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NSU Center Designated as World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Consumer Health Informatics

Kevin Clauson, Pharm.D.

The Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research (CCHIR) at Nova Southeastern University has been designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a WHO Collaborating Center in Consumer Health Informatics. This represents the first such Collaborating Center designation by the WHO specific to consumer health informatics in the world. The CCHIR (pronounced see-ker, as in seeking knowledge and answers) is part of the Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

This designation of the CCHIR reflects its record of innovation and expertise as well as a history of jointly planned efforts with the WHO. The designation was made, in part, to tap into the expertise at the CCHIR for its contributions to the development of a consumer health informatics research agenda with the WHO. As a WHO Collaborating Center, the CCHIR also becomes part of an international collaborative network carrying out activities in support of WHO’s programs.

Consumer health informatics is the patient-centric branch of informatics that marries technology and healthcare to help patients manage their health, either alone or in conjunction with healthcare professionals. “We know that patients are the most underutilized asset in healthcare,” said Kevin A. Clauson, Pharm.D., who serves as director of the Center. “We also know that much of health actually occurs outside of the healthcare system. Fortunately, emerging technologies like mHealth allow us to reach patients where they are and to reach out to patients who traditionally suffer from health disparities.”

Other activities of the CCHIR in its role as a WHO Collaborating Center include continued efforts investigating online health-related risks in concert with the Global Observatory for eHealth at the WHO as well as working in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in creating international postgraduate training opportunities in health informatics and in evaluating the roles of mobile health (mHealth).

“It is an honor to be designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre and join an international collaborative community focused on improving health. I feel it is also a testament to the foundation laid by Nova Southeastern University in this field. We are excited to see what the future brings and to help highlight what consumer health informatics has to offer,” said Clauson.