News  |  February 22, 2019

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PHNCI is hosting the inaugural Public Health Innovation Summit & Showcase in March. This is the first national meeting to convene thought leaders and innovators to be inspired from within public health and other fields, to discuss the barriers and opportunities to public health innovation, and to strategize around advancing innovation in governmental public health practice. The Summit aims to both inspire and learn from attendees and provide practical tips for implementing successful innovations in health departments.

The exciting line-up of speakers and interactive sessions will share stories of successful innovations in their fields and invited health departments will showcase their own innovations, including some that are already being adopted by others nationwide.

During the first day’s keynote, What We Can Learn from Upstream Innovations in Courts and the Criminal Justice System, Greg Berman and Julian Adler from the Center for Court Innovation will share how they have worked to effect change in courts to address issues in the criminal justice system and reduce incarceration rates. The Center for Court Innovation creates operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems, performs original research to determine what works (and what doesn’t), and provides expert assistance to justice reformers around the world. As an organization addressing systems change in a bureaucratic governmental environment, they will share lessons that can be applied to governmental public health systems transformation efforts and provide inspiration to those innovating in public health.

During the second day’s keynote, Opportunities to Use Technology to Innovate and Improve Health, Jamie Jones from GitHub will provide an overview of open-source technology and how it can be leveraged to drive innovation and improve health. GitHub is the leading software development platform and is the largest open source community in the world with 28 million users and 57 million code repositories (including 28 million public repositories). Like the definition of public health innovation, the foundation of open-source technology is built upon a set of principles that will sound familiar to practitioners, including collaboration, community, transparency, and prototyping for rapid solutions, and offers great promise for public health practice.

Both days include additional inspiring sessions like:

  • A response panel of public health leaders to reflect on how lessons learned from other fields can be applied to public health.
  • TED-style presentations featuring innovation stories from the field.
  • Showcase presentations from health departments, including perspectives from leadership and staff engaging in innovative work across the country.

PHNCI looks forward to receiving feedback from attendees and finalizing the public health innovation definition, which will be shared, along with other learnings, in April. Stay tuned for those exciting details!