Pacific EMPRINTS project launches disaster preparedness website

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jun 18, 2007

HONOLULU — An emergency management program at UH Mānoa has unveiled a web-based series of disaster preparedness training and education courses for public health professionals in Hawaiʻi, California and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands.

Through a partnership with Yale University‘s School of Medicine, participants who enroll will receive continuing medical education (CME) credits for the online courses on bioterrorism and other public health threats.

The program, developed by the Pacific Emergency Management Preparedness and Response Information Network and Training Services (Pacific EMPRINTS), also features innovative online problem-based teaching cases that take the learner through mock scenarios for potential public health threats. It is the only program in the United States that offers this kind of problem-based training online. The website also includes simulated live training exercises and links to relevant news articles and additional online disaster preparedness resources.

"We are especially pleased that the training site will be updated continually to incorporate the most current information," said Ann Sakaguchi, principal investigator for Pacific EMPRINTS. "This will be of tremendous value to physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and other healthcare and public health professionals. We will also be launching web-based GIS classes on emergency management in Fall 2007."

The new program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administered by the UH Mānoa Department of Anthropology. Pacific EMPRINTS has also developed a network of partnerships among healthcare organizations and universities throughout Hawaiʻi and the mainland U.S., including UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Loma Linda and San Diego State Universities.

About course offerings and credit opportunities:

The course list includes knowledge-based, online problem-based learning and/or podcast courses on more than 20 topics such as CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) events, avian influenza, smallpox, and plague. Each of these courses addresses the appropriate "Core Competencies for Teaching Emergency Preparedness to Health Professions Students and Clinical Personnel." For every 50 minutes or more of online courses that have been successfully completed, including the post-tests, health professionals are eligible for one AMA/PRA Category I credit from the Yale School of Medicine, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢ system has become the CME standard for licensing boards and specialty organizations nationwide. Online training and CME credits are free of charge.

For more information, visit the program‘s website at

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