August 25, 2009

WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine professor appointed to World Health Organization technology project

Katherine Cauley, Ph.D., is sole U.S. representative for three-year international project

DAYTON, Ohio-Modern technology is greatly improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease, but patients in resource-scarce areas worldwide often lack access to even basic health technology. In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global initiative to address this disparity, and a Wright State University professor is playing a key role.

Katherine Cauley, Ph.D., associate professor of community health with the WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine and director of the school's Center for Healthy Communities, was selected to serve on the WHO Expert Advisory Group for Innovative Technologies for the "Global Initiative on Health Technologies" project. Cauley is the only U.S. representative to the group.

The goal of the project is to bring the benefits of core health technologies to resource-scarce areas of the world. The project is organized by the Department of Essential Technologies within the WHO Division of Health Systems and Services and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

As a member of the Expert Advisory Committee for the project, Cauley joins representatives of 23 countries spanning North, Central and South America, as well as Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Committee members will collaborate to identify health issues in resource-scarce regions that are likely to respond to health technologies, to solicit business and industry proposals to apply those technologies and to determine which proposals will move forward in partnership with the WHO.

The three-year project began with a meeting in Singapore in June to review current health issues and potential technology solutions. In 2010 the committee will reconvene in Copenhagen to review proposals submitted from business and industry.

Cauley's expertise in innovative health technologies centers around her involvement with the Nationwide Health Information Network Cooperative, a group of all federal agencies and 15 non-federal organizations serving as National Health Information Exchanges. In the greater Dayton area, HealthLink RHIO is the National Health Information Exchange. HealthLink RHIO maintains the HealthLink Information Exchange or HIEx™ for health and social services providers. The HIEx system is an electronic shared community health record that facilitates exchange of information across provider offices to improve care quality and reduce costs, particularly for underserved community members.

Editor's note: For more information or to schedule an interview contact: Phillip Neal, Marketing and Communications, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, (937) 775-4587 or phillip.neal@wright.edu.