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Updated on 3/24/2011: I recently met the director of a community health organization A. Toni Young, founder and executive director of the Community Education Group here in Washington, DC. She has big dreams for harnessing the power of her clients’ health data but few resources to make the dreams come true.

I told her a bit about the Community Health Data Initiative, the Health 2.0 Developer Code-a-thons, and other examples of geeks helping out wonks. I realized that, while I track the field and get to attend all these cool events (and even serve as a judge for one health app challenge this spring), I don’t necessarily know many people on the ground.

What advice would you give to her? What resources would you recommend? Most immediately, are there any meet-ups or code-a-thons happening in the DC area this spring where she could connect with health hackers?

Here’s the list I started:

The Health 2.0 conference just wrapped up their health developer challenge tour by bringing all the winners to San Diego. Check out the teams who competed.

The DC Code-a-thon would have been a great place to meet some hackers who might be interested in a local project. Check out this article about including footage of Todd Park, CTO of HHS, talking about the “health data eco-system” at the code-a-thon (and actually, the video also features local health hacker Alan Viars sitting there at the right).

The next big health dev event on my calendar will be held on June 9 at the NIH.

Here are 3 blog posts about last year’s event, including mine:

Making Health Data Sing (Even If It’s A Familiar Song)

Community Health Data Initiative: vast amounts of health data, freed for innovators to mash up!

Making community health information as useful as weather data: Open health data from Health and Human Services is driving more than 20 new apps.

What else can we provide to a community non-profit that serves DC? Who else can I introduce her to?

With her permission I may write a separate post about the specifics of her idea, but until then let’s keep the discussion general. Pretend you just met someone who works in a clinic in your town who is curious about health apps — how would you explain it? How would you help them take their budding interest in health data to the next level?


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