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CDC Launches 2011 Virtual Conference!

The Public Health Informatics 2011 Virtual Conference (PHIVC), August 21-24

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Project Contact Person: Adam Arthur

E-mail: [email protected]

Link: Public Health Informatics 2011 Virtual Conference (PHIVC)

Quick Project Overview:

CDC, in partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), is spearheading the first federally developed hybrid event initiative, (part in-person and part virtual conference) – the Public Health Informatics 2011 Virtual Conference (PHIVC). The PHIVC offers a way for partners to experience activities and events, simultaneously during the in-person Public Health Informatics (PHI) 2011 conference, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Hyatt Regency – Downtown, August 21-24.


A Program Guide is coming soon. The PHIVC offers plenary sessions and many other learning opportunities that the physical event provides; but presents the information in a cohesive, forward-thinking, “green” way for remote attendees.

Why Host a Hybrid Event?

Declines in CDC and state budgets have affected the public health and informatics communities making it hard to participate in face-to-face meetings, trainings, and events. As Dr. Frieden, CDC Director, has implicitly stated, “We need to do more with less.” The PHIVC offers an alternative for participants to experience activities and events remotely during and after the 2011 PHI conference, with no cost to them. This new and exciting technology will feature videos of keynotes, presentations, workshops, training and more-within a realistic, virtually-rendered environment.

The PHIVC is the first of many use-cases being authorized by CDC – building upon an online programming environment, (the Virtual Platform Initiative); which can empower developers to leverage existing web technologies and systems. Developers can create rich, interoperable applications for use in collaboration, education, remote operations, and others. This technology does not replace existing systems and technological initiatives- it works with them! Here are a few areas where the PHIVC shines in:

  • Continuity of government – the platform is deployed in a virtual private cloud, spreading the risk of collapse over many servers. Government can continue all operations that are organized within the interface, no matter the situation
  • Environmental initiative – no carbon emissions
  • Spread of disease – large physical gatherings of people spread germs; disease diffusion can be completely eliminated
  • Economic recession – state & local budgets slashed; travel difficulties
  • Remote training – the need for public health partners to learn crucial information to help improve public health
  • Tele-work initiative – can work with current systems or replace them with an environment that feels less like a computer interface and more like being “in the office”

Who Is The Target Audience?

External stakeholders include: partners supporting the development and use of the Virtual Conference; vendors and community organizations; public health IT and informatics communities; individuals actively using/leading Gov 2.0 initiatives; vendors and academic partners; and, of course, GovLoop members.

Internal stakeholders include: CDC leadership and staff; partner workforce and contractors; state and local public health workers; federal personnel.

GovLoop members will have access to an exclusive, private meeting room during the virtual conference. The new 2011 PHIVC offers a flexible, free, no cost registration/participation model, to fully engage dynamically in conference activities.

Crowdsourcing will make this event awesome by employing the “wisdom and effort of the crowd”. Volunteers from GovLoop members are strongly encouraged to help propel the PHIVC into the stratosphere, (i.e., Tweets, chats, virtual participant greetings, others). If you are interested in helping the effort, sign-up to participate will be coming soon. Please review our volunteer needs for the PHIVC once available.

How Can Others Replicate Your Success?

Establishing a communications plan has been critical for the 2011 PHIVC. Effective communication throughout a project’s lifecycle is a key factor for success. During times of change, stakeholders focus first and foremost on what the changes mean for them. They ask “how does this change affect me?” Efficient communication serves three purposes: it informs stakeholders about the need for change, generates individual motivation to actively support and play a part in the change process, and creates opportunities for outside interests to contribute to the success of the process. Continuous communication helps sustain commitment from key stakeholders and permits new ones to form.

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Terrence (Terry) Hill

Thanks for sharing! In the future, all conferences will be held virtually. I’m glad to see that CDC is progressive in their thinking!

Adam Arthur

I totally agree, Terry. Please don’t hesitate to sign-up, as there is absolutely no cost. We are hoping this pilot will be the proof of concept needed to make that happen! Thanks for your kind comments!

Avatar photo Katelyn Keegan

I don’t know if anyone else attended or volunteered but it was an incredible event. I had the pleasure of working with Adam and Mike as a virtual volunteer for the conference’s first day. The system was so easy to use and as a participant/volunteer the technology seemed nearly flawless. I took back what I learned and saw to my own organization (I work in human resources/development & training) and have made recommendations on how we could incorporate similar technologies into our own work.

If you missed the first one, you should totally check out the encore version of the conference. I am sure Adam would be happy to get you the information about that session!

Adam Arthur

Thanks for that glowing endorcement, Katelyn! You were a big help to us as well, (I still owe you a certificate don’t I?), 🙂 We are having our archive release tomorrow, so it will be available for you to check out!