The power of Health IT: Dr. Amy Sheon welcomed to Ohio State for CATALYST Research Seminar 


By Tyler Griesenbrock
CATALYST scientific editor


Dr. Amy Sheon, the founding Executive Director of the Urban Health Initiative at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, will visit The Ohio State University on Wednesday, July 31, for the second edition of the CATALYST Research Seminar.

Her presentation, titled “Divides and Disconnects: Leveraging the Power of Health IT to Improve Care and Improve Health,” is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in Conference Room 531 of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research building, the home of CATALYST: The Center for the Advancement of Team Science, Analytics, and Systems Thinking in Health Services and Implementation Science Research.

"Health IT offers potentially transformative opportunities to achieve the triple aim of better care, better health and reduced cost," Dr. Sheon wrote in a description of her seminar. "Having discovered the social determinants of health, health care systems are applying algorithms and machine learning to connect patients to social services to address factors that impede health. Yet those well versed in public health efforts can predict the failure of these strategies with pretty high confidence. At the same time, effective solutions may be hiding in plain sight."

Dr. Sheon said that during her presentation, she will share approaches her team is using to improve population health and reduce health disparities.

In addition to serving as the founding Executive Director of the Urban Health Initiative since 2011, Dr. Sheon started, and now co-directs with Dr. Scott Frank, Cleveland & Cuyahoga Health Data Matters, an open data portal for both lay and expert users.

According to her profile, "she has also led the creation of the Neighborhood Immersion for Compassion and Empathy (NICE) Virtual Reality simulation to enable health care providers to walk in the shoes of patients living in highly segregated neighborhoods characterized by generational poverty, racism and lack of opportunity. In addition, she has pioneered an approached to patient engagement through patient screening, referral and brief intervention to address gaps in digital literacy and connectivity. Bringing new technology to bear on emerging public health crises has been a running theme of her career, from conducting survey research on HIV/AIDS in Africa to developing a model for statewide childhood obesity surveillance."

Dr. Sheon has previously worked at the National Institutes of Health, the Altarum Institute, and the University of Michigan. She received a PhD in Public Health from the Bloomberg School at Johns Hopkins University, an MPH at the University of Michigan, and a BA at Cornell University. She is an advisory board member for numerous nonprofits, such as the Network of Digital Evidence for Health (NODE.Health), Connect Your Community, and Connected Insights. She consults with health systems and technology firms through Public Health Innovators LLC.

For more from Dr. Sheon, follow her on Twitter @AmySheon or on LinkedIn at