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Integrators will test the utility of disease modeling tools in public health organizations, to see how public health decision makers benefit from the analyses.

This includes:

  • Refining and evaluating analytic approaches.
  • Transitioning outbreak analytic and disease modeling innovations to small-scale operations of the implementing partner.
  • Establishing mechanisms that support response-ready data collection.
  • Evaluating and document the process and results of the integration effort.

Integrator grants were awarded to University of California – San Diego, University of Utah, University of Minnesota, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Clemson University.

Spotlight Work

The University of Utah is developing and implementing tools to improve responses to emerging public health threats across the Mountain West.

  • They will use some of their $17.5 million 5-year grant to fund its ForeSITE (Forecasting and Surveillance of Infectious Threats and Epidemics) center, creating tools for local health officials to customize disease responses for their communities. The models also incorporate socioeconomic, race and disability data, so that local decision-makers can consider equity in their responses and target the most vulnerable populations.
  • During the pandemic, ForeSITE researchers used real-time disease forecasting to advise hospitals on preparing for patient surges, assist health departments in planning vaccine distribution, and make recommendations for the public about using face masks.
  • ForeSITE has partnerships supporting local health departments, hospitals and Veterans Affairs health systems in Utah, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. These additional 15 collaborators will expand the network of networks, working together to coordinate disease outbreak responses more quickly across the Mountain West region.

Who are the integrators?

Clemson, along with collaborators, aims to save lives by enhancing health readiness and response for infectious disease threats by integrating forecasting, outbreak analytics, and decision-support tools that emphasize visual data and communication of analytic results. Clemson will partner with the University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, Prisma Health, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Clemson Rural Health, and South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Heath Care at University of South Carolina.

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD), along with their partners, will systematically connect and test the utility of data from novel interventions like wastewater and air surveillance, molecular epidemiology, and smartphone-based exposure notification, to help model and predict future events. UCSD will be collaborating with the University of California, Riverside, University of California, San Francisco, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Washington, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, and Los Alamos National Lab.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health will build on their partnership the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, established in 2016, to develop modeling tools and data analytic pipelines. They will expand work on a data visualization and analytic platform used by state and local public health officials to support their decision-making.

The University of Minnesota will pilot two approaches to support decision-making – a mathematical modeling and decision analysis platform, and an Electronic Health Record-Enhanced Public Health Response Toolkit for geospatial decision-analysis, machine learning, and natural language processing. They will collaborate with the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Electronic Health Records Consortium, M Health Fairview, Essentia Institute of Rural Health, CentraCare Health Systems, Health Partners, Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Allina Health, Children’s Minnesota, Sanford Health, and the Center for Veteran’s Research & Education of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.

University of Utah, along with its collaborators, will implement a library of modeling and analytic approaches belonging to five toolsets: automated alerting, parameter estimation, scenario planning, forecasting and nowcasting, and economic impact analysis. The initiative will be co-led by the University of Utah, Washington State University (WSU), and Utah Department of Health and Human Services (Utah DHHS), with an extensive network of partners including Washington, Idaho, and Montana state health departments; local health districts in Utah and Washington; University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare regional healthcare organizations; community hospitals in Washington and Idaho; and the federal Veterans Affairs healthcare system.