The Goals of the Consortium for Public Health Informatics are to:
- Create a Nebraska-focused information portal designed to provide real time, interactive access to public health data.
- Conduct a formalized information analysis and data availability assessment to support current/emerging public health issues. This will include a needs analysis, cataloging existing data sources, identifying gaps therein, and developing proposals to address those gaps. Focus groups comprised of stakeholders and potential users will be conducted to determine the level of interest, technical ability, and desired scope of content. This will be a critical step to the design of a useful system. In addition, the CPHi will research appropriate tools, including data formats, and visualization and reporting tools, to maximize the flexibility and utility of the information portal. The Consortium will then pursue national grants (e.g. NIH, NSF, etc.) to gain assistance in addressing both data and technology voids.
- Provide access to a think tank of UNO/UNMC IT, GIS and Public Health researchers and experts. This human infrastructure will provide assistance on how IT and GIS capabilities can be used to integrate, visualize, analyze, and disseminate public health information and further research. Both, UNO and UNMC strategic plans have major outreach components that can be easily incorporated into these activities.
The Consortium will:
- Improve Public Health: The Consortium will improve health delivery by helping stakeholders recognize public health issues more clearly and quickly, and thus become more responsive during emergencies. In addition, public awareness of important public health issues will be increased.
- Increase Public Health Research Synergy: The Consortium will aggressively pursue funding sources. There are numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) programs aimed at developing and maintaining complex data collection, processing, and analysis repositories. It is expected that NIH/ NSF programs will focus heavily on public health issues for at least the next decade. Last year, there were, 24 RFAs in health informatics (18 were NIH), 32 and 30 health informatics proposals were funded in 2008, 2007 (CRISP) respectively and NSF is currently funding 37 health informatics grants. The project team has identified three NSF/NIH calls that the Consortium will work on writing proposals (see references).
- Enhance the linkage between public policy and academic research: The Consortium will provide a centralized means to facilitate increased stakeholder and public involvement in public health issues and make data and research available for community based health organizations, health professionals and other organizations.
- Foster the development of a unique and innovative curriculum: The Consortium will provide learning and research opportunities for Public Health Informatics minded students in their professional and career development. Students will now have access to material not previously readily available managed by this proposed Consortium.