University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Public Health 

2001 Summer Public Health Research Videoconference
on Minority Health 

Final Report 

Minority Health Project*





Videotape requests




The 2001 Videoconference was held June 18 - 22, 2001, with presentations from 11 nationally-known speakers.  William D. Hobson, M.S, Associate Administrator, Bureau of Primary Care, Health Resources and Services and Camara P. Jones, M.D., M.P.H., PhD, Research Director on Social Determinants of Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the opening  and Keynote presentations, respectively (see appendix A, Agenda). Publicity was carried out primarily through email announcements to a list of about 6,000 addresses and several list serves.  The number of participating sites (143) reached a new record (see appendix B, Satellite downlink sites).  The sign-in sheets from the 93 sites that returned them contained signatures from 886 individuals.  The 1,647 evaluation forms from the 102 sites that returned them indicated an average daily attendance of 329, with forms submitted by about 611 different people.  About 90% agreed that the Videoconference was “very valuable” and that they would “highly recommend” it (tabulations are in appendix C, Site facilitator evaluation results and appendix D, Participant evaluation results). 


This year the Project did not have funding to webcast the Videoconference.  However, elected to webcast, transcribe, and archive two of the presentations.  Although we did not have a sponsor for production of complimentary videotapes this year (NCHS produced over 700 sets last year), we received 35 requests for videotapes or complete sets (see appendix E, Videotape requests).  The Videoconference was funded through the UNC Center for Health Statistics Research (funded by the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC), the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC, via a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health ($48,000), an administrative supplement from the National Institute on Drug Abuse ($20,000), a contribution from the Dean's Office of the School of Public Health ($20,000), and a contribution from GlaxoSmithKline ($5,000).  The Minority Health Project also assisted with organizing and publicizing the broadcast of portions of the 23rd Annual School of Public Health Minority Health Conference in February 2001 to 64 satellite downlink sites plus Internet viewers.

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The Minority Health Project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill developed a course on minority health research in 1994 and presented it for the first time as part of the University of Michigan Summer Epidemiology Program.  Since then the course has been presented as a five-day Institute and/or interactive Videoconference at the UNC School of Public Health.  The first three Institutes (1995, 1996, and 1997) were each attended by approximately 60 participants.  The afternoon sessions from the 1997 Institute were also broadcast via satellite to over 20 remote sites, from which participants could ask questions and make comments by telephone, fax, and electronic mail.  In 1998 and 1999 the combined all-day Institute and afternoon Videoconference were held in the Mayes Telecommunications Center to facilitate videoconferencing, though the location also limited the number of on-site participants to about 24.  In June 2000, funding constraints permitted holding only the afternoon Videoconference.  Nevertheless the number of participants greatly exceeded the total number for to date, thanks to a dramatic expansion in the number of remote sites.

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Participating sites

The extent of interest in this year's Videoconference was again impressive.  Registrations were received through the Videoconference web site from 185 sites in 46 states in the continental United States plus the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Universities and colleges, including community colleges, comprised the largest group, with state and local health departments the next largest.  Almost all sites were open to the public, without charge. Sixteen sites signed up solely for the purpose of taping the Videoconference for later use, generally because they were not in session in June.


Registered sites

Type of organization

Number (%)

University or college*

67 (36%)

State government

42 (22%)

Local health department

41 (22%)

Other research organization

3 (1%)

Other (e.g., Area Health Education Center)

17 (9%)

Federal government

13 (7%)

Other local government





* (including 7 minority-serving colleges and universities: Diné College, Meharry Medical School, North Carolina A&T, Salish Kootenai College, Spelman College, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, University of Texas – Pan American)

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About a quarter of the sites (48) learned about the Videoconference through an e-mail announcement from a listserv; about a fifth learned about it from an e-mail sent from the Minority Health Project (20%), the Project's web site (11%), another web site (4%), or a printed announcement (7%).  (Most of the other sites that provided information for this question said that they had been told about it or received a request from a faculty member, administrator, or some other person.  Several mentioned that they had participated in previous Summer Public Health Research Videoconferences.)  Eighty percent of technical coordinators and 72% of site facilitators said that they would like to receive announcements about future events.  The list of participating sites, covering 42 states plus the District of Colombia, appears in Appendix B.

