The public face of Project HealthDesign is best represented by our grantees, our program staff and our collaborators who provide policy, technical, and design support to our teams. Behind the scenes, however, groups of students across the country also help advance the Project HealthDesign goals. Like most of our grantee teams, the NPO also has students involved in almost every project activity. At the UW-Madison School of Nursing, where the NPO is housed, undergraduate and graduate students from many disciplines meet regularly with NPO staff, bringing their ideas, vision and hard work to the program.Thanks to Uba Backonja, an early-entry Ph.D. student in the School of Nursing, Project HealthDesign joined the Twitter-world in spring, 2009. Daniel Nicolalde, a graduate student in industrial engineering (IE), managed much of the open-distribution of the products from the first round of grantees, and drafted the language guiding the Creative Commons copyright mechanism that insures that all of our materials are available for widespread use. Tim Patton, another IE graduate student, guides our local technical support, and serves as the primary interface with Sujansky & Associates. Yacob Tedla, a Ph.D. student in nursing, helps to create project archives, and draws from his specialty in public health to guide some of the topical discussions. Jan Chitphakdithai, an undergraduate IE, helps out in any way the NPO staff asks! And Edmond Ramly is joining Tim and Uba in undertaking a pilot study to determine the best way to ask questions to uncover the ODLs that people pay attention to.
Project HealthDesign has spawned many student projects, papers, and pilot research projects. Some students are investigating ODLs, trying to better understand the terms that lay people use to label health concerns and physical sensations. Others take the concepts core to Project HealthDesign, such as understanding health in everyday living or user centered design, to new heights, submitting their own proposals to competitive grants and prize competitions. Recently we learned that two of our students, Jonathan Baran (Biomedical Engineering) and Ash Gupta (Business), became finalists in the CIMIT Innovations in Primary Care competition. Selected as one of ten finalists from over 100 submissions, Jon and Ash will use the rubric of a timeline to present patient histories in an efficient, graphical manner to busy clinicians. This spring, another student associated with our projects, Rupa Valdez (IE), received one of the highly-sought after dissertation grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Over the next few months you will learn more about our students as they post their ideas on this blog -- we hope that this introduction acknowledges the critical role students play in project success, and the importance of Project HealthDesign in creating the next generation of innovators in health IT!