CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo

Health Informatics Information Technology

Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Strengthening Social Connectedness"

Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 21, 2021

Health Informatics Information Technology (HIIT) is an innovation-driven Section in the American Public Health Association (APHA). Our mission is to improve the public’s health and facilitate prevention through innovative and effective information technology and informatics applications. The 2021 conference will provide attendees with the opportunity to interact with and learn from national and international experts. HIIT sessions will explore a variety of topics related to the use of informatics and information technology in creating healthier populations and preventing violence. HIIT invites abstracts (300 words maximum) related to the following topics:

  • 6th Annual HIIT Disparities Wearathon
    1. How m-health and wearables can address COVID-19. 2. Heath information technology innovation for the mitigation or eradication of health disparities associated with COVID-19; 3. Health information/information technology that addresses a need in an APHA Section, SPIG, Forum or Caucus 4. Wearable technologies and public health data collection, interpretation and policies, and 5. How the United States is combatting health and economic disparities.
  • Big Data and Data Analytics
    1. Big data analytics in public health policy, research and practice 2. Use of data analytics to reach and maintain equal opportunity and reduce disparities 3. Data analytics and the role of precision public health. 
  • COVID – 19: Challenges and Solutions
    1.  COVID-19 APP: Tool for educating and engaging our communities 2. Representation of minorities in clinical trials and genomic research through HIIT 3. COVID-19: Types of vaccines allergic reactions 4. Covid-19: Why we need accurate information to change public policy 5. Addressing faith leaders church initiatives in COVID-19  6.  Universal personal protection safety measures in COVID-19 7.  Information for travel/transportation: Are methods working, and 8. The new COVID-19 variants and their effects on vaccines.
  • Creating the Healthiest Nation: Community Engagement through HIIT
    1. Enhancing community-academic partnerships via informatics – promoting engagement by capturing and sharing information 2. m-health and consumer health informatics 3. Cloud computing and cybersecurity, and 4. Identifying public and population health informatics strategies to improve public health outcomes.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Data Visualization and Public Health
    1. Developing core competencies and skills unique to public health informatics professionals 2. Using data visualization to educate health professionals and the public and reduce disparities/improve outcomes 3. GIS mapping, disease surveillance and public policy.
  • HIIT and Health Equity
    1. Health equity, data collection and disease surveillance to address challenges and opportunities 2. Informatics tools to leverage the study of underserved populations to achieve health equity 3. Using public health informatics and disease surveillance to address health disparities 4. Using evidence-based informatics models to reduce/eradicate economic and health disparities, and 5. Developing sustainable biomedical and information technology-related innovations.
  • Telehealth/Telemedicine
    1. Improving access to care for rural populations through telemedicine, and  2. Identifying/overcoming barriers (e.g., cost, policy/technical assistance) to telehealth use. 

Please note that the deadline for submissions of all abstracts to HIIT is March 21, 2021. Abstracts submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Abstracts must be submitted electronically through the APHA website. Structured abstracts are required. All abstracts should be organized into sections, each with a section heading. Typical headings/sections for research presentations are: 1) Background; 2) Objective/Purpose; 3) Methods; 4) Results; and 5) Discussion/Conclusions. Do not include references or citations in the text of the abstract.
All abstracts must be submitted with at least three learning objectives in the proper APHA format (i.e., “By the end of the session, participant wills be able to [explain, describe, …]”). When submitting, please check the abstract title (Note: Only capitalize the first letter and proper nouns per APHA guidelines) and text for spelling and grammatical errors. Do not include your name or contact information in the text portion as this prohibits blind peer review. Failure to adhere to the guidelines may result in your abstract being rejected. If you are unable to identify a specific session for your abstract, please submit it under “Other.” 
Lastly, all abstracts should contain enough details to evaluate the scientific value of the work rather than alluding to what “will be” included in the presentation. Abstracts that do not adhere to these requirements will not be reviewed. Please contact the program planners (contact information listed below) if you have questions.
Abstracts will be peer reviewed based on the following criteria:
•   Relevance of topic to HIIT and to APHA. 
•   Clearly written and conveys essence of research. 
•   Contains innovative and state-of-the-art information. 
•   Addresses populations that are underserved or bear a disproportionate burden. 
•   Advances the field of health informatics and information technology. 
•   Overall impression of abstract.

