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National Health Policy Leaders, Best-selling Author to Keynote Public Health Informatics Conference


Contact Becky Wexler
(301) 652-1558

National Health Policy Leaders, Best-selling Author to Keynote Public Health Informatics Conference

Washington, DC (August 18, 2011)--

WHAT: Join hundreds of public health and information technology experts as they explore the intersection of their fields at the 2011 Public Health Informatics Conference next week. The annual conference, co-hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), offers sessions on a wide range of issues on health and technology including electronic health records, improved laboratory data reporting, mobile applications to improve health, and disease tracking systems. Under the conference theme Engaging, Empowering, Evolving…Together, attendees will hear keynote addresses from federal officials, a best-selling author and an Emory University health policy expert.

WHEN: August 21-24, 2011 (see below for specific speaker times)  

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA

WHO: Todd Park has served as chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since August 2009. In this role, his mission is to be a change agent and “entrepreneur-in-residence,” helping HHS harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health of the nation. Prior to joining HHS, Mr. Park co-founded Athenahealth and co-led its development into one of the most innovative health IT companies in the industry. He also co-founded Castlight, a web-based health care shopping service for consumers. Mr. Park has also served in a volunteer capacity as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focused on health IT and health reform policy, and as senior healthcare advisor to Ashoka, a leading global incubator of social entrepreneurs, where he helped start Healthpoint Services, a venture to bring affordable telehealth, drugs, diagnostics, and clean water to rural India.

Seth Foldy, MD, MPH, FAAFP is Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office. Previously he practiced and taught family medicine, and served as Health Commissioner of Milwaukee and as State Health Officer of Wisconsin as well as medical director of MetroHealth Family Practice (Cleveland) and Healthcare for the Homeless (Milwaukee). Foldy co-founded the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange, consulted nationally on health information exchange and public health informatics, served on the boards of the eHealth Initiative, National eHealth Collaborative, and the State Alliance for eHealth, and helped found the Joint Public Health Informatics Taskforce. He is board certified in both family and preventive medicine. His explorations of informatics solutions helped earn him NACCHO's Informatics Award and American Public Health Association’s Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work. Wisconsin earned the Davies Prize for Excellence in Public Health Information Systems under Foldy’s leadership in 2010.

Kenneth Thorpe, PhD, is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He also co-directs the Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality. He was the Vanselow Professor of Health Policy and Director, Institute for Health Services Research at Tulane University. He was previously Professor of Health Policy and Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an Associate Professor and Director of the Program on Health Care Financing and Insurance at the Harvard University School of Public Health and Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Health at Columbia University. Thorpe has also held Visiting Faculty positions at Pepperdine University and Duke University. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1995.

Park, Foldy and Thorpe will be speaking Monday, August 22, during the conference’s opening plenary session from 8:30-10:00 AM

Seth Mnookin is a lecturer in MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing. His most recent book, The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, uses a combination of investigative reporting, intellectual and scientific history, and sociological analysis to explore the misinformation surrounding vaccines and their rumored connection to developmental disorders. He is also the author of the 2006 New York Times-bestseller Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, which chronicles the challenges and triumphs of the John Henry-Tom Werner ownership group of the Boston Red Sox. His first book, 2004’s Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media, was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Since 2005, Mnookin has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. In 2002 and 2003, he was a senior writer at Newsweek, where he wrote the media column "Raw Copy" and also covered politics and popular culture.

Mnookin will be speaking Wednesday, August 24 at noon.

HOW: Members of the media may receive complementary registration to attend the conference or select sessions. Click here for a full agenda. For more information, or to set up an on-site interview with any of the above speakers, please contact Becky Wexler, Burness Communications, at 301-652-1558 or bwexler@burnesscommunications.com.

In partnership with NACCHO, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will provide media and event coverage of the Public Health Informatics Conference at NewPublicHealth.org and via Twitter @RWJF_PublicHealth.

Media are also encouraged to follow sessions as they happen via Twitter @NACCHOalerts and #2011PHI.