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MMWR Staff

Sonja A. Rasmussen, MD, MS
Director, Division of Public Health Information and Dissemination (proposed)
Editor-in-Chief, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services
Office of Public Health Scientific Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Dr. Sonja Rasmussen is the Director of the Division of Public Health Information and Dissemination (proposed) and the Editor-in-Chief of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Since joining CDC in 1998, Dr. Rasmussen has provided significant scientific expertise and leadership. She held several positions in the National Center on Birth Defects and Development Disabilities (NCBDD) including Medical Officer, Associate Director for Science, and Senior Scientist. While at NCBDD, she worked collaboratively with other experts across CDC on pandemic planning efforts for pregnant women that guided CDC recommendations for pregnant women during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. During 2011–2014, she served as Deputy Director of the Influenza Coordination Unit, which is responsible for CDC’s pandemic influenza preparedness from strategy through implementation. Most recently, Dr. Rasmussen served as the Acting Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR), the office responsible for CDC's public health preparedness and response activities, including CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Dr. Rasmussen received a BS degree in biology and mathematics from the University of Minnesota from the University of Minnesota-Duluth (graduating magna cum laude), an MS degree in medical genetics from the University of Wisconsin, and an MD degree with honors from the University of Florida. She completed a pediatrics residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in clinical genetics at Johns Hopkins and the University of Florida. She is board certified in pediatrics and clinical genetics and has authored or coauthored over 190 peer-reviewed papers.

Dr. Rasmussen enjoys spending time with her husband (also a CDC employee) and their two college-aged children. The family loves to run and hike in the north Georgia mountains.

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Charlotte K. Kent, PhD, MPH
Executive Editor, MMWR
Chief, Scientific Publications Branch

Charlotte Kent, PhD, has 24 years of public health experience, working internationally as the Director of the AIDS Epidemiology Unit for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health in Bern, Switzerland, during 1990-1991; at the local level as the Chief, Epidemiology Unit, STD Prevention and Control Services at the San Francisco Department of Public Health for 15 years; and for 4 years with CDC as the Chief of the Health Services Research and Evaluation Branch in the Division of STD Prevention. During her tenure in San Francisco, Dr. Kent was the principal investigator on numerous CDC Cooperative Agreements related to surveillance and multi-site research projects. Dr. Kent received her PhD in Epidemiology and her MPH in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California Berkeley, and her BA in Anthropology from Amherst College. Her bibliography includes more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, MMWR articles, and book chapters related to Community Health, STDs, HIV, H1N1 and Correctional Settings. She has received numerous awards at CDC, including the CDC & ATSDR Honor Award for Excellence in Quantitative Sciences; the Kaafee Billah Memorial Award, Honoring Excellence in Economic Research; and the Charles C. Shepard Science Award.

Dr. Kent is married to a fellow epidemiologist, who is an outstanding methodologist and trusted advisor. Their two teenage sons enjoy building robots for competitions, and Dr. Kent serves as a mentor for their robotics team. The family also enjoys traveling together.

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Christine G. Casey, MD
Editor, MMWR Serials

Christine Casey, MD, joined the Morbidity, Mortality and Weekly Report (MMWR) as its inaugural Deputy Editor in May 2009. She previously served as Senior Medical Advisor to CDC’s Chief Science Officer and Associate Director for Science. She initially joined CDC in 2001 and also served as a staff medical officer in the Immunization Safety Office and Office of Public Health Research. Dr. Casey served as the U.S. Public Health Service (alternate) delegate to the American Medical Association and was a past contributor to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Red Book. Dr. Casey has been an invited peer reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Lancet, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Clinical Infectious Diseases, and Vaccine. She is active in the Council of Science Editors by serving as the co-chair Program Committee of the 2014 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Casey received her medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and completed her residency training at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. She is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics. Following a clinical billet with the U.S. Coast Guard, Dr. Casey held leadership roles during disaster responses to the World Trade Center terrorist attack and to Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Casey earned a bachelor of science degree in economics and psychology from American University, Washington, D.C., and began her scientific career at the National Institutes of Health and the California Institute of Technology by participating in laboratory research of visual pathways and neuronal growth cone differentiation.

Dr. Casey cherishes spending time with her husband and two teenagers. She loves to cook, has completed seven half-marathons and two sprint triathlons, and enjoys reading historical fiction.

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Teresa F. Rutledge
Managing Editor, MMWR Series
Deputy Chief, Scientific Publications Branch (proposed)

Teresa Rutledge has served as managing editor of MMWR, since March 2008. She is responsible for overseeing content, format, and daily operations of the highly publicized, well-respected epidemiologic bulletin. Teresa joined CDC and MMWR in 1991 and has remained with MMWR for more than 20 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Georgia State University.

