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Lori Kennedy - Colorado Center of Excellence in Refugee Health: National IC
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1/10/2018 at 8:04:08 PM GMT
Posts: 39
Lori Kennedy - Colorado Center of Excellence in Refugee Health: National IC


Lori Kennedy is a public health epidemiologist with nearly decade of experience, the majority of which has been as a surveillance epidemiologist in communicable disease.  She's a SAS programmer, with crossover into SQL, and currently oversees the Colorado Refugee Health unit within the Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division. She is a co-PI on one of two funded national Centers of Excellence in Refugee Health.


Colorado is building a refugee health surveillance warehouse made up of data submitted by Colorado and network partners (states, counties, clinics) from around the U.S.  We are standardizing disparate data for public health purposes, and understand that ICD codes are applied differently by clinic, site, state. We have researched a variety of methodologies, and are seeking out insights from others who may have experience with this kind of a project. 

Catherine Tong
Program Coordinator

1/11/2018 at 3:17:07 PM GMT
Posts: 3
Does anyone else work with ICD-10 data on a regional or even national level? What strategies are you using to deal with the lack of standardization in how those codes are applied? Acknowledging limitations, or are you doing more?

1/11/2018 at 4:54:32 PM GMT
Posts: 5
Refugee health surveillance is a critical area, but one where data collection seems especially challenging. What data sources and strategies for monitoring them for refugee health have you considered?

1/11/2018 at 5:00:44 PM GMT
Posts: 19
Hi Lori,

The link to the syndrome definition library is: https://www.surveillancerepository.org/search/syndrome (this was posted in the chat box, too).

Teresa Hamby
Analyst, NJ Department of Health
Steering Committee Member

1/12/2018 at 3:16:58 PM GMT
Posts: 3
Hi Teresa, thanks for that link.

1/12/2018 at 3:28:41 PM GMT
Posts: 3
Hi Howard, indeed the data collection is a challenge, because identifying refugees as a sub-population is not always straightforward. Their data exist everywhere that the general population's data exists (in surveillance databases, EMRs, etc.), but identifying them as a sub-population can be a challenge and requires connecting to a data source that identifies them as a refugee. If a refugee-specific UID is not available or captured by the non-refugee data systems (EMRs, surveillance databases, etc.), we rely on name, dob, and other demographic matches, which are complex for this population (refugees may not know their dob, may not know how to spell their name, data input folks may mis-spell). We're working through those challenges ourselves and with other refugee programs involved in our effort, using exact matches and fuzzy matches.

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