UW Center for Public Health Informatics

By improving our information strategies and technologies, we can improve the public's health.

Our Mission

Creating a robust interdisciplinary environment for conducting innovative information interventions and technologies research to improve the health of the public.

Who We Are

The Center for Public Health Informatics (CPHI) is affiliated with the School of Public Health and with informatics programs in the Schools of Nursing and Medicine, at the University of Washington in Seattle. We partner with CPHI members from Washington State Department of Health to support local, state, regional, and national priorities.

What We Do

We work to enhance the effective application of information systems and technologies for practice, research, and learning. Faculty from diverse disciplines throughout the University and beyond collaborate locally, nationally and internationally to prevent disease and improve health through information systems research and development, and public health workforce capacity development.

Highlights of CPHI

FHIR 2020

In fall of 2020 we invited faculty, staff, students, administrators, and software developers from clinical, research, and public health disciplines to learn about the healthcare data standard FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), the related technologies of SMART and CDS Hooks, and their use in health informatics applications supporting both clinical care, research, and public health practice. Attendees gained a foundational understanding for how to work within FHIR and an overview of how FHIR has been used to facilitate and manage healthcare innovation within healthcare organizations as well as research and public health settings.

FHIR 2018

In the fall of 2018 we held a technical tutorial and workshop on the healthcare data standard FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources). We taught participants about the FHIR standard, the related SMART and CDS Hooks standards, the tools available to develop applications that use FHIR, and methods to develop applications for clinical use. The tutorial will cover beginning to intermediate material. It was hands-on, with interactive exercises. See details for prerequisites.

The second day was a workshop featuring panels and talks to de-mystify FHIR’s potential applications, contextualize how FHIR can enable healthcare organizations to manage their technological innovation, learn how the major EHR vendors are supporting FHIR in their customer and developer ecosystems, and explore specific topics relating to the deployment, management, and use of FHIR and it’s related technologies. Nothing needed besides general knowledge of health IT, and enthusiasm for new methods.


The CDC formed a working group, consisting of public health professionals, informaticians, and educators from a number of different organizations, to define Competencies for Public Health Informaticians. The set of competencies developed by this working group was validated by external review both by experts and public comment. These informatics competencies should provide a useful starting point to develop learning resources for public health informatics professionals at both the entry and senior level. Proficiency in these Competencies will directly assist today's public health professionals to leverage the power of modern information technology in the science and practice of public health.

This work was carried out during 2005-07 with Bryant Karras, MD, as principal investigator and was facilitated by Jac Davies, MS, MPH. The project was convened by Denise Koo, MD, MPH, director of the Career Development Division in the Office of Workforce and Career Development (OWCD) at the CDC. It was supported through an Association of Schools of Public Health - CDC cooperative agreement with the University of Washington's Center for Public Health Informatics

CPHI's 2009 Competencies work built on the earlier "Informatics Competencies for Public Health Professionals" led by Dr. Patrick O'Carroll, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, University of Washington, Janise Richards at CDC, and others, who developed an initial consensus set of public health informatics competencies (released August 2002)

PHI 2008

Envisioning Options for Integrated Public Health Information Systems for Low Resource Settings: Components, Connections, Partners, Strategies

CPHI and the Global PHI Partnership partnered with individuals and governmental and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the private sector to develop strategies for addressing health challenges in low resource settings around the world using information and communication technologies and systems.

PHI 2007

Creating a Global Partnership in Public Health Informatics

CPHI and the Global PHI Partnership sponsored an inaugural meeting in Seattle to help shape an agenda for public health and global health informatics


Core Publications from the UW Center for Public Health Informatics


University of Washington

Bill Lober, MD MS
Health Informatics and Global Health

Janet Baseman, PhD MPH

Mark Oberle, MD MPH
Professor Emeritus
Health Systems and Population Health

Sherrilynne S. Fuller, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Biomedical Informatics

Washington State
Department of Health

Bryant Thomas Karras, MD
Chief Medical Informatics Officer


Walter H. Curioso, MD MPH

Jac Davies, MS MPH

Jason N. Doctor, PhD

Peter Dunbar, PhD

James L. Gale, MD

Dick Hoskins, PhD, MPH

Ann M. Kimball, MD, MPH

John Kobayashi, MD

Thomas Lumley, PhD

David Masuda, MD, MS

Patrick O'Carroll, MD MPH

Ian Painter, PhD

Thomas H. Payne, MD

Neal Rambo, MLS

Judith Ramey, PhD

Debra Revere, MLIS MA

Andreas S. Stergachis, PhD RPh

Anne M. Turner, MD MLIS MPH