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Below you will find a selection of past and present projects that represent some of McKing's many capabilities.
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The Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program (GRASP) uses geospatial science, analysis, technology, and visualization to examine the relationship between place and health. McKing developed the GRASP website to showcase the role of geospatial science in advancing ATSDR’s mission; promote the importance of the relationship between place and health; and connect the geospatial community to share information, collaborate on initiatives, and promote/facilitate the advancement of initiatives supporting the examination of place and health. The goal of the website is to highlight the role of geospatial science and technology in advancing public health research and practice for a varied audience, including the general public, researchers and students, potential partners, public health professionals, and those at all levels of knowledge about geographic information systems (GIS)—from beginners to experienced GRASP users.

McKing handled project coordination and worked collaboratively with the GRASP technology contractor on all stages of developing the website, including technology and content. McKing developed content (planning and writing), marketing, and digital media, and worked closely with the UX/UI development team. McKing is also responsible for monitoring and evaluation, survey design, data collection, and evaluating site metrics.

McKing conducted the background and research needed to develop this website. This included identifying criteria for prioritizing GRASP’s most relevant and impactful work, reviewing CDC’s sensitive topics list to identify controversial studies, conducting a content audit of existing GIS CDC/ATSDR websites, reviewing and analyzing stakeholder survey results to inform content strategy and design, finding appropriate images, and reviewing the CDC Web Policy to ensure adherence throughout development.

The website launched in September 2020; in October 2020, the website team received the CDC’s Health Literacy Hero Award in the New Initiative category.

The Need:
Personal stories told through digital media have become an increasingly effective health communication tool to engage audiences, promote positive health behaviors, and share information about effective health programs. In their mission to prevent, control, and eventually eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in the United States, the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) sought a contractor who could engage selected TB survivors, offer them messaging support, film them sharing their stories, and edit those stories for use on DTBE’s website and social media channels. In an attempt to counteract unequal TB disease burden, particularly in hard-to-reach and immigrant communities, there was an additional need to produce personal stories in other languages such as Spanish or Vietnamese. These videos could also be leveraged in the future for global eradication efforts.

Results:
McKing has provided HD video production, animation and digital photography support to DTBE, producing videos that highlight various aspects of TB (from diagnosis through treatment), focusing on survivors and their increased need for support throughout the lengthy treatment process. The TB Personal Stories shine a light on the personal experiences of both TB survivors and those working to control TB.

The Need:
Beginning in 2017, CDC sought a contractor to develop and provide support for CDC’s national Act Against AIDS community Ambassador program (rebranded to the Let’s Stop HIV Together Ambassador program in ­­­2019) with a goal of increasing awareness and use of national Act Against AIDS campaign materials and messaging. In 2017, CDC contracted with McKing to establish the Ambassador program in six cities; this included selecting and training culturally competent HIV Ambassadors with strong community ties who would be able to engage hard-to-reach audiences to innovatively promote HIV messaging. In 2019, CDC again contracted with McKing to expand the program to 20 cities identified as priority jurisdictions by HHS’s Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative.

Results:
McKing provided strategic direction, program development, and communication support for the Let’s Stop HIV Together Ambassador program (formerly Act Against AIDS) in nearly two dozen cities. We recruited, hired, and worked with a cohort of community leaders to disseminate Let’s Stop HIV Together materials and CDC HIV campaigns and resources in their respective cities. McKing developed tailored, strategic city action plans with each Ambassador to reach various community audiences; plans included an integrated communication plan and digital strategies to promote campaigns, disseminate materials, and reach at-risk audiences. Halfway through the 2019–2020 program year, in-person activities largely ceased due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, and McKing successfully transitioned Ambassador outreach efforts to a digital-first approach.

The Need:
CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) sought health communication, marketing, and project management support, including development of health communication products and marketing tools, graphic design, photography, video production, and project management for large-scale, high profile events.

Results:
McKing provides support to NCHHSTP in every topic area. Key efforts include a variety of high-profile releases across all NCHHSTP Divisions: the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS) Data Trends and Summary Report; graphic design services and infographic development for new data releases and promotion of observance days, such as STD Awareness Month and Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month. Additional efforts include educational videos for Tuberculosis screening and testing of healthcare personnel.

