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California Consortium for Public Health Informatics and Technology

CCPHIT Virtual Series #1

IMA: Informatics, Mapping & Analysis Bootcamp & Internship

This Virtual Series is a self-paced, instructor moderated, online, hands-on learning of fundamentals and foundations in Public Health Informatics and Technology. It also covers an experiential learning of Mapping & Analysis techniques. The CCPHIT Virtual Series#1 is an immersive learning experience.

Module 1 – PHIT Power-Up

Provide an introductory level of proficiency in the field of Public Health Informatics and Technology. This dynamic series comprises a collection of 15 (fifteen) concise, 30- minute lectures that serve as the fundamental “lego” blocks of knowledge and information. Each lecture in this comprehensive series aims to empower learners by imparting essential insights, practical techniques, and key concepts. Experts will be available during designated/announced “office hours” to clarify/explain/answer any queries.

Module 2 – Health & Human Services GIS Curriculum

Gain experience beginning with essential GIS concepts to analytics, field work, storytelling with data, collaboration, and more. This GIS curriculum is the cornerstone of the internship experience. It is composed of several hands-on tutorials aimed and developing modern geospatial capacity in the health sector (including public health). Working through a choice from the 6 sections below, learners will gain experience and also gain a breadth of experience using the most relevant ArcGIS software products for health-related practices.

  1. Introduction to GIS
  2. Field Operations
  3. Population Mapping
  4. Visualization and Analysis
  5. Prepare Health Data
  6. Sharing and Collaboration

Learners will go through the curriculum at their own pace and will have opportunities to check in with their GIS Mentor for clarifications as well as discussions providing greater context for why these workflows matter to public health. Through the connection of maps, apps, data, and people, those completing the work will be better equipped to make more informed health decisions using GIS technology.

Module 3 – Informatics and GIS Project Practicum Experience

Individual Project Practicum in Informatics

Practice your informatics skills and knowledge on a FHIR enabled sandbox called MELD. (Credit to: Interop.Community)

Meld is an open-source healthcare sandbox populated with fully synthetic FHIR® data. It provides a safe space for creation, development, testing and validation of healthcare applications and APIs. Nothing you can do in the SandBox will hurt anyone, so feel free to explore the sandbox which is your personal space to play around!

  • Level 1 MELD SandBox
  • Level 2 Postman (More for understanding the backend of FHIR)
  • Level 3 Python (Optional Deeper level understanding of the backend of FHIR)
  • Level 4 APP development (Optional)

Team Practicum Project in GIS

Apply your developing GIS skills to understanding and/or proposing solutions to public health challenges. Each intern should select a topic of interest based on the focus areas listed below. These topics have been chosen because they are common concerns in public health and because there are many GIS materials to support learning from them. However, interns may suggest other topics in discussion with their GIS mentor. Based on the chosen topic, the intern will create some sort of information product using GIS. It could be a storymap, a web application, a survey tool connected to a dashboard – the sky is the limit. The longer the internship, the greater the expected scope of project.

Focus Areas (credit to:

  • Public health preparedness and response
  • Disease surveillance
  • Access to public health programs and health promoting services
  • Health equity and social determinants of health
  • Humans in Crisis
    • Opioid and other substance abuse misuse
    • Homelessness
  • Environmental Health
    • Vector-borne disease and One Health
    • Heat health and other impacts of climate change
    • Restaurant, facility, or other inspections

All learners will have access to GIS and Informatics mentors for the program. It is possible, that for some needs, a learner will have more than one mentor. The mentors will:

  • Provide guidance related to completion of the curriculum
  • Respond to other learner questions as needed
  • Facilitate discussions about the real-world use cases for GIS methods and workflows
  • Guide and supervise the learner’s ‘applying GIS’ project.

CCPHIT Virtual Series is part of the CCPHIT program. The CCPHIT for Workforce Development program is supported by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number 90PH0006/01-05 and title “The PHIT Workforce Development Program” for grant amount $10,232.066.00 and 0% financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors/speakers of the Virtual Series and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by ONC, HHS or the U.S. Government.