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Northrop Grumman, Georgia Tech Support Global Public Health Mission

Posted March 3, 2010 | Atlanta

Northrop Grumman Corporation today announced the formation of a University Global Alliance Program (UGAP) to unite higher education and the private sector for the purpose of accelerating the application of thought leadership to global public health informatics, policy development, strategic planning, programmatic implementation, and evaluation.

Five premier organizations — Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, The Satcher Leadership Institute of Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia State University, and the Colorado School of Public Health — comprise the initial alliance membership. The universities were chosen for their innovative research in public health and their strong interest in advancing public health practice through applied technology and informatics.

Professors Ozlem Ergun, Pinar Keskinocak, and Julie Swann, co-directors of the Health and Humanitarian Logistics Center, and Professor Dave Goldsman are part of the team that will represent the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech.

"The opportunities for health and humanitarian response in the world are vast. Constrained resources, uncertainty in demand and supply, and many other variables in these settings make quantitative analysis and mathematical modeling excellent tools for decision support," said Swann. "We are excited to work with the University Global Alliance Program as we continue to expand our role in research, education, and multi-organizational collaboration in the vast field of health care."

Members of the UGAP will participate in Northrop Grumman contract work, coordinate research projects, share information and best practices, develop curricula, author joint case studies/white papers, and benefit from learning opportunities within the public health community.

Ergun, Keskinocak, and Swann have worked on a variety of projects including disease modeling and intervention strategies, modeling and optimizing hospital/clinic operations, healthcare policies, allocation of scarce resources for improved health outcomes and emergency response. They have also developed and adapted methodologies for solving complex problems in health and humanitarian logistics including forecasting, mitigation strategies, inventory planning, and decentralized decision making while they mentor graduate students and develop cross-discipline research collaborations for maximum impact.

On March 4–5, 2010, the Georgia Tech team is hosting the annual Health and Humanitarian Logistics Conference. The main objectives of the conference are to articulate the opportunities and challenges in humanitarian response and world health, both from a humanitarian and a corporate/economic perspective; to identify important research issues; to create academic awareness for the research opportunities; and to establish priorities for NGOs, corporations, and the government in terms of their strategies, policies, and investments. Please visit the conference website ( for full details and to access the proceedings from last year's event.

"Northrop Grumman has been in the health information technology domain for more than 20 years, and this is an exciting time in our nation's history for advancements in this field," said Amy King, Northrop Grumman's vice president of health information technology programs. "A critical component of applying best-of-breed techniques includes the need to access leaders in such areas as informing health economics, measuring effectiveness of public health interventions, and monitoring and evaluating programs for the sustainment of public health operations in developing areas. The availability of experts in the application of these techniques resides in both academic institutions and private industry."

Northrop Grumman's UGAP interlocks private industry and academic capabilities to address the scarcity of public health informatics resources globally and find solutions to solve global and domestic public health problems.

"The solutions to certain types of public health problems can be more rapidly discovered and better implemented when varied resources are brought together in a collaborative fashion," said Nancy Nelson, director of public health for Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector. "The UGAP supports the mission of public health practice by bridging the gap between academic and industry capabilities and translating academic thinking into tangible technology solutions that address public health information management challenges."

The partnership program utilizes Northrop Grumman's Public Health Research and Demonstration Center in Atlanta, a state-of-the-art public health technology research and development facility. Through the lab, Northrop Grumman develops technology to support strategic public health initiatives, including disease surveillance such as H1N1, health data analysis and visualization, modeling and simulation of disease and climate effects, and collaboration across the global health community.

UGAP will provide students with practical experience to better prepare public health graduates entering the workforce, as well as strengthen the talent pool for public health informatics. Northrop Grumman employees will gain continuing education opportunities through the member institutions.

Northrop Grumman is a trusted integrator of advanced health solutions, including health and benefits systems management and information security. The company's services span the public health, healthcare delivery, and life sciences domains and include cutting-edge information exchange for electronic health records, Web-enabled workflow processing and large-scale information management.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding, and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

For more information contact:

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

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