Open Data Meetup Sparks Collaboration

On Aug. 28, Dell Medical School and the City of Austin convened around a unique topic: how data captured through the City of Austin’s Open Data Portal can support health-related projects and programs at Dell Medical School. The event, an Open Data Meetup, was an initial opportunity to collaborate and identify linkages around data and community health.

The meeting included notable support from both organizations, including Clay Johnston, dean of Dell Medical School; Mini Kahlon, vice dean of the Health Ecosystem at Dell Med; Bill Tierney, chair of the Department of Population Health at Dell Med; Stephen Elkins, chief information officer for the City of Austin; and Sly Majid, chief service officer for the City of Austin.

After the welcoming remarks, representatives from the City of Austin demonstrated the Public Information Request process and how to utilize the Open Data Portal, with the goal of sharing foundational information about data that is captured through the city and generate ideas about how this information can be utilized for health.

Representatives from Dell Medical School shared about projects and programs focused on community and population health, with ties to social determinants of health and data not traditionally affiliated with health. The attendees then moved into breakout sessions where the two organizations facilitated conversations around the projects and programs, including:

Everyone came back together to share insights from the discussions and concluded with final remarks. By the end of the meeting, there was excitement about the discussions and ability to learn about connections in our work and goals. As part of the event development and the meeting itself, our team enjoyed reflecting on the following specific elements.

Partnering with the City of Austin around data. As the Data Integration team, we are continuously examining ways to support health and patient care through the interoperability of data systems. Collaborating with the Open Data team at the City of Austin has been very rewarding as we work with a group just as enthusiastic about examining applications of data to promote the health of our community.

Excitement and support for the event. There was an excellent turn out for the event, including participants from a diverse range of departments at the City of Austin, Dell Medical School and other partner organizations. And it was especially inspiring to see the engagement of the participants, and the openness of the groups to come together to think about ways we can support the health of our community as a group.

What is to come. It has been very inspiring to consider what partnerships may develop through this new type of collaboration between the City of Austin and Dell Medical School. We hope through this meeting and future engagements, we can help strengthen relationships and develop ideas about how to serve our community and promote the health of our city.

Even within this last year, we are encouraged by looking back on the opportunities to partner with others. And it is especially exciting to consider how these relationships and collaborations will evolve over time between Dell Medical School and the City of Austin to work together around data and health.

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