Teresa's original major in college was accounting, but she discovered her passion for journalism and writing during her early days at MMWR as a work-study student. She quickly changed her major to journalism, and the rest is history. Teresa is the longest tenured staff member at MMWR.

Teresa enjoys reading romance and suspense novels, traveling, and spending time with friends and family, especially her son and daughter.

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Douglas W. Weatherwax
Technical Writer-Editor (Team Lead)

As lead technical writer-editor for MMWR, Doug Weatherwax is responsible for assigning all reports to writer-editors, planning each weekly issue, editing reports each week, and responding to questions from contributors and readers regarding MMWR publication policies, procedures, and practices. Doug came to CDC in 2002, joining the MMWR team on the serial publications side, before moving to the weekly in 2003. He became team lead for the weekly in 2004.

A lifelong communications professional, Doug was formerly managing editor of a weekly newspaper in Florida. He also was a reporter, columnist, and section editor for a daily newspaper in Illinois, and served as a senior editor and advertising manager for a manufacturer in Chicago, where he designed, wrote, and desktop-published a broad range of corporate, marketing, and employee communications.

Doug enjoys hiking and watching football games on the weekends.

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Jude C. Rutledge

Jude Rutledge has served as a writer-editor for MMWR since 2002.

Jude earned a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Iowa, where he majored in history and religious studies. He then spent several years in Prague, Czech Republic, where he taught English at the Czech Technical University (ČVUT) and served as in-house editor for the ČVUT Graduate Department of Control Engineering, Polytechna Consulting, and Pfizer Pharmaceutical. In 2000, he returned to the United States for graduate studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

Jude lives in Talking Rock, Georgia, with his wife, Sara.

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David C. Johnson
Technical Writer-Editor (Serial Publications Team Lead)

David Johnson is acting team lead for MMWR's serial publications (i.e., Recommendations and Reports, Surveillance Summaries, and Summary of Notifiable Diseases). In addition, he selects the content, writes the scripts, and arranges the guests for MMWR's weekly podcasts.

David has been with MMWR since January 1992 and has served as a technical writer and team lead for both the weekly and serial publications.

David earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. Before coming to CDC, he was a reporter and editor with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a public relations manager with the Atlanta Market Center.

David enjoys hiking with his son.

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Jeffrey D. Sokolow
Technical Writer-Editor

Jeffrey (Jeff) Sokolow is a technical writer-editor with the MMWR. He is currently a project editor for the MMWR serials publications. Before joining CDC in 2002, he was an editor with a human resources management company. Before coming to Georgia in 1992, he was the director of a nonprofit foundation working with college students at the University of California–Santa Cruz, a program director for a community center in San Francisco, and an instructor of English composition and English as a second language at San Francisco State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University.

In his spare time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, reading literature and history, listening to folk music, cooking, and traveling.

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Cathy Bricker Lansdowne
Technical Writer-Editor

Cathy Bricker Lansdowne is a technical writer-editor for MMWR. She joined CDC in 2004 as an editor for the journal Preventing Chronic Disease and moved to MMWR in 2006.

Cathy has been a science editor for more than 15 years, many of which were spent editing for publishers of medical, allied health, and psychology textbooks, including the health sciences publisher Elsevier and the American Psychological Association. She has edited books on a range of topics, including genetics, veterinary medicine, stroke, cardiology, occupational and physical therapy, emergency medicine, infectious disease, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) psychotherapy, self-injurious behavior, child neglect and abuse, and health psychology.

Cathy earned a master’s degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and a bachelor's degree in English and American literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Cathy and her husband, Rob, live in Marietta and have three children, Harrison, Griffin, and Lucy.

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Denise Williams
Technical Writer-Editor

Denise Williams joined MMWR as a technical writer-editor in 2011. She is currently a project editor for the MMWR serial publications. She began working for CDC in 2007 as a writer-editor in the Division of Creative Services, and has worked on health communications in the areas of infectious and foodborne disease, as well as communications related to various emergency operations center events and exercises including H1N1, the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and hazardous weather exercises and events. Also, while working in the Office of the Chief of Staff in the Office of the CDC Director, Denise co-led the effort to produce the 2012 release of the CDC Correspondence Manual.

Denise has an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Aviation/Marketing and a bachelor’s degree in Public Management from Florida A&M University. She started her career as an Administrative Officer/Public Affairs Officer in the United States Navy.

Denise has two daughters and two small breed dogs. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, creative writing, reading, photography, and cooking.

