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North Carolina Public Health Association - Review Panel

How two organizations planning one major conference collaborated with ease

Every year, the North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA) teams up with the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCPH) to host the Public Health Leaders’ Conference, a two-day event designed to bring together the state’s top public health leaders. 

Twice as many minds and hands to plan an event sounds great, doesn’t it? And it is! But there’s one big challenge that comes with two organizations planning one conference, and that’s real-time updates and visibility into what the other one is working on at the time.

Kim Dittmann, Public Health Administrator at NCPHA, explained that in years past, the North Carolina Division of Public Health would collect printed speaker applications via mail, scan them, and then send them over to Dittmann at NCPHA, who was then responsible for following up with the applicants and letting them know if they’d been selected or not. But since the applications were all handwritten, Dittmann would have to manually enter all of that information in an Excel spreadsheet. And once that was done, she would then have to copy and paste the applicants’ email addresses into her Outlook account to email them all individually. (Talk about time-consuming!) 

In January of 2019, Dittmann and the NCPHA team decided to use MemberClicks’ Review Panel for the first time to collect speaker applications. Receiving the abstracts electronically made it much easier for Dittmann to not only see where in the review process applications stood, but to contact the submitters and let them know if they’d been selected or not. 

“Review Panel consolidates everything, giving me more control over the collection and review process,” said Dittmann. “It gives me the visibility I need to complete my work efficiently.”

But that’s not all Dittmann and the NCPHA team like about MemberClicks’ Review Panel. Another much-appreciated feature during this process was the anonymity of the submitters. “Previously, we could see who submitted what, and you never know if that could unconsciously bias people.” That, combined with the fact that reviewers could see each other’s comments, made collaboration much easier, especially for a team whose members were spread out across the state.

And speaking of the team, Dittmann was extremely pleased with how easy it was for everyone to learn and use Review Panel. “I didn’t have to give reviewers much guidance at all, aside from simple instructions, and I hardly received any questions.”

NCPHA has been so pleased with MemberClicks’ Review Panel that they’ve also used it to collect abstracts for another major conference...and plan to continue doing so for events to come!