Health Administration
Section Newsletter
Winter 2005

Chair's Report Winter 2005, by Jörg Westermann

Picture of Jorg Westermann, Chair, HA Section 
Jorg Westermann, Chair, HA Section
Dear Health Administration Section Member:

Thank you very much for taking the time to read our Newsletter, and thanks to Laura Larsson and her committee to putting such a great resource together. Many thanks also to the members that took the time and contributed an article or resource to this Newsletter.

I hope you had a good holiday season and a good start into the New Year.

It is with great pleasure and honor that I am serving as your Chair this year.

I would like to continue on the path that the last several Chairs have already started and also increase the outreach efforts and convert members of our Ssection to active and engaged members of our Section.

To get this started I have sent out an e-mail to each member of our Section and asked each member to consider getting involved in one our committees. I attached a short description of the committee and its main responsibilities.

We received quite a number of responses. A lot of members stated that they appreciated the opportunity to get involved. I forwarded the responses to the committees and asked them to follow up with each member. So hopefully we reached out and located some members that will help our Section to move forward and become a great resource within APHA and outside of APHA.

I decided to ask Tricia Todd to continue her work as the Chair of the Special Committee on Strategic Planning of the Implementation Committee. This committee is Co-Chaired by Nadim A. Haddad. I will ask the Section Council during our next conference call to confirm this decision. I think this Committee and process is of great importance to the success of our Section. Therefore I ask every Committee Chair to name a representative of their committee to the Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee in order to facilitate the implementation of the goals and objectives we worked on over the last year.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns or would like to get involved.

Thank you so much for your kind consideration.

Have a great week and stay in touch!

Past Chair's Report. 2004 in Review: Commitment, Serving the “Publics” and Taking Action

In prior Chair’s columns over the past year, I have addressed the themes of building your commitment to HAS, serving internal and external publics, and moving from commitment to action – that is, doing the hard work of the Section. The 2004 APHA Annual Meeting held in November in Washington, D.C., was an excellent illustration of how the members of the Section have addressed all three of these themes. As many of you know who attended the Annual Meeting, there was high interest and enthusiasm from both new members and continuing members. The accomplishments of the Section at the Annual Meeting and throughout last year deserve highlighting:


  • The Annual Meeting included our HAS Business meetings (four meetings in all), the Strategic Planning and Implementation Session, and Awards Ceremony and Social. All of these were very well-attended and provided opportunity for discussion of important Section activities, recognizing our awards winners, networking, and planning activities and roles for next year. We welcomed many new faces to our meetings and Awards Ceremony!

  • The HAS Program at the Annual meeting was a huge success, thanks to the excellent efforts of Program Chair Diane Adams, her Co-chair, Polly Turne, and the committee members. The evaluations of the sessions were very positive, and the committee has left us with a wonderful process to be followed in future program planning.

  • The Web and IT Committee completed many initiatives under the expert leadership of Laura Larsson and Jorg Westermann. Plans for change on the Web site were announced, as well as plans for profiling HAS member expertise. Laura continues to do an excellent job on the HAS Newsletter and spends lots of time coordinating with APHA staff on Web and newsletter issues.

  • The Awards Committee, under the excellent leadership of Marcia Rosenstein, managed the awards process for the section, and determined the award winners for the Excellence in Health Administration Awards given by the Section. Winners this year were William Roper and Polly Turner. At the Awards Ceremony and Social held on Nov. 8, 2004, we honored each of these winners for their achievements and recognized their contributions to public health.

  • Policy Committee. Michael Smylie spearheaded our policy
    development and review process during the past year, and he and
    his committee are to be commended for the time and leadership on a challenging and time-consuming process.

  • Membership. Under the excellent leadership of Co-Chairs Audrey Smith and Linda Moore and LaTonia Peters, Co-Chair, Student Involvement, the Membership Committee identified new ways to reach members and involve the section in mentoring activities for new members and students. The Membership committee also managed the booth at the APHA Annual Meeting and coordinated volunteer staffing of the booth.

  • Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee. Tricia Todd provided excellent leadership to the Section in priority setting and actions regarding work tasks for the year. For her outstanding work, Tricia was chosen to receive the Chair's Award for Leadership Excellence.

  • Linkages Committee. Under the insightful leadership of Bud Nicola, the Linkages Committee expanded discussions with other organizations as to how HAS can work together to share expertise and to jointly meet the needs of members.

  • Nominating Committee. Under the excellent leadership of Joyce Gaufin, the Nominating Committee managed the nominations process for HAS leadership, which resulted in a slate of highly qualified candidates for Section and Governing Council offices.



In summary, this past year was a time of continued accomplishments for HAS. These successes are a direct result of the hard work of all active members of HAS. Also, it is important to remember that these successes were made possible through the contributions of prior chairs, committee leaders and members, as well as current and past members of the HAS Section Council and HAS members of the Governing Council. Past successes have provided the foundation for current HAS successes.

During the present year, I urge you to stand together with Jorg Westermann, PhD, as he transitions to his year of leadership as Chair of HAS. Again, I urge you to stay involved, show your commitment, reach out to others and continue the collaborative efforts that will continue to make the section strong and recognized as a positive force within and outside of APHA.

Award for Excellence in Health Administration 2004

This year the Award for Excellence in Health Administration went to Polly Sparkes Turner, DrPH, and to William Lee Roper, MD, MPH. Congratulations to these two awardees, and thank you for your contributions to the Section and to public health.

