Tiffany Tate: Advancing Public Health Through Technology


PUBLISHED: March 19, 2024
Tiffany Tate, of PrepMod

The COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented disruption to both the global economy and health care industry, spurring on the demand for innovation and digital transformation in public health. Tiffany Tate sought to fulfill that demand by marrying public health with technology through the creation of PrepMod—an end-to-end mass vaccination application.

As the pandemic swept the globe, the need for PrepMod became more critical than ever. Tate says the system was a lifeline for health care providers and claims it helped facilitate the administration of vaccinations across 44 states. She credits the “tireless efforts” and “unfaltering commitment” from her team for garnering recognition and praise for her initiative.

When Tate looks back on her journey to starting PrepMod, she reflects on her childhood. Born and raised in California, the public health technologist says the unwavering support from her parents and brothers nurtured her creativity and fearlessness. She recalls having a knack for innovation from an early age, fueled by her family’s encouragement to pursue her passions without constraints. Tate feels this foundation of support laid the groundwork for her future endeavors in public health.

Tate’s path led her to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she developed a deep-seated passion for immunizations and vaccines while earning a master of health science. She says this passion became her guide for her transformative journey. Meanwhile, Tate’s love for Baltimore—the city where she first discovered the complexities of public health—kept her rooted in the local community.

Her life took a significant turn when she identified a pressing need for an efficient vaccine distribution system considering the needs of people who were elderly, pregnant or with a child who should get vaccinated on time. Drawing on her knowledge and expertise, Tate launched PrepMod, a software solution she designed to streamline vaccine appointment scheduling and data reporting. Recognizing its potential impact, the State of Maryland adopted the system, which eventually catapulted Tate’s creation into widespread use across the United States.

Besides her work with PrepMod, Tate has spearheaded initiatives providing essential health services in schools, churches and long-term care facilities, demonstrating her dedication to empowering underserved communities. Not one to accept the status quo, she also sought to develop an electronic consent collection system with the goal of revolutionizing the way health services are accessed and delivered. “In the age of technology, why would you use pen, paper, and fax machines for these urgent health care jobs?” Tate says.

Tate feels her impact extends beyond her professional achievements. As an African American woman, she believes she has a deep responsibility to provide opportunities for people of color and other marginalized communities. Recognizing the importance of representation in the tech industry, Tate has championed diversity and inclusion initiatives within her organization. For example, PrepMod offers an internship program geared toward women, minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. Through efforts like this, the founder hopes to inspire future generations of innovators and changemakers.

Inspired by a trip to Ghana, Tate shares about launching Dzata Tech Partners, a program intended to train young Ghanaian people to become software developers. “I met so many young people with so much potential but with so little opportunity,” Tate says. “I decided to use this rare opportunity to be able to nurture more public health technologists.” She hopes to recruit more trainees for her upcoming trade mission to Central America.

Tate says her impact has not gone unnoticed. The Baltimore Sun recently honored her as one of the “25 Black Marylanders to Watch,” celebrating her contributions to improving the health and well-being of communities across the state.

The founder’s ultimate goal is to advance public health through technology on a global scale. She envisions a future where solutions like PrepMod are accessible to all, transcending geographical boundaries and socioeconomic barriers. “The more people have access, the more lives can be saved,” Tate says. “I want this to be amplified.”

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