The Need:
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) has caused significant impairment and disability for millions of people. The pain and disability are compounded by the fact that people with these conditions are often misdiagnosed and slighted by the health care providers to whom they turn for help. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sought support to accelerate the adoption of the Institute of Medicine’s new diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS, particularly among clinicians, aiming to make the disease easier to recognize and diagnose. CDC contracted with McKing to engage stakeholders and develop a plan to best communicate the latest ME/CFS recommendations through materials and content on CDC’s website.

Results:
Based on review and analysis of the findings from multiple roundtable discussions and additional feedback from project stakeholders and participants, McKing offered recommendations for CDC to continue work on ME/CFS in three key areas: website revisions/updates; continued stakeholder engagement; and educational materials development. Based on these recommendations CDC again contracted with McKing to continue the ME/CFS educational materials project, focusing on stakeholder engagement and taking the recommendations and feedback from the first phase to develop materials for both patients with ME/CFS and medical providers.

Screenshot from Zika Care Connect homepage.The Need:
CDC sought support to improve clinical management of Zika virus infection during pregnancy and to improve access to appropriate health services—including appropriate diagnostic testing, specialized clinical care, and early intervention and developmental services—to potentially lessen the overall impact of Zika virus infection in pregnancy and improve long-term outcomes for Zika-affected children.

Results:
McKing built a healthcare professional network that included more than 1,300 healthcare professionals at 940 practice locations across the United States and US territories. The healthcare professional network was accessible through the Zika Care Connect website and HelpLine. The website included educational and informational materials; experiential approaches; interactive content; frequently asked questions; and links to resources from CDC, state and local health departments, and partner organizations. The website was available in both English and Spanish. The HelpLine was accessible both by email and by a toll-free phone line staffed during business hours and available in English and Spanish. From its launch in 2017 through December 31, 2018, a total of 17,709 unique users visited the ZCC website, and the HelpLine fielded 394 incoming communications.

McKing designed and conducted an evaluation to determine ZCC’s impact on improving access to specialized medical services for pregnant women and infants affected by Zika. The evaluation concluded that, based on the success of the ZCC program and its ability to meet program objectives, a similar framework could be used in the future to successfully establish a network of providers across a large geographic area and multiple specialties.

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International COVID-19 response support in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Angola, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic

McKing staff and consultants are supporting the response to COVID-19 around the world through international surveillance activities, training of health care staff and providers at multiple levels, spreading awareness, and improving emergency preparedness.

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Dashboard development and support

McKing staff are supporting the development of internal CDC dashboards via CDC’s PHOENIX platform. Two dashboards use USAFacts to share up-to-date, processed data for internal CDC Emergency Operations Center partners. In addition, the Mobility Data Index Dashboard helps evaluate the impact of social distancing measures and identify areas with continued social gathering and/or increased COVID-19 risk.

McKing also provides subject matter expertise and testing support for the development of Coronavirus Interactive, an external interactive dashboard website that displays a variety of important and timely COVID-19 data.

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COVID-19 internal hub

Using tools available via the ArcGIS Portal, McKing staff are configuring a custom internal COVID-19 site that will serve as the hub for all internal response efforts. The site is being built using all datasets, feature services, maps, apps, and dashboards currently in development.

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Targeted communications campaign

Despite shelter-in-place policies across the United States, we are still seeing the virus spread in some communities. Using data from dashboards (specifically the Mobility Data Index Dashboard), McKing team members are piloting a public health communications campaign targeting those with higher than average or increasing mobility.

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Media requests

The Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program (GRASP) continues to receive media requests concerning the utility of tools available for COVID-19 response efforts. A McKing team member serves as GRASP’s point of contact for all COVID-19 related media requests, including supporting requests from USA Today, Times Tribune PA, Wall Street Journal, and CalMatters.

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Case data and trend analysis

McKing team members collect and analyze daily updates from Georgia Department of Public Health to share internally with GRASP, as well as creating a comprehensive data visualization of Georgia’s archived data and trend analysis.

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Continuing programmatic work

While shifting gears to focus on the evolving needs of the COVID-19 response, the McKing team continues to support existing programmatic work. The fulfilment of regular tasks is critical during this activation to ensure that programs are able to quickly and efficiently resume normal operations when needed.

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Copyright 2021 McKing Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2021 McKing Corporation. All Rights Reserved.