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IP3 Attends the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Conference

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

IP3 was fortunate to attend the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo earlier this month in Atlanta, Georgia! The APHA champions the health of all people and communities and is the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community, and the ability to influence policy to improve the public's health. The Alliance for Disease Prevention and Response (the Alliance) is a cross-sectoral national movement, led by APHA, to advance public health and equity, prevent disease and promote well-being. Since 2021, IP3 has partnered with APHA and The Alliance on PHERN–the Public Health and Equity Resource Navigator.


PHERN is a web platform (Community Commons Space) that houses over 1,600 curated resources, stories, and tools to help changemakers navigate resources focused on ending the pandemic, advancing equity, and building a resilient, robust, sustainable public health system for the future. Read more about the launch of PHERN here.

At the conference, IP3 joined The Alliance in hosting an interactive, multimedia booth at the Expo to promote PHERN, draw attention to our collaborative work, and encourage folks to explore the site. We spent nearly 20 hours over three days in the Expo interacting with attendees and demonstrating PHERN. The Expo was a great opportunity to connect with hundreds of people and PHERN users and promote our new Foundations in Public Health Learning Series!


Conference highlights

In addition to co-hosting a booth with The Alliance, IP3 Project Director Sara Ivey represented IP3 and participated in two conference sessions—a presentation about applying design thinking to public health issues and building technology for population health impact, and a panel presentation hosted by The Alliance to share about its work and emphasize alignment opportunities across the Field.


Technology Conversation Arena

IP3 provides knowledge and know-how surrounding storytelling, data, and technology, rooted in our deep passion for community partnerships. At the Technology Conversation Arena, Sara shared how IP3 applies design thinking to public health issues and embeds public health values into our design and development work. IP3 hosts a suite of technology products built for community changemakers, and we are continually improving upon these products by gathering and implementing feedback from our partners using them.


There are five key public health values that we aim to embed into design development and technology integration work:


  1. Open Data: We subscribe to principles of data equity that emphasize leveraging community data for community power by making data open and accessible. One way we do this is by making the Community Commons Knowledge Base accessible through our API and the Connect and Share widget.

  2. Co-Design: We believe in co-designing technologies with community partners and stakeholders because the best solutions come from those closest to community issues. We do this through collaborative design and development processes, user testing and engagement, and curation and creation of digital content.

  3. Attribution: We know that it takes all of us working together to achieve impact at scale. This is why we celebrate the great work being done by individuals, organizations, and communities on Community Commons and across all of our platforms, and provide “click-backs” to original content creators.

  4. Accessibility: We value data democratization and data literacy, which drives us to not only make information accessible, but also to assure that people have what they need to understand and use information. We do this in several ways—through use of color, text size, inclusion of “alt text,” and other web content accessibility standards. We also do this by writing to be understood by diverse audiences. For example, policies within the Advancing Equitable Economies Library on Community Commons were adapted to a 9th-grade reading level to ensure they were understandable to all.

  5. Sustainability: We know that the best solutions are efficient and sustainable. We have designed Community Commons with this in mind by centralizing information into a single database maintained by the IP3 team and made available to the public for the long-term.

Scientific Session

Sara also participated in a panel discussion during the Alliance session, “The Campaign for the Public's Health: Building the Robust, Equitable and Sustainable Public Health System We Envision,” which shared about The Alliance’s recent work on The Campaign for the Public’s Health, and emphasized opportunities for alignment across the public health and allied fields. Co-presenters Martha Katz and Maddy Frey spoke about Fighting for Public Health, an initiative of the Network for Public Health Law that is focused on strengthening public health advocacy at local, state, and national levels, and the recent publication The State of State-level Public Health Advocacy. These efforts and PHERN demonstrate the groundswell of support and alignment of efforts and activities the Alliance has helped to grow.


Sara shared how IP3, APHA, The Alliance, and partners including Public Health AmeriCorps are leveraging PHERN to advance the movement for public health and equity. She highlighted the following:

  1. PHERN Promotes Networked Learning: IP3 recently launched a toolkit and portal on PHERN to support Public Health AmeriCorps members from around the U.S. who attended and participated in the APHA Annual Meeting and Expo. We also launched the Foundations in Public Health Learning Series which was designed for newcomers to the field of Public Health. These showcase the ability of technology to bring others alongside the work.

  2. PHERN Helps Implement an Advocacy Agenda: PHERN hosts the Protecting Public Health Authority toolkit and is creating a learning series. The content on PHERN is being co-created with APHA and its partners in support of their advocacy work on public health authority. The network map is also helping to track efforts to protect and expand public health authority.

  3. PHERN Provides Ready-Built Capacity: PHERN provides a ready-built platform to curate and create content for Public Health and allied fields. IP3’s infrastructure, expertise, and capacity make it simple to bring in new partners, scale-up production, and create value-add digital content to advance public health and equity.

If you’re interested, please reach out to IP3 to learn more about integrating technology into public health and community change work, curating resources and creating content for a specific event or purpose, and building a shared learning platform through a Community Commons Space.

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