Participating sites

Type of organization

Number (%)*

University or college

54 (37%)

State government

30 (21%)

Local health department

32 (22%)

Other (e.g., Area Health Education Center)

14 (10%)

Federal government

 9  (6%)

Other local government

 3  (2%)

Other research organization

   1 (0.6%)

Total (%'s do not add to 100% due to rounding)

143 (100%)

*16 of these sites were taping only; 14 had no participants

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Audience size

Sign-in sheets and/or participant evaluation forms were received from 102 sites.  The former documented 886 unique participants.  About one in four was a student.  The table below lists the sites with more than 20 participants.  There were 32 sites with 10-19 participants, and 58 with 1-9 participants.  Several did not provide sign-in sheets or evaluation forms but in response to our follow-up queries did report having some participants, so the actual number is somewhat greater than 886. If some of the 16 sites that were taping only show the tapes at least once, the total audience size could be considerably greater. 

Note: there were about 45 telephone calls of at least 1-minute in length plus quite a few shorter ones on the phone bill from the Mayes Center.  Predictably, Monday and Friday had the fewest, perhaps 1/3 less than on other days.

Participating sites with more than 20 participants

Type of organization


University of Pittsburgh


UNC-CH School of Public Health


University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ


Univ of Texas Center for Health Promotion / Disease Prevention Research


Texas Department of Health / Office of Minority Health


NYC  DOH - Bureau of Medical and Professional Education


Lincoln University Cooperative Extension


Rhode Island Department of Health/Office of Minority Health


UTHSCSA Hispanic Center of Excellence


* who attended at any time during the week

Evaluation forms

Site Facilitator Evaluations

Site facilitator evaluations were returned by 84 of the site facilitators, including 13 who were taping only.  These forms included questions about site characteristics, participant involvement, and Videoconference organization. The vast majority of the evaluations came from the Eastern (37%) or Central Time Zones (35%), with small percentages from the Pacific (6%), and Mountain (5%) Zones.  Most respondents reported that they did not experience problems receiving the broadcast.

Based on the responses, 73% of the sites had participants who were public health professionals; 32% had participants who were faculty, teachers, and/or researchers; 29% had clinicians in attendance; 33% had students; and 19% had community members.  Most of the facilitators agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements regarding participants:

            Participants at my site seemed engaged during the videoconference. (80%)

            Participants found the material interesting and important. (82%)

Overall, the site facilitators agreed that the conference was well-organized and informative.  The majority (about 81%) of the respondents indicated that they would recommend this conference to others and would like to have a site in 2002. Appendix C provides a detailed tabulation.

Participant Evaluations,

A total of 1,647 (average 329/day) participant evaluation forms were received (14% fewer than in 2000).  The largest number of forms for all five days came from NYC-DOH, Bureau of Medical and Professional Education and Training (69), Texas Department of Health / Office of Minority Health and Cultural Competency (63), UTHSCSA- Hispanic Center for Excellence (52), Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (46), and the Univ. of OK - College of Public Health, UIC School of Public Health, and University of Pittsburgh, with 44 each.

Participant evaluation forms included questions about each day's session overall, about each speaker's presentation, and about the Videoconference overall (to be answered on the last day the participant attended).  All items were answered on the following scale: 1="Strongly agree", 2="Agree", 3="Neutral", 4="Disagree", 5="Strongly disagree".   The forms also asked how many days the participant had attended.

The following table shows the distribution of number of days attended recorded on 1,647 forms and, by subtraction, the distribution of days of attendance (this works because a participant present for 3 days must also have bee present for 2, etc.).  On this basis a minimum (because of missing data) of 611 distinct individuals completed one or more evaluation forms, 69% of the number of unique persons on the sign-in sheets.  Since the evaluation form apparently came from only 610 of the 886 participants who signed attendance forms, the average daily attendance must have been above 380.

Estimate of number of unique participants and number of days attended by each,
based on evaluation forms completed by 54% of participants

Number of days








Number of forms








Unique participants








* includes 236 forms that did not indicate the number of days attended



The overall ratings, which participants were to complete only on their last day of attendance, were extremely positive.  Approximately 90% of participants endorsed the two summative statements:

“Overall, the Videoconference was very valuable.” (51% “strongly agree”, 40% “agree”)

“I highly recommend the Videoconference.” (53% “strongly agree”, 35% “agree”).

Similarly, across the five days about 90% of respondents checked "agree" or "strongly agree" for the statements:

            Overall, this was an effective day of the videoconference 

            The topics covered today were appropriate for this videoconference

with mean ratings across the five days ranging from 1.4-1.9 for these two items. Technical quality (picture, sound) and site facilitators received similarly good ratings.

