*Funded by DIMACS and the UMDNJ Academic Partnership for Environmental Public Health Tracking (1 U19 EH000 CDC grant).
The goal of this conference is to bring together representatives of communities, government and academia to begin a discussion on innovative strategies for addressing and investigation disease clusters. It is hoped that through this series of lectures, discussions, and workgroup sessions, we will be able to identify topics and activities based on past experience that make use of new ideas, methods and technology to better address this vexing problem.
Day 1: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2 PM - 5 PM
An introductory workshop on cluster investigation for those less familiar with how clusters are defined, the nuts and bolts of how clusters are identified, and how investigation results are interpreted.
Day 2: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 9 AM - 5 PM
A community/government/academia dialogue on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities with the current practice in cluster investigations
Day 3: Thursday, May 8, 2008 9 AM - 12:30 PM
A summary of the latest methodologic and statistical developments in cluster investigations, from improved and expanded scan statistics to broad-scale surveillance to comparisons of methods and identification of when best to use each.
Funded by DIMACS and the UMDNJ Academic Partnership for Environmental Public Health Tracking.
Tuesday May 6, 2008 1:00 - 2:00 Registration 2:00 - 5:00 Pre-Workshop Training: The Investigation of Disease Clusters Dan Wartenberg Dona Schneider Andrew Lawson 1. Introduction to Clusters: History and Context 2. The Practice of Cluster Investigation 3. The Analytic Methods of Cluster Investigations 4. The Media and Community Perspectives on Cluster Investigations 5. Some Statistical Considerations and Ideas for More Effective Responses to Clusters Wednesday, May 7, 2008 8:15 - 9:00 Breakfast and Registration 9:00 - 9:15 Welcome Dan Wartenberg, Chief, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, UMDNJ and EOHSI Mel Janowitz, DIMACS Associate Director 9:15 - 9:30 Scope of Goals of the Conference Dan Wartenberg, UMDNJ Credibility for community/government/academia collaboration to review cluster investigation strategies and recommend improvements Facilitate dialogue between scientists, community representatives and health department staff to encourage innovative and creative thinking and appropriate methods PART 1: Getting Oriented on Cluster Investigations 9:30 - 9:45 Cluster Investigations: A Community View Jane Williams, Exec. Dir., California Coalition Against Toxics 9:45 - 10:00 The Need and Benefits of a Government-community Partnership Response Model to Excessive Environmental Disease Concentrations Dee Lewis, National Disease Cluster Alliance (NDCA) 10:00 - 10:15 Cluster Investigations: A Health Department View Jerald Fagliano, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services 10:15 - 10:30 Cluster Investigation: Logistic and Methodologic Challenges Geoff Jacquez, Biomedware, Inc. 10:30 - 11:00 Discussion 11:00 - 11:15 Coffee Break 11:15 - 12:00 From the Headlines: 'Eight Cancer Clusters Discovered in Delaware (April 24, 2008) Allison Shevock, Delaware Division of Public Health 12:00 - 1:00 LUNCH PART 2: Critical Issues for Improving Cluster Response/Investigation 1:00 - 1:20 Community and Health Department Perception of Cluster Related Information Caron Chess, Rutgers University 1:20 - 1:30 Discussion 1:30 - 1:50 Parsing Cluster Activities: Response, Surveillance and Etiology Dan Wartenberg, UMDNJ 1:50 - 2:00 Discussion 2:00 - 2:20 Cluster Detection by Active Assessment of Regional or National Incidence Data Richard McNally, University of Newcastle 2:20 - 2:30 Discussion 2:30 - 3:00 Coffee Break 3:00 - 3:20 Using P-Values for Making Cluster Investigation Decision: Appropriate Prioritization or Misrepresentation Dan Wartenberg, UMDNJ 3:20 - 3:30 Discussion 3:30 - 3:50 A Brief Overview of Geospatial Methods and Software for Cluster Evaluation Eric Roberts, California Department of Health Servces 3:50 - 4:00 Discussion 4:00 - 4:20 Replacing Old Paradigms with New Frontiers for Investigation Jane Williams, Exec. Dir., California Coalition Against Toxics Amy Kyle, Univ. of California, Berkeley 4:20 - 5:00 Discussion 5:00 - 6:00 Wine and Cheese Reception 6:00 Dinner on your Own (form groups/we'll suggest restaurants) Thursday, May 8, 2008 8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast and Registration PART 3: New Developments in Analytic Methodology for Cluster Investigations 9:00 - 9:30 An Overview of the Most Effective Methods Andrew Lawson, University of South Carolina 9:30 - 9:40 Discussion 9:40 - 10:00 Developments in Scan Statistics Lan Huang, NCI 10:00 - 10:10 Discussion 10:10 - 10:40 Adjustments for Local Multiplicity with Scan Statistics Ron Gangnon, University of Wisconsin 10:40 - 10:50 Discussion 10:50 - 11:10 Coffee Break 11:10 - 11:20 Are Disease Cluster Investigations Biased Towards False Positives? The Shape of Things to Come Geoff Jacquez, Biomedware 11:20 - 11:40 Discussion 11:40 - 12:20 Methods for Analysing Global Clustering of Disease Richard McNally, University of Newcastle 12:20 - 12:30 WRAP UP Dan Wartenberg 12:30 ADJOURNMENT and LUNCHLinks to Newspaper Articles