28 July 2009

July Public Health Practice Committee Meeting

When: Monday, July 27th at 12:00 pm EDT.

1) Approval of the minutes
2) ISDS updates
3) Reminder of the upcoming ISDS Research Committee Webinar scheduled for Thursday, July 30, 2009 11:00 AM-12:00 PM EDT: "Research on School Absenteeism Data and the Effect of School Closings on Disease Spread"
4) Guest presentation: “Syndromic Surveillance Program Characteristics in the United States in 2008” by Peter Leese, Economist at Research Triangle Institute, Inc. & David Rein, PhD, Research Economist at Research Triangle Institute, Inc.
5) A discussion on current and proposed use of advanced surveillance systems to track novel flu A (H1N1) activity and plans to evaluate school and community mitigation activities this fall
6) The ongoing DiSTRIBuTE perspective on this influenza pandemic
7) Use of federal stimulus funds to enhance public health preparedness surveillance


2. ISDS updates: Don Olson gave a brief update on the status of ISDS and the DiSTRIBuTE project. ISDS is currently in the stages of a preliminary agreement for the next phase of DiSTRIBuTE funding. In the coming weeks, Don will be contacting members of the PHPC to solicit support for DiSTRIBuTE.

5. Tracking H1N1 in schools (Marc Paladini): Marc discussed his current work on evaluation of the timing of school breaks and their effects of ED visits for ILI when comparing across age groups. Thus far, it has been difficult to develop the appropriate statistical measures. For the upcoming flu season, he hopes that there will be better reporting by grades K-8 in the New York City school system, and to begin integrating school nurse visits with absentee data and active surveillance.

6. Current DiSTRIBuTE perspective on H1N1 (Don Olson): Don is interested in gathering locals/states to collaborate and determine the impact of school closures (in this case, the end of the academic year) in spring 2009 on the H1N1 pandemic spread. He hopes to keep this discussion on the effect of school closures on H1N1 age distribution open into the fall, so that the effect of schools reopening in September can be observed.

7. The PHPC is interested in assessing what its members are doing to use the federal stimulus money to further develop surveillance systems. This will be discussed in greater detail on next month's call.

Next meeting: Monday, August 24th at 12:00 pm EDT.

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