TEPHINET Launches TEPHIConnect, a New Platform to Link FETP Alumni

From the Ebola outbreak to the spread of the Zika virus, never has there been a greater need to facilitate collaboration among Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) alumni, who are the "boots on the ground" in the fight against diseases across the globe. 

Over the last several years, TEPHINET donors and partners have been exploring innovative surveillance, including the use of nontraditional media soures of information such as social and mass media. From the need to connect--and more methods than ever to do so--came the idea for a global FETP alumni network. Although there are an estimated 6,500 FETP alumni working worldwide, there is no global-level alumni network currently in place.

TEPHINET is leading the development of such a network through the establishment of an online platform, called TEPHIConnect, with input from the Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) and support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a steering committee comprised of global partners representing FETPs in each region. "The success of this project really depends on the support of our regional partners and FETPs," says Miriam Alderman, deputy director of TEPHINET.

More than just another social network like LinkedIn or Facebook, TEPHIConnect provides a powerful tool that allows for targeted information, including travel and event information, to be shared with the right people. "Our expectation is that TEPHINET's alumni platform will result in increased sharing of job and training opportunities for regional technical assistance, mentorship, outbreak detection and rapid response," says Dionisio Herrera, director of TEPHINET.

TEPHINET will launch TEPHIConnect on Monday, August 7 at the 9th TEPHINET Global Scientific Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand. "TEPHINET is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and as more and more fellows are trained through our member FETPs, it helps us to understand what our alumni are doing," says Brendan Crosby, a project manager for TEPHINET. "With TEPHINET's growth, this project is a way to promote the work of our FETP graduates and share information and ideas."

Visit TEPHIConnect at www.tephiconnect.org.

Attendees of the 9th TEPHINET Global Scientific Conference: Don't miss the TEPHIConnect launch presentation from 3:30-4:00 p.m. in the Empress Grand Hall! In addition, stop by the TEPHIConnect tables on the 2nd and 3rd floors to see the platform in action, learn more, and sign up! FETP alumni who sign up at the tables can enter a contest to win a prize. 

For questions about TEPHIConnect, please contact Mr. Brendan Crosby, TEPHIConnect Project Manager, at bcrosby@tephinet.org.