Chair's Award for Leadership Excellence

Tricia Todd was awarded the Chair's Award for Leadership Excellence. Tricia lead the way in guiding us in the exciting process of strategic planning, priority setting and creative thinking. Congratulations, Tricia, for all your contributions to the Section and to public health.

Health Administration Section Leadership Directory, 2005

The full version of the HAS Leadership Directory is located at: <http://depts.washington.edu/hswork/articles/has2005/has-directory-2005.doc>.

An abbreviated version that only gives position, name and e-mail address is located at: <http://depts.washington.edu/hswork/articles/has2005/leadership-abbrev.html>.

Both versions can be printed for reference.

Both these files will be available on the refreshed HAS Web site when it is opened for the public.

Introducing Some of the New HAS Leaders

The Newsletter editor has asked new volunteers to send in a bio about themselves so that you can get to know them. These are the individuals the editor was able to get information from. If you are on the HAS Leadership Board/Governing Council and would like to be highlighted or interviewed for the Newsletter, please contact Laura Larsson at <larsson@u.washington.edu>.

Glen Mays, MPH, PhD, is co-Chair of the Program Committee. Glen is associate professor, vice chair, and director of research for the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Public Health. Mays' research focuses on strategies for organizing and financing public health services, health insurance, and medical care services for under-served populations. He has published more than 50 journal articles, books and chapters on these issues and serves on committees for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, APHA, the Institute of Medicine and AcademyHealth. He received PhD and MPH degrees in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was a postdoctoral fellow in health economics at Harvard Medical School.

The following are currently active on the HAS Newsletter Committee: Jasmine N. Hall, MHA, is the Program Officer for the Missouri Foundation for Health, St. Louis, Mo. Nathan Kellett, MHA, was formerly a consultant for a pharmacoeconomics firm out of Toronto Canada but has recently been given a commission to become an Air Force Medical Services Corps Administrator. He will be taking over Tricare administration at their treatment facility. Andrea Stephenson, MS, is the director of administration/health director of the Sussex County Division of Health.

Current members of the Web Site/Information Technology Committee (W/IT Committee) include: Vonna Henry, Bud Nicola, Nadim Haddad, Laurie Fitts and Laura Larsson (Chair). New members include Dana Friedman and Michael Hill. Hill is currently the administrator/health officer for the Okeechobee County Health Department in Florida. His interest in working with the W/IT Committee stems from having worked with, on or around computers since 1968 (punching little holes into cards). Prior to his promotion to county health officer, he was the information systems director and designed the county health department's internet and intranet Web sites; he still does most of the maintenance of these sites. He is a member of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Information Technology Committee and is on the Executive Committee of the National Association for Public Health Information Technology (NAPHIT). Hill also has been pretty active with the CDC Public Health Information Network project.

Other Board members will be profiled in future issues.

SPOTLIGHT on HAS Section Leaders and Members: Linda Landesman, PhD

This is a new section that began in the previous issue. In this part of the Newsletter we will interview Health Administration Section leaders and members.

We are interviewing Linda Landesman, PhD, author of the book titled "Public heath management of disasters: the practice guide". Landesman is currently Co-Chair of the CEI Committee. She also served as the HAS Governing Council Representative from 1998-2003.


Our intent is to interview members as well as our leadership. If you know of a member who is both interesting and willing to be interviewed, please suggest his or her name to the Newsletter editor. If you are interested in being interviewed, please contact me. And now the interview with Linda Landesman.

HAS News: What is your background (What do you currently do?) and how did it prepare you to write this book?

Dr. Landesman: For the past nine years, I have been an assistant vice president at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), where I am responsible for almost $600 million in contracts between the city hospitals and the medical schools and other provider groups, for graduate medical education and for research across HHC. I sit on numerous advisory boards, including the WMD Advisory Board for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the WTC Evacuation Study at Mailman School of Public Health Advisory Board, the Center for Public Health Preparedness at Mailman School of Public Health, and the Emergency Preparedness Council of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

My interest in emergency preparedness began in the early 1980s when I was a practicing social worker in Orange County, California. In learning about earthquake preparedness - a big concern in southern California - it became apparent that there was a gap between pre-hospital and hospital mental health services. I worked with the Red Cross and with FEMA when there was a national push to increase medical sector participation in emergency management activities. In those years, there was a very active effort through the ASTM F-30 committee to develop national voluntary emergency medical service standards, and I was active in the efforts that developed those initial national disaster standards.

My interest in public health preparedness crystallized during my doctoral work - my dissertation assessed hospital preparedness for chemical accidents. As a doctoral student, I reached out to the then Program Development Board (now Science Board) of APHA and suggested that the organization expand its activities regarding disaster preparedness. As a result, the PDB, and then the Health Administration Section, organized solicited sessions about disaster-related topics for the annual meetings. Needing material for a presentation at one of those sessions, I surveyed the schools of public health to determine what disaster-related courses were being offered. Following the massive public health impact of Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992, that survey became the basis for a Letter to The Editor published in AJPH, calling for formalized public health training in disaster preparedness and response.

HAS News: What motivated you to write the book?

