Minutes of Public Health Information Group meeting in Estoril June 18th 2010
Public Health Information Special Interest Group PHIG Business Meeting
Friday 18th June, 10.45—12.15, Estoril Congress Centre, Auditorium
Co-Chairs: Päivi Pekkarinen (Finland), Sue Thomas (UK)
Secretary: Katri Larmo (Finland)
1. Welcome and introductions
Co-Chair of Public Health Information Special Interest Group Päivi Pekkarinen (Finland) opened the meeting
and welcomed all the colleagues attending the business meeting.
2. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Tomas Allen (Switzerland).
3. Adoption of the agenda
The agenda as proposed was adopted by the meeting.
EAHIL Board has prepared new section on subgroups for addition to the EAHIL Rules of Procedure. There is a
new clause about the officers in special interest groups: “Each subgroup must have a chair and secretary.
These officers must be chosen by the subgroup for a term of office of four years with the option of re-
PHIG Co-chair Päivi Pekkarinen will retire in the near future and therefore she will be leaving her post as co-
chair. Tomas Allen (WHO, Switzerland) had agreed to be a candidate for co-chairing the group with Sue
Thomas (UK). The meeting unanimously chose Tomas as co-chair of the group.
5. Report of the Business meeting in Dublin 3rd June 2009
The report of the business meeting held at the Dublin Workshop in June 2009 was accepted as an accurate
6. Review of what was agreed in Dublin
Gaby Caro (WHO, Switzerland) told about the advancements in HINARI. A HINARI training materials page has
been published: http://www.who.int/hinari/training/en/. In addition there has been a lot of training
concerning HINARI. Here in Estoril/Lisbon Caby gave a CEC “HINARI - Training the trainers: promoting HINARI
among international visitors from eligible countries” with Lenny Rhine (USA). 13 enthusiastic participants
attended the course.
Public health concepts definition survey
At the Public Health Information Special Interest Group in Helsinki in June 2008, the meeting agreed to take
action on a research area to explore the different definitions of public health and related terms as these are
used by countries and organizations across Europe and some other countries. Tomas Allen from the World
Health Organization Geneva volunteered to lead on this work. He invited members of EAHIL to share the
definitions that either their own organization or the national public health organization in their country use.
Some of the results has now been published at the group’s homepages: http://www.eahil.net/PHIG-
Projects.html. Tomas is also planning to make a new round of survey.
Web pages: Delicious
Based on idea woken at the PHIG officers meeting in Helsinki in November (more about the meeting, see
Journal of EAHIL 1/2010, p. 36), PHIG secretary Katri Larmo has set up an EAHIL PHIG Delicious account
(http://delicious.com/EAHIL_PHIG). All PHIG and EAHIL members are invited to participate in updating the
PHIG's Delicious with public health related links. Please contact Katri Larmo (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a
password and further information. Also a SlideShare account for EAHIL PHIG has been established.
Web pages: Blog
Sue presented the idea of a public health information related blog. The blog could be used for discussion and
changing ideas as well as activating our group members. The meeting stated that keeping a blog will take
some work and commitment, but by sharing the writing responsibilities it is possible to keep a blog
interesting and live. Our new co-chairs Sue and Tomas will be co-authoring the blog, alongside all other PHIG
members who are willing to participate.
8. Global Health Library Hot Topics Partnership
Tony McSean presented the current situation of the Global Health Library Hot Topics and possible models for
EAHIL PHIG’s partnership in it. (The issue has been discussed earlier in Journal of EAHIL issues 1/2010 and
2/2010). Tony informed us that the Global Health Library project at WHO has some financial difficulties at the
moment. Therefore the group has three possible choices: not take part at all to the project, take part to the
project and do the hot topics in PHIG’s own web pages or to take part and co-operate with Medical Library
Association, which is also considering taking part to Global Health Library Hot Topics.
The group discussed about the issue: what are hot topics and how they are defined. We came to the
conclusion that anything can be a hot topic and that hot topics can be different in different countries and
continents. Since basically anything can be a hot topic, we should concentrate on collecting links to
organizations and sources which produce reliable public health information.
The issue will be discussed further also with Tomas Allen and MLA’s representatives. Sue and Tomas will take
the issue also to our next meeting in Istanbul.
7. Consumer Health Information in PHIG
Ivana Truccolo expressed her contentment with the results of the survey that stated that consumer health
issues will be handled within PHIG, in Ivana’s lead. Ivana presented the current topics regarding consumer
health information. She highlighted the importance and quality of communication with patients. It was
agreed that it would be important to involve more and more even public libraries to serving needs of
patients. Anamarija Rozic (Slovenia) informed the group that in Slovenia the Slovenian Central Medical
Library has just this spring agreed on co-operation and public health information transfer with public
libraries. It was agreed that PHIG’s Delicious could also be used to collect patient organizations links.
9. Istanbul workshop session
Tomas Allen is working in the IPC of Istanbul Workshop, so our group has good chances of getting e.g. a
public health parallel session to the program.
10. Any other business
At the end of the meeting the group addressed its many compliments to Päivi Pekkarinen who has been a
one of the main forces in setting up the Public Health Information Group and has been doing excellent work
as co-chair of PHIG. Päivi agreed to still follow the PHIG’s activities and also have a role in the blog as past co-
Päivi and Sue thanked all those present for their contribution and closed the meeting at 12.15.