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Kentucky Public Health Assistance and Support Team (K-PHAST)

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH)  partners with universities to develop trained teams of student/faculty volunteers to assist and provide support during public health outbreaks, investigations, and other responses. During responses in the past, KDPH has conducted large-scale phone surveys of patients, field surveys in disaster settings, established on-the-fly surveillance for novel diseases, injuries and other conditions, collected shelter surveillance data, performed data entry for surveillance during disasters, and analyzed incoming data throughout the response.  Even data entry for a large batch of surveys may be needed in given investigations.  All of these are examples of possible activities that KDPH could request assistance from K-PHAST members. Students may also have the opportunity to help local health departments with local response issues and surge capacity for special projects (CASPER surveys, data entry, etc). Participation is limited to one or two days in most cases to avoid excessive conflicts with classes.  Participation is voluntary, but KDPH will make every effort to cover any needs or expenses that arise from participation in a response (e.g., meals, transportation, lodging)



1. Currently enrolled student or faculty members at a Kentucky university. 
2. Complete two online introductory ICS courses and supply completion certificates for verification.  Each module takes approximately 2 - 3 hours to complete.  Before taking these courses, you will need to register for a FEMA student identification number.

3. Complete day-long training.  Preregistration is required, and space is limited.



KDPH has developed a single-day general concepts training that incorporates concepts of Incident Command Structure (ICS), survey design, Epi Info software, HIPPA issues, interviewing skills, and basic applied epidemiology. After the training, students will be enrolled in the K-PHAST program and able to participate in responses if a request is made by KDPH or the local health department.  Additional, just-in-time training will be given at any response so that the university participant can quickly become familiar with concepts specific to the given response and operational characteristics of KDPH’s response framework.

 For more information, email marilyn.gardner@wku.edu


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 Last Modified 7/19/22