Dr. Landesman: While much has been accomplished in preparing the public health workforce since those early days, in the early '90s, most public health practitioners had little interest in emergency preparedness, nor did they see these activities as part of their role. In 1993 and 1994, I organized two conferences to generate interest in this area by bringing schools of public health together with current leaders in public health preparedness. In the initial conference, only 20 schools sent representatives. From those conferences came the Curriculum, which was the foundation for the first edition of "Public Health Management of Disasters: The Practice Guide."

As a practicing social worker in a hospital setting, one of the first tasks is to gather all of your resources – referral information, agencies which can provide follow-up services, etc. In emergency management, those resources are widespread. This is particularly difficult for public health which, needing expansive and diverse technical expertise, must bring together information from a wide range of specialized areas in which there had been minimal academic preparation. My goal, in the first edition of the book, was to facilitate both a basic understanding of the public health role and how it is integrated within the various components of emergency preparedness and response, and to provide one location for many of the tools needed by those in the field.

The draft of the first edition was finished in the spring of 2001 and published by APHA that October. After the events of the World Trade Center collapse, many more resources and response activities became available from a variety of sources. Foremost, the entire federal system was reorganized. The second edition began as an expansion of the chapter on federal, state and local response. I expanded the types of disasters described with morbidity and mortality and public health interventions, included a new chapter on disasters and those with disabilities, setting up assistance centers, credentialing providers, points of distribution centers, occupational health issues, tables on ensuring safe food, maintaining, vaccine cold chain, etc. Further, we printed the first edition without an index because of an interest in getting it out quickly after the events of 9/11/01. The second edition has an index, so it is easy to locate specific material.

HAS News: Who is the audience for your book? What degree of experience and knowledge does your audience need to have to gain the most from your book?

Dr. Landesman: The audience is quite broad - public health practitioners, emergency management, first responders, government officials, hospital administrators and providers. Students without any exposure to emergency preparedness can learn the basics from my book. Experienced practitioners can use the book as a handy resource. The first edition was purchased by libraries, by universities as a course textbook, by health departments, by offices of emergency management, by emergency medical services and by others. A copy is even in the White House library.

HAS News: What do you expect to have happen in public health disaster management as a result of your writing this book?

Dr. Landesman: Since the publication of the Letter to the Editor in 1993, academic preparation of the public health workforce is now ubiquitous. Before public health was involved, offices of emergency management, who may have lacked the necessary training, often handled the health related aspects of a disaster response. In many communities, public health is now an integrated member of the emergency response team. Public health practitioners participate in community planning and are often in the forefront when an emergency has resulted in events that have public health implications. In the end, this can lead to reduced morbidity and in some cases, mortality, from disasters and other public health emergencies. My goal is to see skillful public health practitioners being called upon in all communities in the U.S. Hopefully, public health preparedness today can protect us and help our nation prosper in as powerful a way as public health activities which ensured clean water and safe food in the turn of the last century.

HAS News: How did you come up with the title for your book?

Dr. Landesman: Despite my years in administration, I still think like a practitioner. The title of the book reflects that influence and the desire to aid those in the field.

HAS News: Do you have any plans for another book in the same, similar or totally different area?

Dr. Landesman: I am planning to convert the book to a consumer version and to write an instructor's guide, or something similar.

HAS News: Is there anything additional you would like to share with Section members?

Dr. Landesman: Health administrators have a lead role in emergency preparedness, and it is very gratifying to see the discipline evolve and be seen as experts in the field. I am proud to be one of the group.

Linda Landesman Recognized for Best Practices in IT Management

Please see the interview above and the description of Linda's new book below this article.

Linda Landesman at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and vendor partner Business Logic have developed a Web-based system to monitor medical resident work hours which received one of the national Best Practice Awards awarded by the Technology Managers Forum. Their project was awarded an Honorable Mention for Business Process Improvement because it denotes a standard of excellence that has been achieved within an organization, and provides a model for the industry that can be quantified, adapted and repeated.

Landesman and HHC were the first in the country to create an online method of tracking resident compliance with the work hour rules, a business problem that is now being faced by every teaching hospital in the United States. With her team, she converted a decentralized paper and pencil process into an enterprise-wide, Web-based application based on the business requirements of New York state regulations and national accrediting organizations. Residents can enter their time data from any Internet access point and administrators can distinguish compliance with both the state and national rules through reports which identify and distinguish both occurrences.

Technology Managers Forum (<www.techforum.com>), the professional association for enterprise IT managers, selected Landesman and her team among the winners of its ninth annual Best Practice Awards program.

The Best Practice Awards were presented at Technology Managers Forum’s eleventh annual fall conference. The Best Practice Awards program was developed to recognize and promote excellence in the business management of technology. The Best Practice Awards program is particularly distinguished by the caliber of its judging panel, which features practicing Fortune 1000 IT managers (<http://www.techforum.com/bpa/judges.html>). All winners were chosen from nominations from the United States and Europe.

