NIH Digital Summit 2015

Optimizing Digital to Reach Patients, Scientists, Clinicians, and the Public

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The National Institutes of Health hosted a summit to explore how digital is being used by government agencies, clinicians, scientists, patients, and the public to communicate information on health and science.


According to a September 2012 Pew Research Center survey, 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. As health information becomes increasingly accessible, it’s important to take a look at how these resources are being communicated and shared with the public, how and where clinicians and scientists are discussing important health topics in the digital sphere, and the challenges health communicators face with an ever-evolving digital landscape. The summit was designed to encourage discussion and to strengthen scientific communications communities around the digital and social media strategies used in health and science agencies.


Monday, October 19, 2015


National Institutes of Health, Building 10, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD
Masur Auditorium
Visitor information is available at


The morning focused on digital health and the public. The afternoon focused on how researchers and health professionals are using digital tools in their professional lives. There were multiple opportunities throughout the day for the audience to ask questions of the various speakers.

Keynote Speakers: Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Richard Besser, M.D., Chief Health and Medical Editor, ABC News.

Printable Version

October 19: Morning Session

Session Time Event Information
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration
Masur Auditorium
9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m. Opening Remarks and Keynote Introduction
John Burklow, Associate Director, Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL), National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9:10 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker
Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Q&A
  Master of Ceremonies
Scott Prince, Chief, Online Information Branch, OCPL, NIH
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Panel 1: The Patient and Caregiver Perspective: Managing Health Conditions Using Digital Tools and Social Media
  • Anna McCollister-Slipp, founder and CEO, Galileo Analytics
  • Guy Anthony, author, Pos+tively Beautiful
Moderator: Anne Rancourt, Section Chief, Office of Communications and Government Relations, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Q&A
10:30 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. Break for Exhibitor Hall
FAES Terrace
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Panel 2: Reaching Patients and the Public Where They Are: Sharing High Quality, Evidence-Based Information With the Public on Social Media, Blogs, and Mobile Apps
  • Erin Edgerton Norvell, M.A., Digital Edge Communications
    “When Health Communications and Content Marketing Collide”
  • Robert Burchard, M.A., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    “EPA’s UV Index: A Public Health Information Campaign Gone Viral”
  • Erik Augustson, Ph.D., M.P.H., National Cancer Institute, NIH
    “Amplifying Quit Smoking Success Through Digital Media Intervention and Support: Examples From the Initiative”
Moderator: Brooke Leggin, Program Analyst, Office on Women's Health, Division of Strategic Communications, HHS
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Q&A
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. LUNCH
Options include: Cafeteria and Au Bon Pain
Clinical Center
12:45 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. Break for Exhibitor Hall
FAES Terrace

October 19: Afternoon Session

Session Time Event Information
1:15 p.m. – 1:25 p.m. Afternoon Opening Remarks and Keynote Introduction
Masur Auditorium
1:25 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Keynote Speaker
Richard Besser, M.D., Chief Health and Medical Editor, ABC News
1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Q&A
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Panel 3: The Health Professional Perspective: Using Social Media To Get and Share Information and Interact With Other Professionals and Patients
  • David Cooper, Psy.D, National Center for Telehealth & Technology
    “Digital Tools for Behavioral Health in the U.S. Military”
  • Corey Holland, R.D., U.S. Department of Agriculture
    “SuperTracker User Groups: Connecting Health Professionals With Patients Through Interactive Tools”
  • Elizabeth Jarrett, M.A., Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), HHS, and Stacey Arnesen, M.S., National Library of Medicine, NIH
    “From Better Data to Effective Tools: How ASPR's Suite of Resources Promote Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery”
Moderator: Josephine Briggs, M.D., Director, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH
2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Q&A
2:45 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Panel 4: The Scientist’s Perspective: Using Digital and Social Media To Collaborate, Share Ideas, and Communicate Research to the Public
  • Margaret M. Farrell, M.P.H., R.D, National Cancer Institute, NIH
    “From Content to Collaboration: How NCI Engages Researchers and Practitioners To Implement Cancer Control and Implementation Science Research Through a Virtual Community of Practice”
  • John Didion, Ph.D., National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
    “The Electronic Lab: Technologies for Digitizing Your Data”
  • Megan Moreno, M.D., M.S.Ed., M.P.H., Seattle Children’s Research Institute
    “Using Social Media to Investigate Adolescent Health”
Moderator: Sheri Schully, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Office of Disease Prevention, NIH
3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Q&A
3:45 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Thank You and Closing

More information

Videocast: An archive of the summit is available at

Questions: If you have any additional questions, please email Yasmine Kloth.

Social Media: Use #NIHDigital to continue the conversation.

This page last reviewed on October 3, 2016