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Public Health Institute Symposium Explores Intersection of Data, Health and Technology September 17 event in San Francisco

September 17, 2014

“Accelerating Health," features expert panel, honors PHI’s 50th anniversary 

(Oakland, CA) – In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Oakland-based Public Health Institute (PHI) will bring together leaders who sit at the forefront of dynamic changes in the field of health for the symposium, “Accelerating Health: Data, Health and Technology.” 

On September 17, from 12-4 p.m., at the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco, a panel of experts will discuss how technology, innovation and new public/private partnerships are changing how we prevent and treat disease.

“PHI’s 50th anniversary is a time to celebrate the tremendous gains in public health over the last five decades, while also looking to the challenges of the next 50 years,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of PHI. “Harnessing the power of data and technology, and forging alliances with non-traditional partners—a focus of this symposium and our entire 50th anniversary celebration—will enable us to continue to build a healthier world.”

The symposium will address questions such as: Can we use smart phone data to identify chronic disease patterns? How did customer data help propel a national retail store and pharmacy to eliminate sales of tobacco products to improve health and their bottom line? How can Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and open data be used to guide and influence policy?

Symposium panelists include:

  • CVS Health executive vice president and chief medical officer Troy Brennan, fresh from CVS Health’s decision to ban all tobacco sales and its health-focused rebranding, on “Retail as Public Health”

  • Este Geraghty, GIS and informatics expert, on “Open Data: Blue Skies and Place-Based Health”

  • Karan Singh, co-founder of the behavior analytics company, Ginger.io, on “How Data and Designs Are Driving Health Outcomes"

  • Retired Colonel Brian J. Masterson, associate medical director of behavioral health at Inova

  • Tessie Guillermo, president and CEO of ZeroDivide, will serve as the moderator 

For more information on panelists and further event details, visit the event page.


Other anniversary events celebrate public health champions and mark milestones

The afternoon symposium is just one of PHI’s 50th anniversary events taking place on September 17 in San Francisco. An evening celebration at The Exploratorium will celebrate public health milestones and honor a diverse array of modern-day public health champions, including a crusader against cancer, pioneering local pediatrician and a Hollywood filmmaker.

All year long, with the theme of “Building a Healthier World, Together,” PHI is celebrating a half century of promoting public health throughout California and around the globe. Through innovative research, groundbreaking interventions and targeted policy change, PHI’s 700 employees and 200 programs have addressed some of the most pressing health challenges of the last five decades — from reducing tobacco use and fighting cancer, to improving childhood nutrition, increasing girls’ health and reproductive rights around the globe and addressing the emerging health impacts of climate change.

Learn more about PHI’s 50-year history.


For more information, or to attend an event, contact: Ann Whidden, 510-285-5631, awhidden@phi.org

About the Public Health Institute

The Public Health Institute, a Bay Area-based independent nonprofit organization, is dedicated to promoting health, well-being and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.phi.org.