New Book from HAS Member

"Public heath management of disasters: the practice guide, second edition," by Linda Landesman "will serve as the essential desk reference not only for health professionals responsible for preparing for and responding to disasters, but for emergency managers, government officials and other decision-makers charged with ensuring that limited resources of the affected community are well managed.” —Eric K. Noji, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Comment from APHA Web site)

Publisher's Note
Acknowledgements
Foreword

Chapter 1 Types of Disasters and Their Consequences
Chapter 2 Role and Responsibility of Public Health
Chapter 3 Structure and Organization of Health Management in Disaster Response
Chapter 4 Disaster-Related Surveillance and Emergency Information Systems
Chapter 5 Hazard Assessment, Vulnerability Analysis, Risk Assessment, and Rapid Health Assessment
Chapter 6 Disaster Communications
Chapter 7 Essentials of Disaster Planning
Chapter 8 Environmental and Occupational Health Issues
Chapter 9 Mental Health Strategies
Chapter 10 Disasters and Services to Persons with Disabilities
Chapter 11 Public Health Response to Emerging Infections and Bioterrorism
Chapter 12 Public Health Considerations in Recovery and Reconstruction
Chapter 13 Evaluation Methods for Assessing Medical and Public Health Response to Disasters
19 Appendices not listed here.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, it is available through the APHA Web site at <www.apha.org/media> for $28 for APHA Members and $40 for non-members. (2d ed. 2004 250 pages, softcover ISBN 0-87553-025-7)

Request for Feedback and Suggestions for Newsletter Content: Poll

To get focused feedback from you, the Newsletter Committee has created a short (one question) SurveyMonkey poll. We would appreciate your taking the time to give us feedback on how we are doing with the Newsletter. The URL for the poll is: <http://surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=52987812755>. The polls are kind of fun to do. Laura Larsson plans to include a poll on a topic of interest to the leaders and members every issue.

The Newsletter Committee is always looking for ideas for articles or other content. If you have articles or ideas and would like to submit them to the Editor, please email Laura Larsson at <larsson@u.washington.edu> or <larsson@cedarc.info>. Please request the Draft HAS Newsletter Instructions to Authors for guidelines on authoring articles.

News, Views and Web Sites

This section is intended to help you with news and Web sites that you can use in your work.

What's New(s) on...?

This section links you to Web sites that have information useful to those working in health administration. To visit the site, just click on the underlined link. Valuable resources all. These links will remain as part of the Newsletter. Keep in mind that some of the links might take a few seconds to load as they are doing searches of very large databases – and that takes time).

APHA Annual Meeting Session Report

Azella C. Collins, MSN, RN is a public health nurse who has worked in the community professionally for 30 years. She has worked in HIV/AIDS for the past 21 years. For the past three years she has coordinated activities to eliminate perinatal HIV transmission in Illinois. Collins can be reached at: <ACOLLINS@idph.state.il.us>.

The session that was most thought-provoking and the one that helped me to re-focus a few of my service scopes was 5119.0 "Needs and Barriers to Developing an Academic Program for Hispanic Promotores at the US-Mexico Border" Neida Mier, PhD, Elaine M. Hernandez, MEd, MPH, and Karen Denison, MPH.

Members of the lay work force who are indigenous to the communities we serve provide necessary insight -- they assist community planners by ensuring that the programming is culturally and linguistically appropriate. In Illinois we have a large migrant Hispanic population, and many times in our rural counties we are unable to find Hispanic workers who are able to provide health education. The development of a promotores program in rural Illinois is an exciting idea and would serve to inform our programming. It was extremely rewarding to learn that they are proficient in 44 different community health and public health topics. In addition to providing assistance with our population, the use of promotores also serves to provide employment and increased education for members of a very marginalized group of people.

[Editor's Note: Thank you for the Session information, Azella. Good session presenters are always worth knowing about].

Fund Public Health! APHA Rallies for Public Health Funding

Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim, MD, MPH, PhD, is an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has over 25 years of work experience in public health and cares deeply about population health. You can reach him via e-mail at <iai@usm.edu>.

Tuesday morning, the morning of the rally, I had the schedule of sessions that I planned to attend ready. First thing in the morning at 7:00, I had the HA Section Business Meeting, a session at 8:30, and another at 10:30. During my shower, I contemplated joining the rally. Arguing with myself, I wondered what one more body was going to do for a gathering like this. I also wondered what this rally was really going to achieve, given the Nov. 2 election results.

And the session at 8:30 was professionally important to me.

On second thought, I asked, why not? This rally might give me a chance to visit Capitol Hill on business and actually have a closer look at policy-makers in action. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of joining the rally. Finally, I decided to go to the rally.

On my way out the hotel door I met a young MPH student from Case Western University who was asking about the rally. His wanting information made me feel better about going to the rally. He was not sure where it was going to be. I knew because I mapped it out the previous night when I was thinking about a “just-in-case scenario.” On the bus to the hotel, he told me that he was from China.

We took off to “D” Street and soon were joined by some other people going to the rally. It was extra chilly that morning; my ears were freezing. Jie, that was my friend’s name, regretted that he forgot his hat. At a distance, we noticed a small gathering. Was this it? As we got closer, more people joined us. Tables with state signs were stuffed with literature and packets. From Wyoming up to Mississippi was quite a distance. When I tried to pick up the packet from Mississippi, the attendant told me go to the rally and that I would get a copy when I returned.

Looking around we saw people holding signs with different section and caucuses names. Where was the Health Administration sign? A sense of mission started to hit me. A lot of people were flipping through a pile of signs. I asked the lady who was the closest to the pile if she had seen the Health Administration Section sign? She pulled it out of the pile. Victoriously, I grabbed the sign and went back to where the gathering was.

