International Disease Surveillance Conference to Be Held in Indianapolis

Indiana Epidemiology Newsletter
July 2007

Mike Wade, MS, MPH
Syndromic Surveillance Epidemiologist

The threats of terrorism and pandemic influenza have greatly increased the urgency to improve international disease surveillance. Public health officials have joined forces to meet the need for rapid detection of bioterrorism events and naturally occurring disease outbreaks. To share the latest information and build on past successes, Indianapolis will host the sixth annual conference of the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS), the leading professional association for biosurveillance, on October 10-12.

The ISDS selected Indianapolis as the conference site based on the success, expertise, and teamwork of the Regenstrief Institute, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), the Marion County Health Department (MCHD), and many hospitals across Indiana. In just three short years, the ISDH Public Health Emergency Surveillance System has grown to include near real-time syndromic surveillance data from over 70 hospital emergency departments.

This year’s conference theme, “Expanding Horizons”, is meant to challenge ISDS members to grow and improve in all areas of biosurveillance. Focused meeting tracks will explore the latest practices to expand surveillance horizons both in public health practice and in academic and applied research. These include:

  • Novel Applications: the innovative, non-traditional use of tools or data of public health surveillance in other areas

  • Automated Data Acquisition and Processing: the process of data gathering, organizing, and processing from data feed to signal

  • Analytical Methods: tools for analyzing and interpreting data to assess the state of public health

  • Public Health Practice: the use of data and analysis to protect public health and animal health

  • Evaluation and Performance: the assessment of data, analysis tools, systems, and public health practice

Internationally recognized as a leader in health informatics, Regenstrief Institute will serve as the formal host for the 2007 meeting, with Dr. Shaun Grannis serving as the Organizing Chair. Additionally, Dr. Joseph Gibson of the MCHD and Michael Wade of the ISDH are active members of the conference planning committee.

The 2007 ISDS conference promises to be a cutting-edge event, and interested professionals are encouraged to attend.

For additional conference information, please visit the ISDS Web site at: