PHIN 2009 Conference – CoP Presentation

I am very pleased to have been invited to speak at the Public Health Information Network (PHIN) conference in Atlanta, Georgia, taking place between 30th August and 3rd September. This will be my second visit to Atlanta, having been there in May this year to meet with staff at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to share knowledge about the UK local government Communities of Practice, a strategy I developed for the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) in 2005 and which continues to thrive with over 35,000 users at the last count.

PHIN/CDC are in the process of developing collaboration tools to support geographically dispersed professionals working in the field of public health informatics, and Communities of Practice (CoPs) are a key part of this strategy.  This is the primary reason I’ve been asked to attend, and I’ll be talking about the lessons we’ve learnt in developing the CoP Platform for local government. The focus of my presentation will be on the issues around measuring value of social networks and Communities of Practice. I think this will fit in quite well with the goals and objectives of the conference, repeated here:

To build a public health informatics community through the sharing of promising practices and lessons learned.


  • Extend the reach of innovative public health informatics practices.
  • Summarize current issues and trends in the field of public health informatics.
  • Translate issues and opportunities in public health informatics and health information technology for public health practitioners and policy makers.
  • Facilitate the development of a community focused on accelerating the field of public health informatics.
  • Validate public health informatics activities at national, state and local levels through open source collaboration and community building.
  • Integrate knowledge gained to leverage resources for sustainability of information technology, workforce development, and human capital.

A full programme of the conference is available online if anyone is interested. I’m speaking on the last day of the main conference, Wednesday 2nd September. I will make my slides available on Slideshare after the conference, and (access to Internet permitting) will provide regular Tweets on any the issues.

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