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Pandemic Data Initiative Expert Forum: COVID Patient Data

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Pandemic Data Initiative Expert Forum: COVID Patient Data

Please join us for the fourth Pandemic Data Initiative Expert Forum featuring guests from academia, medicine, and health agencies. Friday January 21, 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST.

The Coronavirus Resource Center launched the Pandemic Data Initiative as a new resource to spotlight systemic deficiencies in the collecting and reporting of pandemic data, to examine how those challenges hinder COVID-19 responses, and to explore possible solutions to improve public data.

The CRC is a continuously updated source of COVID-19 data and expert guidance. Experts aggregate and analyze the best data available on COVID-19—including cases, testing and contact tracing and vaccines—to help the public, policymakers and healthcare professionals worldwide respond to the pandemic. We organize these forums as another avenue to inform the public and policymakers on COVID-19 data to inform planning and decision-making.

The Pandemic Data Initiative Expert Forum: COVID Patient Data as a Model for Uniform Standards will feature four special guests representing academia, medicine, state health departments, and non-profits. These distinguished panelists have led efforts to collect, analyze, and disseminate high-quality data regarding COVID-19 hospitalizations. The forum will be hosted by Dr. Lainie Rutkow, CRC Project Lead and Senior Adviser to President Ronald Daniels.

Hospitalization data has been one of the most reliable, consistent data streams throughout the pandemic, primarily due to strict reporting mandates from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Already overwhelmed by the pandemic, medical professionals initially struggled to meet these requirements, but the benefits to data quality have been unquestionable. These four panelists have observed every angle of the data mandates from initial policy proposal, to on-the-ground data collection, to state and federal reporting mechanisms. We will discuss the successes and failures of COVID-19 hospitalization data collection and reporting methodology and how it may serve as a model for improved public health data systems in the future.

Beth Blauer, CRC data lead, is Executive Director of the Centers for Civic Impact at Johns Hopkins. Working in collaboration with data scientists and public health experts, Blauer and her team transform raw COVID-19 data into clear and compelling visualizations that help policymakers and the public understand the pandemic and make evidence-based decisions about health and safety.

Dr. Brian Garibaldi, CRC clinical lead, is Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit and is an Associate Professor of Medicine with expertise in pulmonary and critical care medicine, Acute Lung Injury, and Interstitial Lung Disease.

Dr. Hernando Garzon is a practicing Emergency Medicine physician with extensive background on healthcare emergency management and hospital operations. During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic he has served as the lead for the California Department of Public Health’s hospital data and analytics team. He is also the interim Medical Director for the California EMS Authority.

Craig Behm is the Executive Director for CRISP, Maryland’s state-designated health information exchange (HIE). In that role, Craig leads all statewide HIE activities, including customer engagement, product implementation, and reporting services. He works directly with state agencies to support Maryland’s Total Cost of Care Model and population health programs. Craig is also an instructor at UMBC’s master’s program in Health Information Technology, where he teaches quality and process improvement.

An email reminder with the link to the live broadcast will be sent prior to the forum, but the forum can also be accessed directly here:

Please pre-register here for our next exciting Expert Forum!


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Beth Blauer

Associate Vice Provost, JHU

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Brian Garibaldi, M.D.

Director, Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit

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Hernando Garzon, M.D.

Hospitalization Data Lead, California Department of Public Health

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Craig Behm

Executive Director, Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP)