St. Louis U Heartland Centers To Deploy Meridian LMS Service

The Heartland Centers at Saint Louis University School of Public Health will be implementing the software-as-a-service (SaaS) version of Meridian Learning Management System (LMS) from Meridian Knowledge Solutions. The Heartland Centers chose the Meridian LMS to provide preparedness training, among other types of education, for first responders and health workers in Missouri and nationwide.

The Meridian LMS replaces the university's existing training system, which lacked functions for managing training curricula and hosting online collaboration, according to the school.

"We have four different leadership networks that bring people from around the country together to learn. They were using Yahoo! Groups to collaborate, but now we can give them a way to share calendars [and] discuss documents and training topics," said Christy McFarland, LMS coordinator for the Heartland Centers. "We don't have the luxury of IT support, so having Meridian host our LMS off-site made perfect sense. Without Meridian's SaaS offering, we might have encountered firewall issues when delivering preparedness training to an array of health care workers nationwide. Clearly, those kinds of issues would've prevented us from delivering the training when and where first responders need it."

"We serve emergency workers in many rural communities, and these professionals and volunteers don't always have access to face-to-face training," said McFarland. "So we wanted to provide them training and online collaboration capabilities inexpensively via an LMS. With the Meridian LMS, new employees at local county public health agencies will be able to simply log on, register, and get public heath training in minutes."

The HETC is one of 14 public health training centers based at accredited schools of public health covering 45 states and the District of Columbia. The LMS allows users to assess their own level of competency regarding various public health issues, develop a training plan, and access competency-based programs and products to improve competence and track and document professional development activities. Currently, the system houses over 150 public-health related programs in a multiple formats. Most are free.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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