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Group and Connections FAQs
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Frequently Asked Questions: Groups and Connections


How do I join a Group?

Upon creating a profile, individuals are immediately asked to select the groups they are interested in joining. Some groups, such as Chapters and Workgroups, are private and require approval by the groups’ administrators to join. Others, such as some Community Groups, are open for any member to join without approval. To manage group preferences and to view the groups you are currently a member of, select “Groups” under the “My Profile” control panel.

Individuals can also request to join groups individually by visiting the respective Group page under the “Groups” dropdown menu on the ISDS website. Additionally, the “Find A Group” page provides a searchable listing of all of the Groups by their Group Type. An icon labeled “Request Membership” or “Join Group” should appear just below the page title for the member to click if they are not already a part of the group. 

More information about the different ISDS Groups can be found at www.healthsurveillance.org/members/group_select.asp

Related Website Insight video: Finding and Joining Groups

How do I request that a new group be created?

Submit a suggestion for a new group via this form and include the following information:

  • Suggested name for the point of contact for the group
  • Group type (i.e. Chapter, Committee, Community Group, or Workgroup)
  • Group Chair(s)
  • Justification/community need
  • Possible project ideas/deliverables

In addition, new groups within the National Syndromic Surveillance Program Community of Practice (NSSP CoP) must first seek approval from the NSSP CoP’s Steering Committee (SC) and ISDS Staff by submitting a documented group proposal. Groups outside of the NSSP CoP, such as the One Health Surveillance Community of Practice (OHS CoP) must seek approval by ISDS staff and the ISDS Board of Directors.

For the group proposal, include the following information:

  • Description
    • Include the purpose of the group, potential benefits, and potential limitations of the proposed group.
    • How is it unique?
  • Group design
    • Include the strategic intent, scope of the organization (what it is doing and where it will extend its influence for groups; where applicable and is not necessary for every chapter), boundaries (what qualifies to be a topic of interest for the group), and common knowledge needs and relevant mind map.
    • What is the target audience?

How do I subscribe to a Group Newsletter?

To receive a Group Newsletter (also known as Digest), which includes updates on activities on a group site over the past 7 days, you first need to go to your "Account + Settings" page, click on the "Information & Settings" tab, scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the Subscribe box for "Group Digest." Once you have subscribed to receive Group Digests, you will receive newsletters in your email inbox for all groups you are a member of.

To control what groups you would like to receive a Group Newsletter for, navigate to a group page in which you are member of and find the "Actions" dropdown menu on top right-hand corner with a gear icon. Click on this dropdown menu and find the option to "Unsubscribe to Newsletter." To unsubscribe from specific Group Newsletters, find this option on each group page for which you would like to unsubscribe from.

Related Website Insight videos: Subscribing to Group Digests & Group Digest Emails

How do I send a message to a community member?

Throughout the website, you will find community members' names are hyperlinked to their profiles. To send a specific member a message, navigate to the individual's profile page. On the left-hand side panel, find the blue "Message" button. Click on this button to be directed to a page where you can type and send your message, along with any attachments, to the individual.

If you have any issues locating a community member, use the Member Directory to search for the member you wish to contact.

What are Connections?

Connections are members you choose to follow or claim association to on www.healthsurveillance.org. Connections are a great way to build your professional network. The main benefit of connecting to other members is being able to follow your connections' activities on your personal feed. When you connect with another member, you also share your activity on www.healthsurveillance.org with that individual. In this way, if you or the other member posts on a page on the website, you and the other member will be able to stay in-the-know with ongoing, current discussions.

The exception is that if you are a member of a private group while your connection is not, your connection will not be able to see any posts you make to the private group.

To Connect with another community member, first make sure that you have an account on www.healthsurveillance.org and that you are signed in. Then, navigate to the individual's profile page and find the blue"+Connect" message on the left-hand side panel next to the "Message" button. Clicking on the button will send a connection request to the individual.

You may find a box labeled "Available Connections" throughout the website to help you easily identify other members in the community to connect with. This box may also be periodically spaced in your personal feed.

Once you make Connections, you can find and manage your Connections by navigating to the Connections page on the website.

How do I refer a friend to HealthSurveillance.org?

There are a couple ways to refer a friend or colleague to www.healthsurveillance.org.

Once logged on to the website, you can navigate to the Connections page and locate the "Refer a Professional" box on the right-hand side to send an invite via email.

Another way is to go to your "Account + Settings" page and select the "Information & Settings" tab. Once on this tab, find and click on the "Referrals" link to be brought to a page with a link that says "Refer a Friend." Click on this link to be directed to a page where you can type a message to go along with your invitation. Go to this page to also find your direct referral link.

Once your invitation is sent, you can go back periodically to the "Referrals" page in your "Information & Settings" tab to check who has accepted your invitation to join.



If you have additional questions, a website tutorial was given on March 3, 2017 by the ISDS Director of Communications, Mark Krumm. The recording can be found here. For any other questions regarding the website, please email syndromic@syndromic.org.

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