Public Health IT and Open Source Software | Focus at GOSCON 2008

I’m happy to report GOSCON this year is featuring more government open source projects and implementations that ever.  I’m especially excited about our Open Public Health IT track which covers the spectrum between local and international governments and vendors.  GOSCON is all about building the IT ecosystem and I’m pleased to say this will be an outstanding showcase innovative work done by agencies as thoughtful stewards of our tax dollars.  Enough said.  Here’s the press release in full for your perusal:

(okay – must add….  you can read the case study for the Health Atlas Ireland project on the web site).

Portland, Ore. – September 18, 2008 – Deb Bryant, Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) director, announced today that the fourth annual 2008 conference will feature an Open Public Health IT track to explore both a strategic direction for open source in the public health sector as well as real-world applications that are in use today by agencies around the world.
For the first time, GOSCON is bringing together thought leaders in government, open source, and public health who will share their deep, practical experience in public health, enterprise architectures, standards, as well as open source tools and methodologies as they are applied to this domain.  According to Bryant, “Exciting developments are taking place in public health IT world-wide. The growing use of open source in public health IT projects and application development is one of the most important trends we’ve seen in the last five years.  With increased economic pressures and an aging population, governments and vendors are collaborating in new ways.  This is transformational technology and a fresh approach to public-private partnerships that serve the pubic well.”
The GOSCON Open Public Health IT track features an executive panel that will discuss the potential implications of current initiatives around the Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) as well as frameworks for interoperability, funding models, data sharing, and privacy. Rick Howard (CIO, Oregon Department of Human Services), Bernard Golden (CEO, Navica), and Kathleen Connor (Principal Program Manager, Health Solutions Group, Microsoft Corp.) will participate.
An award-winning application developed by the Health Service Executive in Ireland (HSE) to support health service planning, epidemiology, and environmental incident management will be presented, as will TriSano® an open source citizen-focused disease surveillance application developed as a collaborative project with Collaborative Software Initiative and the State of Utah. In addition, lessons learned in transitioning from proprietary software to OpenELIS, an open enterprise laboratory information system, will be presented.
“We’re excited about the promise that macro trends like open source offer to Oregon’s health and human services delivery systems,” says Rick Howard, CIO for the Oregon Department of Human Services. “We’re currently looking for the best approach to the challenges of customizing and supporting open source. GOSCON helps us find solutions by bringing public health agency executives together to learn about important projects and build relationships that can lead to productive collaborations.”
Stuart Cohen, CEO of Collaborative Software Initiative (CSI), adds: “Over the past four years, GOSCON has proven itself to be the platform where important projects are born.  This year’s conference highlights the advances we’ve made in building new collaborative models that create user-centric solutions at a fraction of the cost, nurturing innovative solutions to complex issues.”
Event Details
Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON 2008)
Transforming the delivery of government services
October 20, 2008 – International Open ICT Summit
October 21-22 – GOSCON 2008
October 23 – “Tour de Lab” at Oregon State University Open Source Lab
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Portland Downtown-Convention Center
Portland, Oregon USA
Price and registration:
International Open ICT Summit: US$125 early registration for employees in the Government or public sector; US$225 for private sector attendees
GOSCON 2-day conference: $225 early registration for employees in the Government or public sector; US$325 for private sector attendees. Includes 3 tracks: Management, Implementation, Open Public Health IT
Tour de Lab: US$125 all participants
Participants can register for each event individually, or register for all three and receive a discount. Early registration ends September 26, 2008. For more information and to register, please visit
About the Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON)
Now in its fourth year, GOSCON stands unrivaled as an open source software conference targeted specifically to agency CIOs and management-level personnel, their planning, policy and procurement staff. This year the conference is extending its reach to meet growing interest among the international community by conducting the first annual International Open Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Summit on October 20th.
GOSCON provides a unique educational forum for government IT executives to understand both the business case and practical applications for open source software solutions in transforming the delivery of government services. Government agencies and their development partners will discuss lessons learned in the creation and integration of open source solutions into real-world environments.  A demonstration hall will provide attendees with an opportunity to view projects and available products and services. The conference will close with a tour of the Oregon State University Open Source Lab.
About the Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSL)
The Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSL) creates a unique atmosphere of innovation for students, faculty, and staff by providing an open, diverse environment for development and collaboration. As part of its mission, the OSL offers a professional hosting environment to the open source community, as well as software development services to industry.  With its world-class infrastructure, the OSL hosts and supports some of the world’s largest open source projects such as the Linux Kernel, Plone, Drupal, Gentoo, Debian, Apache, The FOSSology Project, and OpenOffice. Its outreach and educational programs include GOSCON, the Government Open Source Conference.

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