Vision, Mission and History
Founded in 1997, Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) is the global network of Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs). TEPHINET spans more than 80 programs actively training field epidemiologists in more than 200 countries and territories.
FETPs play a critical role in advancing global health security by building the public health workforce needed for countries to detect and respond to acute public health threats, including outbreaks, natural disasters, and humanitarian crises. TEPHINET member FETPs include programs with laboratory (FELTP) and veterinary (FETP-V) components.
To date, TEPHINET member programs have trained more than 20,000 public health professionals across the world to be the “boots on the ground” in the fight for better health.
The TEPHINET Secretariat is a program of The Task Force for Global Health. Founded in 1984 by global health pioneer Dr. Bill Foege, The Task Force for Global Health is an independent, nongovernmental organization based in Decatur, Georgia, USA that exists to eliminate diseases that have plagued humankind for centuries and build the systems necessary to protect the health of entire populations.
All people are protected by a field epidemiology workforce capable of detecting and responding to health threats.
To develop, connect, and mobilize a global field epidemiology workforce to strengthen public health systems and advance health security.
- Integrity: Be transparent and fair.
- Customer Service: Go the extra mile to respond to the needs of our network and partners.
- Excellence: Provide high-quality products and services.
- Inclusiveness: Include those affected by decisions in the decision-making process.
- Equity: Provide services contextualized according to country-specific and/or regional needs.
FETPs Established to Advance Global Health Security
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 (EIS) of the CDC, the three-tier Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) model, Public Health Schools without Walls, and the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training. Regardless of the model used, all field epidemiology training programs provide “training through service.” Each program is adapted to meet the health needs of the country or region in which it functions.
TEPHINET Formed to Strengthen FETPs through Knowledge and Resource Sharing
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, 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.
TEPHINET merged with The Task Force for Global Health in October 2008. From our humble beginnings, initially operating with fewer than five staff at the Secretariat and fewer than 25 member programs, today, we have more than 35 staff and more than 75 member programs.