The Massachusetts Department of Public Health centers equity in its public health agenda to support action toward optimal health for all. Historically, the healthcare field has focused on individual factors that affect health outcomes: a person’s diet and exercise, for example. Increasingly, public health practitioners recognize that social determinants of health contribute to root causes of poor health. They also recognize the importance of environmental exposures in contributing to poor health. Raising awareness about environmental exposures and root causes of poor health can empower people to act to improve health outcomes. To that end, MDPH wanted to provide training to community health workers, clinicians, and others on this topic.
ERG began by exploring and defining MDPH’s audiences and training goals. Recognizing the diversity of the audiences, ERG proposed an engaging instructional approach involving a creative but cohesive combination of video clips, animated learning sequences, and interactivities for each of seven 15- to 30-minute training modules. This approach enabled us to present content in meaningful ways for learners with greatly varying levels of education.
ERG used a methodical approach to design, develop, and implement the training modules. We first established a creative, unified instructional approach and screen design for all seven modules. We then established learning objectives and content outlines for each module, drafted and revised storyboards, and finally performed all recordings, programming, and testing—all with frequent opportunities for MDPH review and input. We provided SCORM- and 508-compliant (accessible) modules on Introduction to Environmental Health, Environmental Justice and Social Determinants of Health, Climate Change and Health, and four Environmental Health Equity Case Studies (Extreme Heat, Poor Air Quality, Recreational Water Quality, and Insect-Related Disease).