The sign was taped with a duct tape to a three-foot ruler. As I was holding it up, I realized that my hands were freezing. By now, I was more determined to stick with it. Looking around, I saw an older colleague by himself holding the Statistics Section sign. At least the HA Section had two people representing it, I thought. Jokingly, I asked him, “What happened to the statistics people? Maybe they decided to use a sample instead?” He said, “I hope not because I am not a good statistician myself.”

After awhile many people filled the park. Dr. Benjamin climbed the few steps to the microphone. Dr. Benjamin’s first remark was, “I guess you can tell I am from Chicago by the light jacket I am wearing.” Cheers! “Let’s make the folks know we are here.” More cheers!! “Fund public health! ... Fund public health,” the crowd shouted. I doubted that the congressmen sitting in their warm offices behind closed windows could hear a thing, but we were loud.

Virginia Caine gave a short but spirited speech and ended with the “Fund public health!” slogan. A congressman took to the podium in support of our cause and commended the people who showed up on this chilly Washington morning.

Next, a young man got to the podium to advise those of us who were interested to go pick an information packet to take to our state congressmen. Going back through that cold to the Mississippi table was not my idea of fun. I decided to go back to the warm convention center!

I changed my mind when I saw people going in the direction of the Congress with packets under their arms. Thinking I might be the only person here from Mississippi, my determination to stick to the task increased. Gene Taylor is my congressman. With the packet under my arm, I asked a nearby organizer how to find Taylor’s office. Even after learning it was on the other side of Capitol Hill, I was determined to go there.

After reaching the right building, going through the security check, and up to the second floor, I finally found room 2311. I knocked at the door and went in, to be greeted by a young man who asked if he could help me. After introducing myself and explaining that I was here to meet Congressman Taylor, he invited me to come in and have a seat.

I met the Congressman’s Policy Director, not the Congressman himself. We went into a classically decorated room with leather furniture. I started the conversation, nervously, following the script written by the rally organizers. The Policy Director acknowledged the need to fund public health and went on and on about the flu vaccine crisis and the need for quality control in vaccine production.

After a few minutes I tried to steer the conversation to other public health research and CDC funding. He touched on requests for community education grants that the Congressman’s office receives but felt they produced no tangible results. I try to convince him that there is a science behind health education and like other areas within public health, there are good applications and “not-so-scientific applications”.

He turned the conversation to community heath centers and commented on how they take away business from small local hospitals. He mentioned how specialty care works to attract patients toward the city hospitals. We talked about buying vaccines from Britain versus having them manufactured here under our FDA control. We also talked about environmental pollution and how hard it is to prove it.

We talked and talked for about 90 minutes! When the phone rang I stood up to go. I could not believe that we spent this much time talking about all these issues where we have a lot of common ground. I thanked him for his time, gave him my business card and my pledge to help whenever I could, if they ever need my help, and left.

Going back to the convention center, what seemed like a freezing long walk before now seemed like a very pleasant one; shorter, warmer, nicer! I had missed the two morning sessions.

But it was worth it.

AHA Distributes New Online Magazine

On Jan. 5, 2005, the American Hospital Association began distribution of an online journal titled, Most Wired Online. It is the new weekly electronic newsletter of H&HN's Most Wired Magazine. According to the information offered in the first issue, "Every Wednesday we'll bring you exclusive articles, analyses and columns by such well-known writers and thinkers as Molly Joel Coye, John Glaser, Michael Millenson and Scott Wallace. You'll also see contributions from your colleagues and peers, including CEOs, physician leaders, and strategists such as Stanley Hupfeld, Gerald Miller, Robert Murphy, MD, Herb Pardes, MD, and U.S. Rep. Pat Kennedy."

Articles deal primarily with issues related to IT. Of interest are the Content Communities, Job Center, and a link to the current issue of H&HN's Most Wired Magazine.

Two articles from the first issue give a flavor of the magazine: "Interoperability and the National Health Information Infrastructure" by David Brailer, MD, and "Sorting Through the IT Paradox", by Herbert Pardes, MD.

To subscribe, go to <http://www.magnetmail.net/actions/aha_hnhnsubscription_form.cfm> and sign up.

Tutorials On Relevant Issues from Kaiser

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is making voice-over PowerPoint tutorials on important topics such as "health policy issues, research methodology or the workings of government." These multimedia tutorials are available from their Web site. Tutorials of possible interest to HAS members include:


Put on your earphones and spend time learning from experts.

Personal Knowledge Management Column

This column is devoted to personal applications and information that you, as an individual knowledge worker, can use to improve your information productivity without necessarily relying on your IT staff. The short articles and hints contained in this section will follow a framework originally developed by Prof. Paul Dorsey who has recently retired from Millikin University to work on PKM articles and teaching.

Dorsey’s framework consists of seven areas: 1. Accessing information and ideas; 2. Evaluating information and ideas; 3. Organizing information and ideas; 4. Analyzing information and ideas; 5. Conveying information and ideas; 6. Collaborating around information and ideas; and 7. Securing information and ideas, and is an attempt to combine computer literacy with information literacy. It’s an expansion of the: “find, organize, use and disseminate” school of thinking.

Yahoo! Offers New Desktop Search Tool

Yahoo!, one of the larger search engines, is offering free desktop search software that searches through more than 200 different file types on your computer. The application offers added privacy controls to prevent unauthorized access to your stored information. You can download a test version of the software from <http://desktop.yahoo.com>. The Yahoo search engine compares favorably with the Google search tool, although neither of them will index Netscape/Firefox e-mail, a serious oversight since Firefox's market share is increasing month by month. Outlook files are indexed by both the Yahoo! and Google search engines.

