Lab Matters Summer 2024 | Page 30


Sharing Success Stories to Advocate for Funding Needs : A Call to Action

By Rachel Shepherd , senior specialist , Informatics
APHL is currently collecting laboratories ’ informatics success stories that showcase innovations and enhancements made possible by new funding opportunities ( e . g ., COVID-19 , Data Modernization Initiative ( DMI ) or Public Health Infrastructure Grant ( PHIG )). How did the pandemic illuminate gaps and needs , and how have laboratories utilized the surge in funding to implement long-needed solutions , acquire key infrastructure or fill critical positions ? APHL intends to curate a collection of stories that first and foremost highlight the critical need for ongoing , targeted and sustainable informatics funding . By showcasing the progress that has been made , this series of stories will reveal what the public health community stands to lose without dedicated and long-term support .
APHL also hopes to further connect and build the public health laboratory informatics community by promoting these success stories and encouraging the cross-pollination of ideas , making laboratories aware of potential pathways and possibilities when facing common challenges . Perhaps what has worked well in one laboratory could inspire others to consider new possibilities or encourage outreach and collaboration , strengthening the community from within . In the spirit of DMI — which aims to modernize and integrate systems , infrastructure and data — we also want to centralize and share ideas , leveraging what works across the informatics landscape for the benefit of all .
If your laboratory has informatics successes to share , we want to hear from you . What were you able to accomplish that would have otherwise been impossible without new funding ? In what ways were you able to improve operations and contribute to a healthier public ? Topics could include but are not limited to :
• Modernization of core data infrastructure or successes related to DMI
• Enhancements to data exchange capacity or expansion of data exchange partners
• Infrastructure or equipment acquisitions and upgrades ( e . g ., LIMS )
• Development of evaluation and assessment capabilities
• Addition of critical staff members and needed positions
• Opportunities to streamline operations within the laboratory
• Adoption / Implementation of key policies and standards .
How to Share Your Stories
You can share your laboratories ’ success stories through this form . Please consider the following aspects of your story when submitting :
• What was the challenge and how did you address it ?
• What was the immediate and longterm impact ? What has changed as a result ?
• Who was involved in the project or initiative ?
• Do you have any advice or lessons learned for laboratories considering similar endeavors ?
If you have an idea for a story but would like some additional guidance or would prefer to have a dialogue and build your story collaboratively , please reach out to Rachel . shepherd @ aphl . org . We are excited to work with you and celebrate the successes of our members . g
For Further Reading
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sponsored similar projects across other organizations . Read about other recent successes from the public health community as told by the Public Health Informatics Institute and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists .
28 LAB MATTERS Summer 2024
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