Not surprisingly, given the Videoconference format, respondents had only moderately favorable opinions about the convenience of asking questions.  Only 62% agreed that they could ask questions conveniently; 32% were "Neutral", almost identical as the preceding year.  The very high variability across sites (means ranged from 1 to 5, with a median of 2.1 and a third quartile of 2.5) suggests that the problems were related to local access to a telephone, fax, and/or e‑mail.

All speakers were rated highly or outstandingly with regard to the appropriateness of their presentation as well as clarity and understandability.  Ratings were somewhat lower for the quality of presentation materials (81% agreed or strongly agreed that they were effective).  A continuing problem, mentioned in comments, has been the difficulty of obtaining copies of slides sufficiently in advance for sites to print and distribute them before the presentations.  Detailed tabulations are presented in Appendix D.

Continuing education credits

This year, as an experiment, arrangements were made to offer continuing education credits (CEU’s) to remote participants.  In the past such credits have been available to remote participants only from the institutions hosting downlink sites.  The School of Public Health’s Office of Continuing Education in the North Carolina Institute for Public Health secured the approval of the Institute and the submission of CEU application information to the University's Office of Continuing Education.  Nineteen remote participants applied for CEU’s through a form the Project posted on its web site.

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Internet broadcast

This year we did not have available funding to broadcast the Institute over the Internet.  However, requested permission to rebroadcast, transcribe, and archive two of the presentations as a Health Cast:  the Keynote Lecture by Dr. Jones and the presentation by Felicia Hodge, Dr.P.H. (which itself was a rebroadcast of her 1999 presentation, since she was unable to make a new presentation due to illness).  We do not have audience information from the, but the presentations themselves remain archived at: (this link can be reached from

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Videotape requests

Thirty-four requests for individual or sets of videotapes were received.  Most orders were accompanied by payment ($12 per tape or $100 per set of 10 tapes).  Two sets were requested from abroad (see tabulation in Appendix E).

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Web site (

The web site served as the primary means of disseminating detailed information, registering sites, publicizing the location of downlink sites, distributing copies of instructor slides and other materials, distributing publicity materials and evaluation forms to sites that registered after our single mailing, registering on-site participants, receiving requests for tapes, and registering participants wishing to receive continuing education credits.  We are extremely grateful to the School's Information and Instructional Systems unit for hosting the web site and assisting us with its operation without charge.

The Project's web site continues to provide a central location to find out about all minority health-related activities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a large selection of minority health-related activities elsewhere.  The pages of links to other organizations and the announcements, events, and reports pages continue to be expanded.

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Minority Health Conference satellite broadcast and web cast

In January 2001, the NC State Health Director, Dr. A. Dennis McBride, offered to sponsor the satellite and web broadcast of portions of the student-led 23rd Annual School of Public Health Minority Health Conference.  The Minority Health Project publicized this activity and registered downlink sites through our web site.  Although the announcement went out only two weeks before the Conference, 64 downlink sites registered for the broadcast.

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Credits and acknowledgements

Videoconference Co-directors    

Trude A. Bennett, DrPH
Dorothy C. Browne, MSW, DrPH
Victor J. Schoenbach, PhD

Program Assistants  

Pam DeShazo
Amy Shively

Graduate Assistants

Kyna K. McCullough, MPH
Chandra Ford, MPH, MLIS
Lisa Pullen, MSPH
Olga Sarmiento, MD, MPH

Video production  

Lewis E. Binkowski
Martin Melvin

Computer Support  

Jeno M. Bratts
Thomas P. Morris
Peter Starback

Graphics Design  

Kimberly McClain

Videoconference Sites  

Site facilitators and technical coordinators


CDC National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, in cooperation with the Association of Schools of Public Health


UNC Center for Health Statistics Research, CDC NCHS contract UR6/CCU417428-01 (William D. Kalsbeek, Ph.D., Principal Investigator)


UNC School of Public Health
Dean's Office (William L. Roper, MD, MPH, Dean)
Information and Instructional Systems


UNC Department of Maternal and Child Health (Pierre Buekens, M.D., M.P.H., Chair)


National Institute on Drug Abuse
Special Populations Office
Medical Consequences Unit of the Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse



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* Department of Maternal and Child Health, Rosenau Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450, 919‑843‑6758, 919‑966‑0458 fax,,

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Overview of the 2001 Videoconference

Previous Videoconferences

Minority Health Project home page


Reportonthe2001videoconf.doc  2/8/2002, 05/29/02raj