Yahoo! also offers access to millions of online groups that you can join for "a convenient way to connect with others who share the same interests and ideas." At the last count there were 1,166 online groups in public health ranging from Health_Justice_Network, to Coalition_for_Adolescent_Health, to Health_Promotion and many more besides.

Google also offers a desktop search engine, as does Microsoft. If you're interested in the Google or Microsoft search tools, check at:
<http://desktop.google.com/> or
<http://beta.toolbar.msn.com/>.

Travel Much? WiFi Hotspots Are Everywhere Now

Do you travel with your WiFi-enhanced PDA, laptop or Tablet PC and need access to the Internet? The good news is that there are now more than 56,000 hotspots around the world, according to JiWire, a provider of hotspot information located on the Web at <www.jiwire.com/>.

Hotspots are wireless access points that the public can use to get onto the Internet. Most require a payment, but some are free.

The most wired countries are the United States with 22,081 sites. The United States is followed by the U.K. (9,356), Germany (5,713), France, (3,239) Japan (2,197), Switzerland (1,311), Italy (1,111), Spain (1,073), Canada (826) and Australia (800). London, Tokyo and New York are the three most WiFi enabled cities, followed by Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, Berlin, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.

Find hotspots by searching JiWire by address or airport code, city, zip or postal code or use the quicklinks to hotspots by type: free hotspots, hotels, cafes and airports. Other places with WiFi can be found on Google's local search at <http://local.google.com/>. Enter Wi-Fi in the first box, and the ZIP code in the second.

Additional sites for information on hotspots include:

Leadership Articles

This section will concentrate on articles that are intended to help you think about your role as leaders in health administration and in public health and to offer practical tips for doing so. Wherever possible we will include articles on best practices.

Editor's Request: This is a request to readers to submit their most important questions regarding leadership issues and best practices in public health to Laura Larsson at <larsson@u.washington.edu> for possible inclusion in future issues of the Newsletter.

Your Clients: Use Them or Lose Them

Are you delivering exemplary service in your organization? How do you know?

It's all too easy to deliver lousy service; examples abound. We all can cite chapter and verse of the various snafus that can occur when an enterprise and customers come into close contact. Often we laugh wryly about the stories we have heard, but often we laugh in quiet corners where only our closest colleagues can hear us.

With many government and related agencies making content and interactive forms accessible to customers, there are plenty of opportunities for problems to occur leading to desperate clients. Unhappy clients can have a great impact on your work, as many businesses have found out to their dismay.

Our clients are very smart and are desperate to be helpful - if only given the chance. So how do we get our clients to take the time to give us feedback, to give us suggestions and to generally keep our feet to the fire? Here are some tips for encouraging interaction from our clients when they visit you on the Web.

Ease of navigation is critical to your clients feeling good about your organization. Easy navigation means that if they have a problem with a page or filling out a form there is an obvious way to get help. The operative word is "obvious" because many times the link for making suggestions, complaints or commendations is not all that easy to find. In desperation many hit the "sitemap" or site index to see if there is some way to contact a human.

Easy navigation means information should be where people expect to find it. Don't offer visitors too many choices. People get confused and will give up and leave your site.

Provide free information. Visitors to your site expect to get information they can use either to make a decision about a product or service or to use in their work or home lives. High quality free information will bring visitors back to your site.

Create a memorable tag line. This helps people remember what you stand for and what is available on your Web site.

Make an emotional connection. Yes, emotion belongs on a public health Web site. The human factor means that you or public health colleagues should be shown working on important public health problems. Public health is about human problems. Show humans at work solving those problems. This also builds a trust relationship with your clients. Make sure the images are high quality.

Do not use a database of FAQs or a help database instead of a complaint form. Most of the time it is too hard to find a problem exactly like the one your client is facing in the database or FAQ, and it takes way too much time for them to look. The longer it takes to get a solution, the more likely the individual is to leave your site, usually unsatisfied and often angry. People want real people to answer their questions and they want answers now. Use a complaint form and reply as soon as you can.

Complaint/compliment forms should include an optional field for the individual to enter his/her name and a separate field for their e-mail address (should they wish to include them, and folks often will), possibly a short subject line and plenty of space in a field for describing their problem. Way too often the space allocated to the problem description is only five-six lines long. This is way too small and can confuse people because they cannot see what they've already written even with a scroll-bar. Be sure the text that the person writes wraps in the field and is not just one long string of characters in a very long line.

Acknowledging complaints. When the individual takes the time to submit a complaint or suggestion or commendation, the form should be programmed to send an acknowledgement e-mail immediately. The person responsible for reading complaints should forward the e-mail to the most likely person to be able to solve that problem. In any case, problems should be dealt with preferably within 24 hours but not more than 48 hours. You do not want your visitors thinking that you do not care what they have to say, or even worse, that you are negligent. Even negative suggestions should be taken seriously and replied to.

Want to minimize demand on your time? Hiding phone numbers so deeply on your Web site that your clients cannot find them is the best way. But it does infuriate clients.

Solve the problem (one way or another). The person answering the comment, problem or criticism can do a lot to keep customers happy just by acknowledging their problem. Oftentimes a thank you for identifying a previously unknown issue or bug and a statement that the IT folks are working on it is enough to satisfy the person. Better yet is to go out of your way to be sure that the client is left with a positive feeling about the interaction.

