3262.1: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 8:56 PM

Abstract #16574

International electronic collaboration for occupational & environmental health

Gary N Greenberg, MDMPH, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3886, Durham, NC 27710, (919) 684-6721, Gary.Greenberg@Duke.Edu and Kathleen Kirkland, MPH, Association of Occupational & Environmental Clinics, 1010 Vermont Ave., NW #513, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 347-4976, aoec@aoec.org.

Electronic message bases (listservs and internet forums) among experts in Occupational & Environmental Health are established resources for technical reference throughout the world's developed nations. Our forum involves nearly 3,000 participants from many interlinked disciplines, carrying more than 10 messages daily on many specialty topics. Other "lists" in occupational and environmental safety are similarly successful at sharing expertise among thousands of professionals throughout the industrialized world.

Despite excellent opportunities, these electronic forums' worldwide outreach has been less successful. International electronic messaging is a readily implemented strategy to enhance the impact and utility of our discipline world-wide. Specialists in industrialized countries (best described as information-rich and exposure-poor) should find partners for both service and science among clinicians and public health officials whose resources are exactly the converse.

The delay to implement this collaboration has several reasons, including: poorly recognized availability, limited computer resources among intended recipients, language barriers and absent technical and informal guidance.

Recognizing this need, the Association of Occupational & Environmental Clinics has developed an electronic outreach to developing nations. Enlisting post-graduate trainees throughout North America, the program will provide faculty-supervised, comprehensive replies to queries from professionals in developing nations. These reports will supplement informal responses delivered by the rest of our electronic community, supporting health decisions in breadth and depth. Should funding permit, the program will provide translation of incoming questions (for English replies) and occasional onsite outreach to the intended recipient countries' professional communities.

Learning Objectives: Explain the advantages of internation collaboration in Occupational & Environmental Health. Identify obstacles in creating virtual partners in research and health-related projects. Describe the advantages of an international organization in creating relationships in these areas

Keywords: International Public Health, Internet Tools

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Association of Occupational & Environmental Clinics
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Collaborators in this project. Clearly declared during the presentation.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA