Jason Salemi

The Specialists Cohort (Florida)

We are working to complete our profiles for the more than 500 nominees submitted during the month of February. If you’d like to add to this profile, please email us at: Contact@Data-Usa.org

Jason Salemi (Florida)

Dr. Jason Salemi is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in the at the University of South Florida College of Public Health and the Morsani College of Medicine. He also maintains adjunct faculty status at his former institution, Baylor College of Medicine.

“I have a demonstrated record of collaborative research, scholarly publication, teaching and advising, and participation in public health organizations and professional associations” Jason writes on his website.

“I have amassed a substantial and versatile proficiency in database development, data linkage, management, and analysis, program and systems evaluation, community engagement, and information dissemination. I am a passionate public health professional committed to solving problems and creating conditions that enable people to lead healthy, productive lives.”

Jason built a reputation in Florida as an honest, transparent and vigilant reporter of data and trends through his website and Twitter feed. Jason makes all of his data available to the public for free, and has invested countless hours in keeping Florida honest, never deterred by anti-mask, anti-vaccines and pro-government harassment. His commitment to data access, transparency and data visualization may be unmatched in the state of Florida.

Graph depicting the lag in COVID-19 death reporting in Florida on Jason’s COVID-19 tracking site.

A few words from those who nominated Jason:

“Dr. Salemi is consistent, transparent, dependable, creative, and trustworthy.”

“Non partisan data. Responsive to requests. The best in the state. Doing it for nothing but to inform.”

“With all the misinformation out there and cover-ups in our state and by our governor, Florida is lucky to have so many data heroes like Jason and Rebekah out there. They give us the truth when the government won’t!”

Click here to follow Jason on Twitter

Click here to visit Jason’s data site.

Click here to visit Jason’s personal site.

Olivier Drouin

The Professionals Cohort (Quebec, Canada)

Click above to listen to our interview with Olivier Drouin!
Olivier Drouin (Canada – Quebec)

Olivier Drouin ventured into the treacherous waters of reporting cases in COVID-19 schools when Quebec dodged the responsibility last August.

Despite the lack of transparency in many schools, Olivier worked with teachers unions, parents, and schools to produce his data analysis on COVID-19 in schools.

Infectiously kind, gracious, and humble, Olivier took on the task of reporting school cases in Quebec, much in the same way The Covid Monitor did in the United States.

Drouin appeared on “The Most Fascinating Montrealer” podcast and was featured in major news outlets for his work.

A recent research paper used Olivier’s data from Covid Ecoles to examine school cases trends in Montreal, Canada, bolstering his dutiful work and giving him substantial academic cred.

“I am a team of one – single parent of two teenage daughters and VP technology for a large company in Montreal,” Olivier said. “This is volunteer work and I have spent at least 1000 hours since August 26th, 2020.”

Olivier Drouin’s website greets visitors with a pointed note:

The mission of this citizen initiative for transparency of data on schools affected by COVID is to make information available, accessible and intelligible in real time to school stakeholders (parents, teachers, staff members).

The site uses the creativity, intelligence and know-how of the community to create content, develop ideas, solve a problem or carry out an innovative project, all at a lower cost. This approach is commonly known as crowdsourcing.

The project is based on the strength of collective intelligence using crowdsourcing. The site publishes the number of schools affected by at least one positive case of COVID since August 26th.

The information comes from the public and is validated with a copy of the letter issued by public health or the school administration. This list is an evolving and non-exhaustive list. It is updated several times a day. You can submit positive COVID cases in your schools, whether you are a parent, teacher, service center employee or citizen.

https://www.covidecolesquebec.org/
Olivier’s website, CovidEcolesQuebec.org.

Drouin, who lives on Nuns’ Island, started tweeting about the pandemic in the summer, concerned about the government’s back-to-school plan. In September, Drouin founded a volunteer website, CovidEcolesQuebec.org, posting cases of COVID-19 in schools across the province, based on letters by principals sent to him from parents. The website quickly became one of the most visited in the province.

Drouin has also advocated for better ventilation in schools, including the installation of portable air purifiers in classrooms.

“Twitter has a real-time aspect to it, contrary to other social media,” Drouin explained.

Cases by grade-level groups on Olivier’s website, CovidEcolesQuebec.org

“It is easy to connect quickly on content with experts (from) around the world on a given topic. When it came time to launch CovidEcolesQuebec.org, it was simply an extension of my community involvement and I felt it was important to create a separate account to promote the site and create a community of like-minded followers that would amplify the message and help make this crowdsourcing website a success.”

All of the data Olivier collects is public and easily accessible. Click here to download the raw data.

A few words from those who nominated Olivier:

“One parent, as a volunteer work, has been tracking all Quebec Covid cases in school since August 26th, at a time when the government was refusing to disclose the data. Using crowdsourcing method, he publishes official letters sent by school and public health to parents that confirm a case and compiles it in real time on a geospatial map. He manages also a twitter account and Facebook page. he was mentioned by elected officials at the national assembly of Quebec, covered in other 200 news media articles and name Most fascinating Montreal of 2020 by CJAD radio.”

Click here to visit Olivier’s website. Click here to access his raw data and dashboard.

Click here to follow Olivier on Twitter at his personal or Covid Ecoles handle.

Andrew Berens

The Professionals Cohort (Louisiana)

Andrew Berens, a population health and geospatial analyst with the Louisiana Department of Health, built and has maintained since March 2020 the Louisiana COVID-19 Information Dashboard.

Andrew Berens (Louisiana)

Andrew has worked to make COVID data consistently and transparently available to the public and local officials.

In addition to the public facing work, Andrew assists the state with data cleaning and processing, and he response to request for assistance from data users, making the state’s data more widely available.

A few words from those who nominated Andrew:

“Andrew worked quickly in March to establish one of the first state-level COVID dashboards when the first Louisiana case was reported, publishing one up in time to report Louisiana’s first death. Since then he has continuously worked to improve data quality and increase transparency, advocating to make high-quality data easily downloadable. Now that the vaccine rollout has begun, Andrew has stepped up on the team tasked with cleaning, enriching, validating, and reporting vaccination data as well to ensure these data are also accurately and transparently shared with the public.”

“Throughout the pandemic Andrew has worked directly with local officials, answering questions and helping to integrate state data in to their local informational products. He has also taken time to answer citizen questions regarding the dashboard, ensuring the people of Louisiana understand the data being presented.”

Click here to follow Andrew on Twitter.