subhdvirtual.GIF (34068 bytes)US DHHS Collaborates With PREVENTION 99

National Health Priorities To Be Outlined at March 18-21 Conference


This year’s main Partnerships for Networked Consumer Health Information program is being hosted by the PREVENTION 99 conference on March 18-21. PREVENTION 99 will focus on establishing priorities critical to meeting future health care and health education challenges, and will take place at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia located at 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, at Eads Street. Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General David Satcher will be giving the keynote address on Thursday, March 18, at 5:30 p.m. And, enhancements to healthfinder® <>, the government gateway Web site for health information, will be announced.

Partnerships, sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services, will be presenting a plenary session and the TECHNOLOGY GAMES at PREVENTION 99. Now in their fifth year, the annual Partnerships events are a premier forum for bringing vision and direction to the developments created by the explosion of consumer health web sites and other sophisticated interactive online programs. Partnerships’ host, PREVENTION 99, is the 16th national meeting of the American College of Preventive Medicine and Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine and is expected to draw 1,000 preventive medicine professionals.

The Partnerships’ plenary session "Moving Public Health into the Information Technology Century," will be presented on Saturday, March 20, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. in the Ballroom, by Mary Jo Deering, PhD. Deering is the Partnerships’ Chair and also serves as the Director of Health Communication and Telehealth at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This session will focus on the unprecedented opportunities for improved prevention and public health in an era of greatly expanding information technology (IT). Fueling the power of IT is the expansion of managed care, the continuing development of computer-based patient records, the increasing cost-effectiveness of computer technology, and the rapid growth of online consumer/patient and health provider applications. 

"However," according to Deering, who is available for interview, "much remains to be done to fully harness the power of IT to facilitate linkages between public health and clinical care. While these needs are widely recognized, and some systems have been developed, many of the potential benefits of IT remain elusive or are unevenly distributed."

"Moving Public Health into the Information Technology Century," will address both the causes and possible cures for this challenging situation.  A vision of effective, integrated IT use in public health and clinical care will be presented, showing applications for existing technologies. Three key obstacles to implementation of this vision -- education, confidentiality, and organizational resistance -- will be reviewed with solutions proposed. Other speakers at this session include:

  • Patrick O’Carroll, MD, MPH, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, University of Washington, Public Health Practice Program Office, CDC;
  • Martin LaVenture, MPH, Minnesota Department of Health; and
  • William A. Yasnoff, MD, PhD, Public Health Practice Program Office, CDC.

The TECHNOLOGY GAMES, taking place Thursday, March 18 from 6:30pm until Saturday, March 20 at 10:45 a.m. in the Exhibit Hall, bring together innovative health Web sites and interactive non-network applications, particularly those that relate to preventive medicine and public health, and are mainly oriented to consumers and patients. Attendees will be able to participate in hands-on demonstrations in an atmosphere of a friendly, informal competition. This exciting event is designed to encourage development of high-quality applications while being both entertaining and educational. Awards will be presented to the developers and vendors on Saturday morning during a 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. continental breakfast in the Exhibit Hall, including prizes based on the popular vote of meeting participants.

PREVENTION 99: Scientific, Political and Social Priorities for the 21st Century will focus on information technology and eliminating disparities in health, two current hot topics in preventive medicine and public health.   Attendees will include preventive medicine professionals with diverse backgrounds in academia, clinical settings, industry, the military, managed care, and federal, state, and local agencies. Health professionals and policymakers interested in prevention initiatives in primary care, family medicine, and public health will especially want to attend the Surgeon General’s keynote address, as well as the Partnerships’ plenary session and the TECHNOLOGY GAMES.

Partnerships ’99 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, convenor; Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Health Care Financing Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. The Annenberg School for Communication and the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, under Dean Kathleen Hall Jamieson, are sponsors of the Partnerships’ TECHNOLOGY GAMES.

Those interested in more information about Partnerships ’99 can go to the Web site at; or e-mail the TECHNOLOGY GAMES at <>. To register for PREVENTION 99 go to <>; the discounted registration deadline is February 16.

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