Illinois Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (IPERLC)

The MidAmerica Center for Public House Practice previously housed the Illinois Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (IPERLC) and this page remains as an archive to provide history of our Center’s long history in preparedness. Please make sure to visit our Preparedness Resources page to stay prepared.

IPERLC Purpose

The MCPHP engages in public health preparedness activities to enhance the readiness of the public health workforce in responding to natural and man-made disasters and events.  Sudden crises occur such as earthquakes, flooding, and pandemic flu threats, that emphasize the need for health agencies to be ready to take action for any emergent event.

Illinois Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (IPERLC) is a lifelong learning center that focuses on developing competency-based training activities for the public health workforce serving the State of Illinois. IPERLC is one of 14 Preparedness and Emergency Learning Centers across the nation, which were made possible through a grant by the U.S. DHHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, IPERLC was known as the Illinois Public Health Preparedness Center (IPHPC).

In order to ensure a competent and prepared public  health workforce in Illinois, the project will focus on the development, delivery, and evaluation of competency-based training and education based on identified needs. The project’s longer-term focus to ensure a prepared workforce will encompass larger scale public health workforce development initiatives addressing the size, distribution, composition of the workforce and emphasizing the links between training and workplace management.

Competency-Based Approach

Consistent with CDC’s emphasis on competency-based approaches to public health workforce preparedness, the IPERLC will focus on competency-based approaches to assessing, enhancing, verifying, and recognizing competent public health practice, which is consistent with strategies deployed during the past decade by IPHPC. During IPHPC’s tenure, competency-based online courses were created to address core public health practice and preparedness competencies.  The new Public Health Preparedness and Response Core Competency Model for the mid-level public health worker is organized into four competency domains that include:

  1. Model Leadership
  2. Communicate and Manage Information
  3. Plan for and Improve Practice
  4. Protect Worker Health and Safety


IPERLC identifies the individual and organizational training needs of our partners, such as Illinois Department of Public Health, and develops the corresponding trainings that address both core public health and preparedness competencies.  In addition to providing these competency-based educational tools and trainings, IPERLC collaborates with its partners by developing and carrying out training activities specifically requested by our partners.

Recently, IPERLC provided support for a preparedness team to be part of the 22nd  MidAmerica Regional Public Health Leadership Institute (MARPHLI) for its year-long public health leadership development program. This team was asked to focus their attention on the impact of ACA on Preparedness, as their project topic. As a result of their work, the MARPHLI Prairie State Preparedness Team developing a toolkit to assist emergency planners with the incorporation of ACA and other essential medical information in disaster preparedness. The Health Care Preparedness Toolkit includes a fact sheet, planning guide, training plan, a visual aid, and a pre/post-test. More information about the toolkit can be found here.