By Mrs. Lyn Kukral (Army Medicine)October 5, 2010
The U.S. Army Public Health Command (Provisional) launched its new website today, making Army-related public health information more accessible to Soldiers and retirees, their families, Army civilians, and medical and other professional colleagues.
"Our mission is to promote health and prevent disease, injury and disability in the Army family," said Shawn Bowman, site content manager. "To that end, we've reorganized our content to help our users get to public health information in a more ordered fashion than our old site did, and to encourage them to communicate with us about what they need."
The site is a collaborative effort between USAPHC's Health Information Operations, Information Systems, and Visual Information divisions. Content covering healthy living, deployment and environmental health, health surveillance and evaluation, diseases and conditions, food and drinking water protection, workplace health, animal medicine and more has been contributed by all of the organization's technical directorates.
Visitors should find this content more accessible.
"Consistent global navigation allows visitors to access any page on the site in four clicks or less," said Marilyn Swantkowski-Hughes, a visual information specialist who developed the site's content structure.
"As a result of research, we have organized content and built features that support the different methods our site visitors use when accessing and making sense of our information," she added.
"People no longer need to understand our organizational structure to find information," said Jason Edmondson, an Information Management specialist who led the IM team. "By using key features of SharePoint & trade; [the software on which the site is based], we're better able to serve up relevant information to our customers, especially through the search function."
In addition to new organization and a powerful search function, the site boasts a new appearance and enhanced e-catalog for ordering public health and prevention products.
The development team also has built in better ways to ensure content stays timely.
"Unlike our old site, the new site gives our content managers the ability to keep their content current," Edmondson said. "Our old site had content from as far back as the early 1990s-a cardinal sin-but the new site will automatically remove most content from user access after one year if it is not certified or updated."
The site's creators take special pride in its appearance.
"The site's home page welcomes visitors with new branding, a clean uncluttered design, and moving images with featured content," Bowman said.
"Additionally, the new site will more actively engage our customers through the use of ... social networking sites that allow for feedback and discussions," he added. "We also offer RSS feeds that will push new and updated information to users in real time."
Links and bookmarks to content on the old site will be redirected to the new home page. Visitors can then update their links and bookmarks.
Visit the new USAPHC (Prov) website and provide comments at http://phc.amedd.army.mil.