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2019 Workshops
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ISDS Workshops are special sessions open to all registrants at no added cost that are designed to not only to provide you expert instruction, but to arm you with knowledge and tools that you will use when you return to work.

ISDS is exceptionally fortunate that the spirit of sharing expertise in the public health community extends to the development and presentation of our Workshop. Thank you to all the presenters who will help expand our community's knowledge, and particularly to Eric Bakota, Chair of the Workshop Program Committee.

Each day, we will offer a selection of two-hour workshops. No registration is necessary. Simply plan to attend and learn from experts on a variety of pressing topics. Here are the 2019 Workshops:

Wednesday, January 30

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM: Introduction to Biosurveillance, Rio Vista C

Instructors: David Swenson New Hampshire Department of Public Health, Emilie Lamb, ISDS, Amanda Morse, Washington State Department of Health

If you’re interested in a new twist to the “Introduction to BioSurveillance” Workshop, we welcome you to join us in Rio Vista C.  The workshop will not only teach you about BioSurveillance, but will make you aware of the potential that the NSSP Community of Practice (CoP) provides to members of the surveillance community.  Come realize the potential to learn from the Surveillance Knowledge Repository, find opportunities to network with the many NSSP CoP committees and work groups.  Learn how you can reach out to get answers to your questions or resolve issues you’re facing through the NSSP CoP community forums.  Bring your laptop and smartphone to this interactive workshop and have fun networking with those in the know and those new to syndromic surveillance.

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM: One Health, Rio Vista C

Instructor: Cheryl Stroud, DVM, PhD, Executive Director, One Health Commission

Using the Commission's tagline 'connect, create, educate',  Dr. Stroud 'connects' One Health stakeholders, to create coordinated teams/working groups of One Health advocates that work to educate about One Health and One Health issues. It's up to all of us!  Explore the intersection of Public Health with Environmental and Animal Health. Find out how you and your organization can participate in and promote needed One Health thinking and acting at all levels of academia, industry, government, policy and research.  In this workshop you will gain an appreciation for the evolution and full scope of One Health and an understanding of the roles of key players in the global One Health movement.

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Opioid Surveillance: Partnerships, Analysis and Response, Rio Vista F

Instructors: Yushiuan Chen (Tri-County Health Department, Colorado), Sandra Gonzalez (Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services / University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Mamadou Ndiaye (Washington State Department of Health), Peter Rock (Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Kentucky), Lawrence Scholl (CDC), William Smith (Maricopa County Department of Public Health), David Swenson (New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services)

The primary objective of the workshop is to describe and provide examples of using opioid overdose surveillance data to inform response planning, with a focus on surveillance, investigation, and prevention. The workshop also will serve to build a foundation for subsequent discussions in the ISDS Overdose Surveillance Committee. During the workshop, participants will hear from colleagues engaged in ongoing efforts in geographically diverse jurisdictions. Participants will be encouraged to join discussions focused on developing partnerships and using surveillance data to inform partners, using surveillance data to guide epidemiologic investigations of substance exposures, and using surveillance data to guide specific response planning activities. Workshop participants also will have an opportunity to apply prior experience and newly acquired information during small group discussions led by workshop facilitators.

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM: R 101, Rio Vista G

Instructors: Eric Bakota, Public Health Analyst,Harris County (TX) Public Health and Aaron Kite-Powell, CDC

New to R or data analysis? Cone to this workshop to learn the basics of R. We will go over installing R, RStudio, and core R packages. We will also cover the different data types and basic ways to graph or analyze data within the R ecosystem. You’ll also be connected to a great community of surveillance professionals who use R.

Thursday, January 31

3:00 PM to 5:00PM: ESSENCE 101, Rio Vista G

Instructor: Wayne Loschen, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

This session will cover basic and advanced website training , new features, "show and tell" and a question and answer session.

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Grant and Scientific Writing, Rio Vista F

Candice Welhausen, Auburn University and Brian Dixon, Indiana University

Effectively communicating your ideas is critical for success in the field of public health. This workshop will share strategies for improving grant and scientific writing skills. In the first part of this workshop, participants will review the grant submission process and learn strategies for application development. During the second half, participants will learn about adapting your message to your audience and writing style techniques.

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Introduction to ArcGIS, Rio Vista C

Instructors: Matt Thomas and Jhonatan Garrido-Lecca, Solution Engineers at Esri.

ArcGIS is Esri's mapping and spatial analytics platform, and it is used in the health industry to make discoveries, fuel decision making, and connect problems to solutions. This workshop will introduce geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool for assisting disease surveillance efforts, demonstrate how to work effectively with spatial data, and highlight practical scenarios for using a geospatial strategy within disease surveillance.

Friday, February 1

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM: Applied Data Science Using R, Rio Vista C

Instructors: Eric Bakota,Public Health Analyst,Harris County (TX) Public Health

In this workshop, attendees will see first-hand examples of leveraging the powerful ESSENCE API, predictive decision trees, exploring large text datasets, and a demo of interactive apps to explore data. Attendees will also learn some of the more advance techniques of R –a powerful and flexible statistical programming language. Attendees with experience in R can get ideas on how to take their data science work to the next level; attendees without experience in R or data science can still get an overview of what is possible

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM: ESSENCE 102,  Rio Vista G

Instructor: Wayne Loschen, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

This session will have a brief review from 101, chief complaint processor discussion, algorithm discussion and a question and answer session.

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM: Wildfire/Disaster Surveillance, Rio Vista F

Instructor: Jason Vargo, California Department of Public Health

The session will concentrate on data related to wildfires: how to examine a historical wildfire smoke dataset to approximate exposures to smoke and how to quantify such exposures by population level characteristics of vulnerability There will be a focus on analyses using R.

Contact Us


288 Grove St, Box 203
Braintree, MA 02184
(617) 779 - 0880
Email: syndromic@syndromic.org


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