During the summer of 2019, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) formed the Center for Improving the Public’s Health Using Informatics (CIPHI, pronounced “Sci Fi”)  jointly supported by the Department of Biomedical Informatics and the Institute for Medicine and Public Health including the Center for Health Services Research.

VUMC selected two co-directors: Michael Matheny, MD, MS, MPH, and Melissa McPheeters, PhD, MPH. Their mandate was to focus on providing a bridge between public health and health care to mutually develop and test critical informatics capacity for improving population health and expanding critically needed capacity in graduate education in public health informatics.

CIPHI's original intent was to coordinate with state and national public health agencies to offer services and expertise in developing key informatics and analytics capacity and to develop new research programs and expand research faculty capacity, particularly in the areas of public health reporting and data exchange with health care, integration and use of evolving data systems, real-time predictive analytics, population surveillance and risk-adjustment and medical product surveillance.