Following are instructions for submitting a proposal for an entire session:
1.  Submit each abstract separately (up to four abstracts per session) to the same topic area. If a session proposal includes abstracts submitted to multiple topic areas, the session proposal will be considered incomplete.

2.  Contact the Chair program planner (Diane L. Adams, M.D, or Co-Chair, Jeannette Jackson-Thompson, PhD), with: a) a brief overview of the session (including relevance to health informatics information technology); b) at least three proposed learning objectives in APHA format for the entire session (all individuals abstracts that are part of the proposed session must have individual learning objectives); and c) title, first author and abstract number of all abstracts to be included in the session. 

Session proposals may also include suggestions for moderators (name and contact information). Session proposals that do not adhere to these requirements will not be considered. Please contact the program planners (contact information below) if you have questions.

Only listed authors who are both APHA members and registered for the Annual Meeting may present accepted work. Only one author may present each abstract; multiple presenters for one abstract will not be accepted. Neither APHA nor HIIT can provide any financial support for author attendance at the Annual Meeting.  However, students may apply for financial scholarships, which are subject to availability.
Moderators are needed for all roundtable and oral presentation sessions. If your abstract is accepted, you may be asked to serve as a moderator of a panel or roundtable oral session.
Following APHA guidelines, presenters and moderators who fail to show up for their presentation without notifying HIIT Section Program Planners in advance will not be permitted to present papers or posters at any APHA-sponsored meeting for two years following the “no-show” nor will they be invited to serve as a session moderator.
Presenters whose abstracts were accepted for presentation but subsequently withdrawn two or more times within the last five years may not be considered.

Continuing Education Credits 
APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.
For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter, panelist, discussant and/or faculty must provide:
  1. An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names;
  2. At least one MEASURABLE SINGLE outcome (“to understand” or “to learn” are not measurable outcomes and compound outcomes are not acceptable). Use ONLY the following measurable action verbs:
Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.
  1. A signed Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with a relevant qualification statement, e.g., “I have been the principal or co-principal investigator on multiple federally-funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests are the development of strategies for preventing HIV and STDs in out-of-treatment drug users and reducing drug abuse in pregnant women. Please note that I am the Principle Investigator of this study is NOT an acceptable qualification statement.
  1. All continuing education learning content must be of sound science or professional practice and serve to maintain, develop or increase the knowledge, skills and professional competence of health professionals. If available, learning content should be evidence-based. A list of over 30 areas will be provided online for you to choose from. You will be asked to choose at least one or up to 6 areas that your presentation will address.
Thank you for your assistance in making your session credit worthy. Contact Mighty Fine at if you have any questions concerning continuing education. For program questions, contact the program planners listed below.
Abstract submitters do not have to be APHA members. If your abstract is accepted by the HIIT Section, you and ALL co-authors must be/become an APHA and HIIT Member.
Presenters must register for the Annual Meeting to present. Ms. Donna Wright, Manager of Scientific Session Development, APHA will notify authors of accepted abstracts by June 1, 2021. All APHA memberships must be paid no later than June 30, 2021. As part of your membership, you can select HIIT as your primary affiliation at no additional cost.  We use our membership dollars to support students with scholarships so that they may attend the Annual Meetings. Please contact our Program Planner Chair, Diane L. Adams, MD, or Co-Chair, Jeannette Jackson-Thompson, PhD, for further information. Note: Submitting an abstract to the HIIT Section implies that you understand the terms of this Call for Abstracts.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Diane L. Adams, MD, MPH, DABCHS, CHS-III


Jeannette Jackson-Thompson, MSPH, PhD