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Program Overview

icon Program Overview and applications. (417.21 kB)

Background Information

In September 2006, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) established a cooperative agreement with the Gorgas Memorial Institute on Health Studies, in Panama City, to support the development of a Regional Health-Care Training Center (RHCTC) in Panama City to provide training to enhance the knowledge and skills of community health workers and clinicians from Central and South America.

From 2007 until the conclusion of the most recent course in June 2011, over 460 health professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean have received instruction in courses that lasted from three days to two weeks. In total, more than 1,505 individuals, including medical students and non-medical personnel, have participated in courses at the RHCTC.

Through technical-cooperation funds from the Pan American Health Organization, DHHS is offering the Workshop on Caries Prevention/or Communities in the Region Americas / Taller de prevención de caries para comunidades en la Región de las Américas. The course will offer an adaptation of techniques and curricula developed by the DHHS Indian Health Service (IHS) on oral health promotion/disease prevention methodologies. A key aspect of the training will be the provision of dental sealants and varnishes. Another key aspect of the training will be discussion about community-based oral health programs and upon completion of the course, those trained will be able to apply skills learned at the RHCTC in their own communities.

Educational Methodology

Train-the-Trainer is an educational methodology whereby key individuals transfer knowledge and skills to others. The underlying principle for using "Train the Trainer" is to empower dentists and dental auxiliaries who have caries prevention expertise to plan sustainable strategies to improve the oral health of children and adults who live in their countries. Train-the-Trainer enables dentists and dental auxiliaries to present workshops to teach proven dental caries prevention practices, and to facilitate collaboration to implement a community-based oral health plan. Healthcare workers, parents, teachers, and other community members would be the intended audience for these workshops.

Train-the-Trainer is an intensive three-day, skill-development, interactive process that uses the following educational techniques:

  • Explaining

  • Demonstrating

  • Discussing

  • Questioning

  • Modeling

  • Collaborating


Criteria for Instructors for Train-the-Trainer

1) Dentists and dental auxiliaries who work in public health settings or dental schools

2) Experienced in training health professionals and community members

3) Speak Spanish, preferably bi-lingual in English

Educational Resources

At the conclusion of the Train the Trainer, dentists and dental auxiliaries will have a written plan customized to meet their community's unique needs. They will receive the tools to recruit community members. They will have a training manual and a CD that includes curriculum, presentations, and handouts.


Staff from the Gorgas Institute will have roles in Train-the-Trainer and these staff will support the people trained as they return to their communities to provide Community Workshops. The staff from Gorgas Institute will then be able to replicate Train-the- Trainer with new groups as needed. .


The development of sustainable systems to prevent dental caries in seven Pan American countries will positively impact the oral health of all age groups. Additionally, having dentists and dental auxiliaries who are competent and confident to plan community-based programs and conduct training workshops create opportunities to improve the overall health in communities in the Region of the Americas.


The Train-the-Trainer and Community Workshop on Caries Prevention for Communities in the Region of the Americas was developed in cooperation with the following partners:

  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

  • U. S. Department of Health and Human

  • Services, U.S. Public Health Service

  • Indian Health Service, Division of Oral Health

  • Gorgas Institute

Criteria for Train-the-Trainer

Dentists and dental auxiliaries 1) working in public health, dental schools, or community settings, and 2) who are in a position to influence oral health policy or funding.

Criteria for Community Workshops

Potential participants may include Individuals who work in schools, daycare centers, health programs, or other settings where they can implement caries prevention programs. Potential participants may also be community members who can influence oral health policy and funding.


Assessing training effectiveness of Train-the-Trainer will involve a four-level model developed by Donald Kirkpatrick (1994). Each successive level represents a more precise measure of the effectiveness of the training program. The evaluation will be provided by an external reviewer.

Level 1 Evaluation - Reactions

Just as the word implies, evaluation at this level measures how participants in a training program react to it. It attempts to answer questions regarding the participants' perceptions: Did they like it? Was the material relevant to their needs? Although a positive reaction does not guarantee learning, a negative reaction almost certainly reduces its possibility.

Written evaluation of the trainers' presentations, the educational methodology, and usefulness of the course content and materials will be collected and analyzed. The outcome of Level 1 evaluation will be to provide specific information for improving Train-the-Trainer.

Level 2 Evaluation - Learning

Assessing at this level moves the evaluation beyond learner satisfaction and attempts to assess the extent participants have advanced in skills, knowledge, or attitude. Pretest and post test assessment is a typical method to determine what participants learned.

In the Train-the-Trainer course application, participants are asked several questions.

Three oft he questions will be asked again at the end of Train-the-Trainer.

1. Does your community currently have a written oral health plan to prevent dental caries?

2. What specific interventions would you like to see implemented in your community to improve oral health?

3. On a scale of 1-5, how prepared are you to conduct community caries prevention workshops?

The outcome of Level 2 evaluation will be to describe specific changes that occurred during Train-the-Trainer.

Level 3 Evaluation - Transfer

This level measures the transfer that has occurred in participants' behavior due to the training program. Evaluating at this level attempts to answer the question: Are the newly acquired skills, knowledge, or attitude being used?

The expectation to provide at least one Community Workshop six months after Train the-Trainer course was stated in the course application. The outcome of Level 3 evaluation will be to identify how many participants conducted Community Workshops; what challenges they encountered; how well prepared they were to conduct the workshops; how they used the Train-the-Trainer and Community Workshop materials; and what linkages were established. This will be done by sending out questionnaires 6 months after the completion of Train-the-Trainer.

Level 4 Evaluation- Results

Frequently thought of as the bottom line, this level measures the success of the Train the-Trainer in terms that managers can understand. Evaluating at this level answers the questions about whether a program made a difference: Does a community have improved oral health and specifically, does a community have a decrease in caries? This type of evaluation would require an oral health status survey. This type of evaluation is outside the scope of this project at this time; however, would be recommended if funding and circumstance permit. An alternative would be for communities to use any oral health data currently collected for other purposes

Training Resources:

icon Workshop on Caries Prevention. PAHO Introduction (9 kB)

icon Cover for Training Binder Cover

Program Overview

Tab 1: Train-the-Trainers. The Training Outline is printed on colored paper to distinguish them from other training materials. The Training Outline will only be seen by the instructors for the Train-the-Trainer workshop.

Tab 2: Train-the-trainer agenda, learning objectives, and handouts. These materials are specific to Train-the-Trainer.

Tab 3: Community Workshop. Day 1. Contains all the training materials for the Welcome, Overview, and Introduction, and Modules 1-4.

Tab 4: Community Workshop Day 2. Contains all the training materials for Modules 5-9.

Tab 5: Community Workshop. Day 3. Contains all the training materials for Modules 10-11, and the Closing.

Tab 6: Handouts for the Community Workshop. These will need to be duplicated for each participant at the Community Workshop .

Tab 7: Fluoride varnish video, and Cover for Training Workshop

icon Instruction how to edit training Materials (25 kB)

Last Updated on Monday, 04 February 2013 10:18

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