These days customers are notoriously fickle (and they have a right to be fickle). If there's another place they can go to get a good or service they will go there rather than dealing with confusing forms or navigation, too many choices, or the inability to find the information they want, right now!

Enable swift winnowing of content to facilitate clients zeroing in on just the information they need. The longer visitors to your site have to spend looking for content, the less likely they are to stay on your site and the less likely they are to go away satisfied. Make it easy by running usability studies where you ask your own staff to find something on your site that they wouldn't often use.

Surveys and polls. Reach out to your clients through brief surveys or polls posted on the home page of your Web site. Ask clients to respond to a poll on a topic of interest to them and to your organization. Make the results of the poll immediately accessible. Change the poll every week to maintain interest and to get feedback on topics of importance to the organization.

Use surveys and polls judiciously to get information you need to make decisions, change policy or just get more in-depth feedback on agency concerns.

Get your clients to do it themselves. Companies are mastering the art of "getting you to do it for yourself." From scanning and bagging groceries to paying for hardware purchases at large "Home Depot" type stores, companies are asking customers to do more for themselves in an effort to keep prices down. In increasing numbers, health care sites workers can access data from a single place, and patients can check on lab results or schedule appointments online.

Can you think of ways to get your clients to help themselves via your Web site, and by doing so, help you?

How Good Are You at Reading Body Language?

Think you're a good reader of your employees' body language? Here's your chance to test your ability to correctly identify the emotion behind facial expressions. Read the instructions for taking the quiz all the way through and see how many emotions you can distinguish from the faces displayed.

According to the introductory information on the page, "[t]his interactive graphic is based on "The Micro Expression Training Tool" developed by Paul Ekman, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco." The URL is: <http://www.cio.com/archive/120104/faces.html>.

Getting Things Done: Time Management Tips

Here is a useful set of suggestions for increasing your productivity and reducing clutter. These tips were taken from several issues of Taylor's Time Tips, an electronic newsletter and used with permission of the author. Harold L. Taylor is the author of 'Making Time Work for You.' Subscribe to Taylor's Time Tips at <http://www.TaylorOnTime.com>.

High Cost of Paperwork. Inc. Magazine (May, 1993) provided the following paper statistics (sourced from Lawrence Livermore Labs; Coopers & Lybrand). In the average office: 19 paper copies are made of each original document; 7.5 percent of paper documents get lost completely; 3 percent of the remainder get misfiled; $20 in labor is spent filing or retrieving a document; $120 in labor is spent finding a misfiled document; and, $250 in labor is spent recreating a lost document.

Are You Working Too Hard? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans are averaging only two to two and a half weeks of vacation, while Europeans take five. (Source: "Just Enough" by Laura Nash & Howard Stevenson, Wiley, 2004)

Keep Meetings on Target. Laura Stack, author of "Leave the Office Behind" (Broadway Books, 2004) suggests that any items that come up that are not on the agenda be placed on an easel pad labeled "Parking Lot." If there's not enough time to discuss them near the end of the meeting they can be placed on next month's meeting agenda.

Advice for the Administrative Assistant. Keep a record of all incoming calls, drop-ins and meetings that occur during the boss' absence. A brief journal or diary can be reviewed upon his return. Never assume you will remember.

Clutter is a Big Problem. It is estimated that 10-15 percent of the U.S. population is so chronically overwhelmed by clutter that it is a problem either to them or to someone close to them. This statement, attributed to Jonnae Ostram of Packrats International in California ("Why It's So Hard to Let Go of 'Stuff'" by Paul Brookshire, Wisconsin, June 20, 1993) indicates the importance of keeping on top of your possessions.

Quotes To Think About and Use

Leadership Quotations from Danielle Hollister



Danielle Hollister has assembled 25 leadership quotations that are intended to "lead you to a more precise understanding of the secrets to successful leadership." Quotes include the following:

"No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him." --W. H. Auden

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality." -- Max DePree

"A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting. A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group." --Russell H. Ewing

"The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet." --Theodore Hesburgh

To see the rest of the quotations, read the article by Hollister titled, "Top 25 Leadership Quotations (2004)." It is located at: <http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-25-Leadership-Quotations&id=4849>.

Humor: Quotes For Those Using Statistical Methods (and Related Topics)

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." -- Oscar Wilde

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure." -- Mark Twain

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." -- Benjamin Disraeli

"There are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look up and the kind you make up." -- Rex Stout

"Then there was the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches." -- W. I. E. Gates

For a lengthy list of quotes on numerical issues, see: Quotes and Quips located at: <http://www.keypress.com/fathom/fathom1/quotes.html>. The sources for the quotes at this site are: Jerry Murdock, Gretchen Davis, Joachim Verhagen, "Statistically Speaking: A Dictionary of Quotations," and Peter Langston's humor list.

Interesting Management Articles on the Web: Nonprofits

Free Management Library(SM)
<www.managementhelp.org>
This is a complete, highly integrated library for nonprofits and for-profits with 75 popular categories of topics including: Customer Satisfaction, Evaluations (many kinds), Group Skills, Personal Productivity, Sustainable Development, Volunteers. Really valuable information that you can use.

