HLN recently sponsored two major conferences, CSTE in Salt Lake City, UT, and NACCHO in Denver, CO during the summer. Despite the tight schedule of having two conferences back-to-back, it was beneficial to gain insights from both state and local public health agencies and their stakeholders within a short timeframe. This allowed for a comprehensive understanding of perspectives and the ability to examine and analyze the information gathered. Both conferences had record attendance, with over 2,600 attendees at CSTE and over 2,500 attending NACCHO (in Denver and virtually).
Both conferences emphasized the significance of partnership, collaboration, communication, and the need for a stronger public health workforce. Informatics and data modernization were major topics discussed in both conferences, shedding light on engaging in conversations about these subjects across state, tribal, local and territorial public health agencies (STLTs), with partner organizations, and with CDC. The plenaries in both conferences emphasized gratitude towards public health workers for their heroic efforts during the pandemic. They also recognized the challenges that the field of public health has faced over the past three years and will continue to face in the future. I especially appreciated the workforce well-being component of the NACCHO conference, with multiple sessions about self-care and many opportunities throughout the conference to focus on both the mind and the body (with, for example, daily yoga sessions and puppy visits).
Since HLN was a sponsor of both conferences, we spent a lot of our time in the exhibit areas, where we had a good opportunity to meet old and new friends, colleagues, and partners. At CSTE, we also engaged with participants in a smaller roundtable setting to discuss the challenges with current disease surveillance systems and the path for the future. We thank everyone who took part. Mike Suralik from HLN co-presented a virtual session with Melissa Mickle-Hope, Director – NYC Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) on “A Workforce Development & Management Approach During the COVID-19 Pandemic“.
This is what some of our HLN staff said after the conferences:
“The informatics and surveillance track dominated this year’s CSTE conference and Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) work was mentioned in almost all informatics and surveillance sessions. This is an area on everyone’s mind and it’s complicated. There is also a lot of good work being done. These conversations must continue to happen outside of this conference and in other contexts.”
“The most attended and active discussions at the conference were centered on the DMI work, with some incredibly interesting presentations on activities undertaken by states. The focus on informatics in particular, was extensive, and shows where a lot of the effort and focus is on public health at the moment.”
“As always with CSTE, the level of collaboration and sharing of knowledge among public health professionals was awesome to see. Collaborative presentations among states and other jurisdictions were frequent and there was no hesitation to continue to “pay it forward” to other Public Health Agencies looking to expand on previous work.”
“Participants were energized and excited to be back at a fully in-person conference. There was a great deal of interest in electronic case reporting and Reportable Conditions Knowledge Management System (RCKMS) from people with varying levels of familiarity with the topic. Many Epis were curious about electronic case reporting (eCR), having heard the term, but unsure of what it is and how it works. Much knowledge sharing took place, with folks motivated by the potential of eCR to advance the goals of public health.”
We thank everyone who stopped by our table at the conferences and look forward to future conversations.
Send us feedback about this blog