When the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) was created in 1995, as a collaborative venture of the then 15 European Member States plus Norway, its purpose was to create a network of highly trained field epidemiologists in the EU, strengthening the public health epidemiology workforce at Member State and EU/EEA level. During the course of the 2-year fellowship, fellows build strong links both within, and between the cohorts. The challenge of developing and maintaining this network after the fellowship ends led to the establishment of the EPIET Alumni Network (EAN) as an independent association in 2000.
The EAN continues to grow each year (currently 500+ members), and now also includes alumni from the European Programme for Public Health Microbiology Training (EUPHEM) and other European Field Epidemiology Training Programmes (FETP) or EPIET-associated Programmes (EAP). As well as alumni of training programmes, the EAN also has some ‘external’ members who, through their work, meet similar objectives to the EAN.
Having a network of professionals that know each other, speak the same ‘language’ (professionally), and can easily access each other's expertise represents an important resource for European and global public health. As well as helping to develop and maintain the network, the EAN aims to be a resource for European and global public health through the following objectives:
- Provide EPIET, EUPHEM and FETP fellows with local support, including practical and technical assistance and including mentoring where appropriate.
- Facilitate the maintenance of the strong network within and between past EPIET, FETP and EUPHEM alumni and current fellows.
- Share and exchange professional experiences, information and skills among members.
- Constitute and enable access to a pool of expertise of trained European field epidemiologists and public health microbiologists, who can provide epidemiological, public health microbiological and public health expertise for members, their organisations, and other public and private organisations; the EAN participates in WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN).
- Take part and assist in the promotion, development and delivery of training in field epidemiology, public health and public health microbiology.
- Contribute to both the logistical and scientific organisation of European field epidemiology and/or public health microbiology meetings, such as the annual European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (ESCAIDE).
In support of these objectives, we encourage all past and present fellows from EPIET, EUPHEM and FETP programmes to make active use of our forums.
You can learn more about the network and the contribution of fellows and alumni to the public health workforce in the following articles:
- Pezzoli, L., M. Keramarou, G. Ladbury, G. Jaramillo-Gutierrez, C. J. Williams, and A. Le Menach. ‘Time, place, and people: composition of the EPIET Alumni Network and its contribution to the European public health resource in 2013’, Epidemiology and Infection, 143(12), pp. 2539–2546. 2014. doi: 10.1017/S0950268814003392
- Bosman A, Schimmer B, Coulombier D. Contribution of EPIET to public health workforce in the EU, 1995-2008. Euro Surveill. 2009;14(43):pii=19381
- van Loock F, Rowland M, Grein T, Moren A. Intervention epidemiology training: a European perspective. Euro Surveill. 2001;6(3):pii=218
- Arnold Bosman. 20 years of EPIET. 11 August 2015. LinkedIn.com.