Global Public Health Informatics Program (GPHIP)
Pre-Conference Workshop: Building the Informatics Agenda for Global Health
In August 2011, the Global Public Health Informatics Program (GPHIP) presented a pre-conference Public Health Informatics Global Workshop entitled “Building the Informatics Agenda for Global Health” in Atlanta, Georgia. Eighty-five health professionals from around the world participated in the workshop which led to the development of next steps from each of the four workshop tracks:
- Policy and Governance
- Public Health Knowledge Management, Collaborative Networks and Global Partnerships
- Capacity Building
- Globally Reusable Resources: Metrics, Tools, Templates, and Digital Assets.
A Report summarizing the event and recommendations for “Building an informatics agenda for global health” has been developed and is available electronically through the website.
International Night: Improving Global Health Through Informatics
On August 24, 2011, the Centennial Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia, was alive with activity as over 200 health professionals from around the world gathered to exchange ideas and share challenges and innovative solutions to improving global health informatics. Vivid images of work done by CDC's GPHIP team flashed on large projection screens, illustrating work being done by the team and CDC’s partners in Saudi Arabia, the South Caucuses, and other regions of the world to advance the use of informatics in support of global health research and practice. The visual effects and poster presentations set the stage for what will be remembered as an evening of reflection and insightful discussions about public health informatics and its role in building global public health capacity and saving lives.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Kevin De Cock, Director, Center for Global Health, CDC said, “An emphasis on health informatics is relevant and important for the work that CDC and its global partners are doing to improve health systems. We believe that the use of new technologies for data collection, surveillance and analysis, and dissemination of data and information will greatly enhance health outcomes and prevent loss of life. This is a collective effort and we need this and other kinds of specialized expertise to help us do our jobs more efficiently and strive for our common goal – safer, longer, healthier lives."
Hosted in partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the 2011 Public Health Informatics Conference Team, International Night and other global health informatics activities provided a forum for public health and informatics professionals to exchange ideas and share information about the role of global health informatics in improving health outcomes for all.
Continuing the tradition set over the past few years, International Night was attended by more than 200 global health professionals and featured poster sessions and a panel discussion moderated by CDC’s Dr. Janise Richards under the theme “Collaboration – To Empower Public Health Systems Development and Improve Outcomes.” The discussion included brief presentations and remarks by 5 invited panelists -- Mr. Christopher Bailey, World Health Organization; Dr. Lincoln Moura, International Medical Informatics Association; Mr. Mike Gehron, Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator; Dr. Patrick Nguku, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program; and Dr. Paul Biondich, Regenstrief Institute. While the panelists shared different perspectives about their experiences and views about informatics, all agreed that greater collaboration is needed to further the agenda of global public health informatics and its value to public health research and practice. According to the Master of Ceremonies, Dr. David A. Ross, Director of the Public Health Informatics Institute, "When we developed the program, our goal was to engage panelists and the audience in discussions that would inform and empower public health informatics initiatives worldwide and I believe we achieved those objectives."
During the poster session, fourteen peer-reviewed global health posters were displayed. Topics included the use of mobile technology for data collection during disasters, developing a health informatics training curriculum for clinical stakeholders in sub-Saharan Africa, enhancing primary care medicine research in distance practices through online consultancy and open source GIS, and many others.
The PHI Conference also included 24 peer-reviewed global health oral presentations and a global health workshop – ‘Building an Informatics Agenda for Global Health’. The interactive workshop was conducted with 85 participants from 15 countries, representing governmental organizations, private sector companies, academia, and nonprofit organizations. Participants focused on four areas: Policy and Governance; Public Health Knowledge Management; Collaborative Networks and Global Partnerships; and Capacity Building in Globally Reusable Resources: Metrics, Tools, Templates, and Digital Assets.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Seth Foldy, Director, Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office (PHITPO), CDC said, “I think what many of us have discovered during the last four days is that the needs for public health information, at a fairly low level of abstraction, have extraordinary overlap, thus allowing us to try and solve many problems with a few simple solutions, especially if we focus on the key issues of the message or the document and how it's transported.”
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