17 May 2012

ISDS May Member Highlight: Dr. Louise Wilson

ISDS is happy to introduce this month's ISDS Member Highlight: Dr. Louise Wilson. Last month, ISDS began the ISDS Member Highlight project as a way to highlight member achievements, interests, and inspirations in an effort to showcase successful and highly active ISDS members. The May ISDS Member Highlight will introduce Dr. Louise Wilson, who is the ISDS Global Outreach Committee Chair.
How did you first learn about disease surveillance and when did you decide that it was an area of interest for you? 
As a paediatric intensivist I had a practical interest in disease surveillance, but it was whilst working in public health at Health Protection Scotland that I became interested in syndromic surveillance and biostatistical approaches to disease surveillance.
What do you do?
I work in the National Health System and I am the Director of Public Health for Orkney, a beautiful archipelago off the north coast of Scotland. 
What do you enjoy most about your job? 
I love the variety of work to be covered - with the additional challenge of delivering preventative services in the remote and rural setting.  
What excites you in the work you do? 
Everything! For me it is a privilege to work in the NHS and serve the local community. I’m lucky to work with some really dedicated people.
Who or what inspires you professionally? 
I’ve been fortunate to work in a number of countries and had many great teachers. However, when I graduated, I worked for a paediatic surgeon, Willie Bisset, who was simply inspirational in his dedication and approach to patients, colleagues and work.
How long have you been involved with ISDS?
I have been involved with ISDS since 2006, when I presented a poster in Baltimore. I now chair the Global Outreach Committee.
Why are you an ISDS member?  
I think the society is a great way to make surveillance techniques widely available and share best practice. It enables me to bring the best of cutting-edge practice to my local practice. I particularly enjoy supporting the work of the society as it focuses on surveillance in the global setting.
What do you value most about your ISDS membership? 
The connectivity it provides is important for me – I feel part of a great community. That is particularly important when working in a remote setting. The approachability of members, their willingness to share their ideas, and the mix of backgrounds of people involved with ISDS makes it special. The annual conference is a real highlight of the year for me – I love putting faces to the names of people I’ve been working with over the year and meeting new people.
What is the biggest issue in disease surveillance (in your opinion)? 
For me it is the challenge of making surveillance practical and usable for the front line staff – so that we reduce morbidity and save lives. The shift from theoretical to practical solutions is crucial.
If you could meet anyone living or deceased, who would it be? 

The “enchantress of numbers” Ada Lovelace (1815-52). She was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron and worked with Charles Babbage

15 May 2012

Grant Opportunity: BioSense 2.0 Situation Awareness and Syndromic Surveillance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a funding opportunity entitled "BioSense 2.0: Building State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Surveillance Capacity to Enhance Regional and National All-Hazards Public Health Situation Awareness" on May 11, 2012. Eligible applicants include state governments, city or township governments, special district governments, Native American tribal governments, and Native American tribal organizations.

The purpose of this program is to assist state, local, tribal and territorial health authorities to implement public health situation awareness and syndromic surveillance utilizing BioSense 2.0. Some specific goals include promoting timely exchange of health-related information between providers and public health authorities; facilitating timely information sharing among state, local, tribal, and territorial levels; and promoting improvement of the science, analytic and workforce practice for public health surveillance at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels.

Through this grant, the CDC will award $100,000 - $300,000 up to 25 recipients. The anticipated award date is August 1, 2012.

The application deadline for this grant opportunity is June 26, 2012 5:00 PM U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

For more information about this funding opportunity and for the full announcements and application, visit http://www.grants.gov/search/synopsis.do;jsessionid=XpfBPyyNs1h8jnrQK4y9LGlyVRv1WnyY6KtLTNyySb8H57S3zfxP!884034953.

08 May 2012

ISDS NPRM for Stage 2 Comments

ISDS would like to share the final ISDS comments in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs) for Stage 2 Meaningful Use. The ONC and CMS published their NPRMs with the federal registrar for a 60 day public inspection period, during which time they asked for stakeholder comments and feedback. As an opportunity to represent the ISDS community of public health practitioners, ISDS staff and stakeholders developed two response letters to CMS and ONC. You may view the final versions of the ISDS comments below:

ISDS Comments to CMS

ISDS Comments to ONC

The ISDS staff would like to thank the Public Health Practice Committee, Distribute Community of Practice Members, ISDS Board of Directors, and other society affiliates for providing feedback on the ISDS letters. This collaboration was a crucial element in strengthening the ISDS comments and ensuring society representation.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail meaningfuluse@syndromic.org

01 May 2012

Share Your Favorites: Statistical Analysis, Tools, and Packages

The BioSense Redesign Team is requesting feedback from BioSense stakeholders about commonly used statistical analysis, tools, software and commands for surveillance. Provide your feedback by answering survey questions posted on the BioSense Public Health Situation Awareness Feedback Forum. ISDS encourages you to take this opportunity to inform the BioSense development team of your favorite tools. 

You may find the original message from the BioSense Redesign Team below.
Dear BioSense Redesign Stakeholder:

Our fourteenth post for the Public Health Situation Awareness topic has launched!  Please take a moment to visit the BioSense Redesign site and answer the new questions* to help the BioSense development team identify commonly used software, statistical analysis, and commands for routine surveillance. The CDC will use your feedback to better understand how to tailor the new BioSense application. Your feedback is valuable to the redesign of the BioSense system and Program.

Please visit the BioSense Redesign Collaboration Web Site to access questions at the Requirements Gathering Work Center or link directly to the questions at PHSA Feedback Forum 14: Statistical Analysis, Tools and Packages.

Thank you,

The BioSense Redesign Team

*New questions are posted for comment on a weekly to biweekly basis.  Check back often for updates and summaries of feedback posted by stakeholders.