewane, Chief Director of District Health Services at the National Department of Health of South Africa, and Patrick O’Carroll, Head of Health Systems Strengthening at the Task Force for Global Health, welcomed the group during the opening ceremony. The three-day meeting consisted of plenary sessions followed by breakout sessions for group discussion and the subsequent reporting of group ideas back to the larger gathering for comment.

The plenary and group discussions addressed the following topics:

  • Improving the scientific quality of TEPHINET conferences
  • Improving the coordination and mobilization of FETP graduates through TEPHIConnect
  • Improving the quality of FETPs through accreditation and other experiences
  • Developing TEPHINET’s learning strategy (understanding the needs of the programs and the network in general as related to learning)
  • Creating a roadmap for developing global epidemiology capacity (a discussion of the June 2018 FETP Roadmap Meeting held in Bellagio, Italy)
  • Sharing the current priorities and projects of the TEPHINET Secretariat

TEPHINET Program Directors Meetings provide the leadership of national TEPHINET-member field epidemiology training programs—as well as regional FETP networks and other TEPHINET partners including the CDC, ECDC and WHO—with opportunities to discuss, face-to-face, 1) progress achieved in alignment with the TEPHINET vision and mission, 2) the role of the TEPHINET Secretariat in continuing to support this collaboration, and 3) the implementation of key network-wide initiatives.

The TEPHINET Secretariat is currently finalizing a summary report of the meeting to share with participants. We would like to thank the staff of the South Africa FETP for their support in organizing this event.