2013 Pre-Conference Workshop: Public Health Surveillance for Beginners – International Society for Disease Surveillance


The target audience of this Workshop was healthcare and public health professionals new to public health surveillance practice, as well as graduate students and researchers interested in obtaining a better understanding of public health surveillance.


  • Richard Hopkins, University of Florida
  • Zach Faigen, State of Maryland Department of Health
  • Anikah Salim, State of Maryland Department of Health
  • Royal Law, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Jay Schauben, American Association of Poison Control Centers, Florida/USVI Poison Information Center-Jacksonville
  • Todd Stout, FirstWatch Solutions, Inc.
  • Jennifer Olsen, Skoll Global Threats Fund
  • Howard Burkom, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Hong Zhou, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Bill Storm, Ohio Department of Health
  • Aaron Kite-Powell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory
  • Rick Jones, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


This Workshop provided exposure to key topics central to public health surveillance and served to orient those who are new to the field. The overall goal of this Track was to “bridge the knowledge gap” in order to enable participants to better understand and apply public health data for informed and meaningful decision-making and to communicate outcomes or results. It included the following: an overview of public health surveillance; demonstrations of syndromic surveillance systems and their integration with novel data sources (Emergency Medical Services (EMS) runs, school absenteeism, poison control, etc.); anomaly detection methods and utility (an inside look at algorithms and their parameter settings); investigation techniques (a “how to” approach, showing the integration of multiple data systems/sources); and communication to stakeholders (creation of surveillance reports and communicating findings).

Agenda (pdf; updated 11/19/2013)