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IP3 Collaborates with APHA and The Alliance to Launch PHERN

Updated: Apr 4

IP3 is excited to share that we recently launched PHERN—the Public Health & Equity Resource Navigator—in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Alliance for Disease Prevention and Response, a collaborative of over 80 organizations working to protect against future epidemics and disease outbreaks.

What is PHERN?

PHERN is a Community Commons Space—it was built on the Community Commons Information Exchange and features over one thousand curated resources selected to cover key and emerging public health topics, with an equity and antiracism lens. PHERN is publicly-accessible online and aims to help changemakers navigate resources focused on ending the pandemic, advancing equity, and building a resilient, robust, sustainable public health system for the future. Over the coming months, PHERN will continue to grow, with new curated resources, topics, and sectors.

The volume of COVID-19-related content is overwhelming—thousands of articles, podcasts, videos, research and policy briefs, webinars, and websites have emerged since March of 2020. Managing a body of knowledge is difficult enough within a single organization, and to manage all this content across a dispersed, overworked, and under-resourced network is even more challenging. PHERN aims to better connect and aid in the discovery of resources for public health practitioners, researchers, advocates, and those new to the field.

PHERN visitors can search for resources, browse sixteen topic areas including: Public Health Authority, Building Trust, Public Health Workforce Development, Disease Tracking and Surveillance, and explore sectors including schools, health care, and community-based organizations. Learn more about the resource curation criteria here.

Why a Community Commons Space?

After meeting with the Alliance and learning about their goals, we recommended a Community Commons Space to host PHERN. As with all Community Commons Spaces, PHERN is tailored to align with goals and objectives of the organization or collaborative, while drawing on the powerful Community Commons Knowledge base. Here are a few reasons that IP3 and a Community Commons Space was the right fit for PHERN and APHA:

  • A sustainable home: Rather than recreating the wheel with another resource library, content added to the Community Commons Knowledge base will be accessible and maintained for years to come.

  • A proven curation approach: Through years of experience, our team has developed a proven curation strategy. From the core Community Commons curation, to deep dives into topics related to health and well-being, and our partnerships and support of local, regional, and national collaboratives, the IP3 team has developed a trustworthy, effective, efficient curatorial process.

  • An exponential impact: Because content added to PHERN is also added to Community Commons, content will be discoverable by changemakers working across many sectors and topics, and not only to those visiting PHERN.

The Process

Our team worked closely with APHA and Alliance leadership to develop and launch PHERN. This project involved the development of a curation strategy to align with Alliance goals, content curation, designing and implementing feedback mechanisms to vet and review topics with subject matter experts, configuration and design of the PHERN Space, and finally, the development of a communications strategy to ensure the intended audience could find and leverage PHERN. From start to launch was a nine-month process, which also included data collection and piloting of a new network map to reflect Alliance member organizations and initiatives.

What’s Next

We’re working with APHA and the Alliance to expand topics and content as we pivot from disease response to preparing the public health workforce for the future. Future content and topics will include support for those new to public health, as well as a focus on systemic and upstream factors that contribute public health.

Are you interested in a Community Commons Space to house, maintain, and share your organization’s or collaborative’s knowledge and learning? Learn more about Community Commons Spaces and reach outwe’d love to help.

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