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  Distinguished Achievement Awards:
California Healthcare Foundation, Eysenbach, Fox, Greene, Kreps, Rainie, Sands

The California Healthcare Foundation has been developing and supporting useful projects in online consumer health for many years. Their e-health efforts, under the direction of chief information officer Sam Karp, continue to enrich the field. Their free daily news service, iHealthBeat (www.ihealthbeat.org) is the best way to keep up with new developments in online health. Some of the most useful reports in the field can be found at their Web site (www.chcf.org) and clicking on iHealth & Technology. And while you're there, be sure to check out their many interesting e-health projects, e.g., a Web site that allows families to apply online for publicly funded health insurance for their children.

Gunther Eysenbach carries a German passport, lives and works in Toronto, and spends his summers studying at Harvard's School of Public Health. He is one of the most productive researchers, editors, and publishers in the online health field. His Journal of Medical Internet Research (jmir.org) is the only peer-reviewed electronic e-health journal indexed by MEDLINE. JMIR publishes studies and scholarly articles on e-health and is a good place for aspiring e-health researchers to submit their work. You can check out dozens of his recent publications (in English and German), review his ongoing research projects, and view his personal photo gallery at his home page: http://yi.com/home/EysenbachGunther/

Susannah Fox is Director of Research at the Pew Internet & American Life Project. She is the primary author of the Pew reports on Online Health. These include The Online Health Care Revolution: How the Web helps Americans take better care of themselves (November 26, 2000) and Vital Decisions: How Internet users decide what information to trust when they or their loved ones are sick (May 22, 2002). These and all the other Pew reports are available at www.pewinternet.org.

Pediatrician Alan Greene and his wife Cheryl Greene started Dr. Greene's Housecalls (drgreene.com) in 1995 to offer additional medical information to the families at their pediatric practice. Today, the site receives more than two million hits per month. Dr. Greene makes himself available for real-time online consultations via live chat for an hour a day, five days a week. And even though he devotes just 15 hours a week to it, the site provides ongoing care for more than 100,000 unique families a month. The Greenes have created the most important model to date to show how the "free online doctor" model can be used to provide medical care to thousands at a surprisingly modest cost.

Gary Kreps, a distinguished communications scholar and educator, and a prolific author and editor, currently serves as chief of the National Cancer Institute's Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch. He has done a great deal to bring online consumer health onto the radar screens of policymakers, medical and academic researchers, and federal officials. Gary recently served as head honcho and host for a recent NCI-funded American Medical Informatics Association workshop on consumer health informatics. His program is a potential source of funding for innovative online health projects concerned with cancer.

Harrison "Lee" Rainie is Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project (www.pewinternet.org), a research institute funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew Internet Project explores the social impact of the Internet on the lives of Americans via phone and online surveys. Since its creation in early 2000, Rainie and colleagues have published more than 50 reports (and dozens of shorter news bulletins) describing how Americans use the Internet. Reports explore topics ranging from Online Communities, Online Seniors, and Online Teenagers, to the ways Americans used the Internet after the attacks on the World Trade Center. These reports have become a major source for journalists and researchers interested in the Internet and online communications.

Internist and online health specialist Danny Sands, at Harvard's Center for Clinical Computing and Boston's CareGroup Healthcare System, is the Webmaster for the Electronic Patient Centered Communication Resource Center (www.e-pcc.org), the best source of information on electronic communications between clinicians and patients. The site offers tips for physicians, tips for patients, and several sets of guidelines for developing clinic-based systems for provider-patient e-mail. Dr. Sands provides links to the best medical journal articles, to other centers that make extensive use of e-mail with patients, to related news stories, professional organizations, and companies, and other useful goodies. Highly recommended for researchers interested in doctor-patient e-mail and for professionals interested in developing online patient services.

Published in The Ferguson Report, Number 9, September 2002


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Copyright © 1999-2003 Tom Ferguson, M.D. The Ferguson Report is a free e-mail newsletter published at unpredictable intervals for the friends and associates of Tom Ferguson. ISSN 1520-5487