Nonprofit Web Sites (University of Wisconsin Extension)
<www.uwex.edu/li/learner/sites.htm>
This site links to Web sites listed under numerous categories. Categories include: Board Development/Governance, Cultural Diversity, How to Start a Nonprofit Organization, Outcome Measurement, Social Entrepreneurship/Nonprofit Enterprise, Strategic Alliances, Strategic Planning/Program Planning, Volunteer Resources/Service Learning Centers and more. Links should prove to be quite useful.

Management/Leadership References to Buy, Borrow or Read Online: General Management Books

"The Fiefdom Syndrome: The Turf Battles That Undermine Careers and Companies - And How to Overcome Them" by Robert J. Herbold. 2004. $17.79. ISBN: 0385510675
Are border lords tearing apart your agency by withholding critical information? Herbold identifies why fiefdoms are a problem and offers solutions for preventing them in the first place.
Available at Amazon: <http://tinyurl.com/55py5>.

"The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works" by Ricardo Semier. Portfolio, 2004. $15.61 ISBN: 1591840260.
Semier describes how to shake things up, how to work in an environment with no organizational chart, no business plan and how to work in an environment with limitless opportunities for growth and achievement. No guidelines, just encouragement to view your organization differently.
Available at Amazon: <http://tinyurl.com/6ncxw>.

"How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas" by David Bornstein. Oxford University Press, 2003. $18.90 ISBN: 0195138058
Learn how individuals can and are making a difference. Think of this book as a "In Search of Excellence" for the non-profit world. Bornstein profiles nine champions of social change who made a difference in the worlds they inhabit. Of special interest is the story of one woman, Veronica Khosa, who developed a home-based care model for AIDS patients in South Africa. Also of interest is the story of James Grant, instrumental in saving lives with a global campaign for immunization.
Available at Amazon: <http://tinyurl.com/54ctn>.

"The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power" by Joel Bakan. The Free Press, 2004 $17.00 ISBN: 0743247442.
"Joel Bakan's new book is a brilliantly argued account of the corporation's pathological pursuit of profit and power. An eminent law professor and legal theorist, Bakan contends that the corporation is created by law to function much like a psychopathic personality whose destructive behavior, if left unchecked, leads to scandal and ruin." (Amazon product description)
Available at Amazon: <http://tinyurl.com/6hb7g>.

"Winning Through Innovation: A Practical Guide to Leading Organizational Change and Renewal" by Charles A. O'Reilly III and Michael L. Tushman. Harvard Business School Press, 2002. $18.15 ISBN: 1578518210.
This book got mixed reviews on Amazon. One person credited it with helping make his business successful; another found the content repetitive. The description from Amazon says: "Winning through Innovation is a complete manager's tool kit for organizational change. With lessons from their research and consulting practice as well as from dozens of companies, the authors explain why industry leaders so often lose their innovative edge-and how to keep it. The Management of Innovation and Change Series." (Amazon product description)
Available at Amazon: <http://tinyurl.com/4thu9>.

"The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy" by William Greider. Simon and Schuster, 2003. $17.64 ISBN: 0684862190.
"In his previous bestsellers, Who Will Tell the People and Secrets of the Temple, William Greider laid bare the inner workings of American politics and the Federal Reserve, revealing how they often work against the interests of the majority. Now, in The Soul of Capitalism, Greider examines how the greatest wealth-creation engine in the history of the world is failing most of us, why it must be changed, and how intrepid pioneers are beginning to transform it." (Amazon product description)
Available at Amazon: <http://tinyurl.com/556pg>.

General Articles

Articles in this section can be on any topic, including leadership, personal knowledge management, editorials or rants.

Provoking Thought: Satisfaction NOT Guaranteed

Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim, MD, MPH, PhD is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has over 25 years of work experience in public health and cares deeply about population health. You can reach him via e-mail at <iai@usm.edu>.

The following are thoughts that crossed my mind and I am sure crossed the mind of many others. How often do we think of something that we don’t share with others for whatever reason? In order to share such thoughts and maybe encourage others with better thoughts, I thought of sharing these thoughts with the provocative title above. They are intended to be thought-provoking, and any other side effect is not intended, so use carefully.

  • In conferences, receptions are typically known to be networking occasions. That’s what everyone says. However, we see them as an occasion for a lot of fake smiles, poor food that no one dares to criticize, talk that makes little if any sense, and business cards that we know where they usually end up! Why do we keep doing them this way? Can we do them any better?

  • In almost all the APHA Annual Meetings I attended over the last 20 some years, regardless of the theme of the meeting, one always finds the same old stuff that marginally relates to the theme. No one wants to say this publicly, but I feel it needs to be said and vented if things can get better. Maybe there is someone listening out there like program planners!

  • In a session on public health and the media, panelists from the media basically said something like, “we want to teach you how to talk to us, media people.” I immediately thought, “Why don’t they learn how to read and listen to public health people instead?” Better still if both of us sit down and learn how to talk and listen to each other for the public good. Could we live to see this day?

  • During the session on the uninsured in America, the coordinator proudly said that APHA has been drawing attention to this problem in the nation for the last 100 years. I could not believe it! One hundred years and we are still going and going and going like the Energizer bunny and the problem is actually worsening! Doesn’t this tell us that whatever we are doing is not working and we need to change?



Editor's note: If you have thoughts or opinions or a response to these statements, please address them to the editor: Laura Larsson <larsson@u.washington.edu>.