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Martha F. Boyd
Health Communications Specialist (Desktop Publishing Team Lead)

Martha Boyd is the lead for the MMWR desktop publishing team. Before coming to MMWR in 2008, Martha worked for the Division of Creative Services Graphic Services Branch as lead for the publications team.

Martha began working at CDC in March 1987, as a visual information specialist in the Management Analysis and Services Office (MASO). Before joining CDC, she was employed by the Department of the Army as an illustrator. Martha earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Augusta State University.

Outside of CDC, Martha’s life revolves around her teenage twins.

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Terraye Starr
Information Technology Specialist

Terraye Starr joined the MMWR staff in May 2009 as an Information Technology Specialist (desktop publisher). Prior to joining CDC, she worked for First Army and Army Research Laboratory. She has over twenty years of federal government service.

Terraye earned her first bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, where she majored in computers and information sciences. Since she always had a love for graphic design, she decided to obtain second bachelors in visual communications from American InterContinental University.

Terraye and her husband, Russell live in McDonough and have one child, Morgan. When not working, Terraye enjoys spending time with her family, reading, sports and shopping.

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Stephen R. Spriggs
Visual Information Specialist

Steve Spriggs joined the MMWR staff in February 2012 as a Visual Information Specialist (desktop publisher). Before joining CDC, Steve was Director of Communications for FourSquare Research, a market research company serving non-profits. Steve spent 13 years with Unisys Corporation as Group Leader Graphics in their Presentation Services department. He has nearly 30 years of experience in graphic design and desktop publishing.

Steve has coached girls’ fast-pitch softball for 12 years. He also enjoys music, movies, and reading.

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Julia Choate Martinroe
Visual Information Specialist (Contractor)

Julia Choate Martinroe is contracted to CDC through Karna, LLC and serves the MMWR team as a visual information specialist. With more than two decades of professional experience as a graphic designer, Julia also has a technical background that includes an early career as a systems programmer in the banking industry and, more recently, as a web developer and web designer focused on content management systems.

Julia is an active member of the Atlanta Yacht Club, where she enjoys racing Thistles (a one-design sailboat). She has a lifelong love of the outdoors, having spent several years as a river guide and kayaking instructor in western North Carolina. Julia was raised in the tree-filled neighborhood of Druid Hills, right here in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Maureen A. Leahy
Visual Information Specialist (Contractor)

In 2011, Maureen joined CDC’s MMWR as a contractor for Karna, LLC. Before joining MMWR, she was self-employed for 20+ years. Operating her business as Leahy Design, Maureen’s partial client list included a broad spectrum of Corporate, Non-profit, and Creative entities such as: The High Museum of Art, The Atlanta Opera, The Carter Center, Emory University, Emory Healthcare, Georgia Tech, Delta, and Coca Cola. Her professional career started with Heery International Architects & Engineers in the graphics group.

Maureen is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications Design, with extensive studies in Marketing Management. She has been honored with both national and regional design awards. These awards were submitted by her clients in their own competitive arenas.

As the daughter of an Irish immigrant, she has dual citizenship. She loves music and art, and in her spare time, she has explored painterly photography, knitting, painting, and letterpress printing. Her most recent letterpress printing was done on a turn of the century letterpress. During the weather window of not too hot–not too cold, she loves to imagine her back garden reaching its potential and digging in the dirt. Above all, she is most thankful for her two amazing children and tolerant (engineer) husband.

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Quang M. Doan
Web Manager (Contractor)

Quang Doan is a Web Manager working for MMWR as a contractor with Karna, LLC. He came to CDC in October 2001. His duties include web development, programming, and MMWR Continuing Education database development. Before joining MMWR, he worked with such firms as IMS Health, Security First Network Bank, Webtone Technologies, Atlanta Property and Casualty Insurance, Anthem Blue cross and Blue shield of CT and Policy Management System Corporation.

Quang earned a bachelor’s degree in information systems at Georgia State University and a master's degree in finance from Kennesaw State University.

When not working, Quang enjoys taking photographs and plays with his two dogs and three children.

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Phyllis H. King
Web Developer (Contractor)

Phyllis King is a Web Developer working for MMWR as a contractor with Karna, LLC. She has worked in the IT field for 20+ years as a Programmer/Analyst and Web Developer as a contractor for various agencies within the federal government.

Phyllis earned a BBA in Business Information Systems from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. She lives in Lilburn, Georgia with her husband and two sons. She enjoys spending time with her family, sports, and baking.

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Barbara A. Stallworth
Program Specialist

Barbara Stallworth serves as the Continuing Education coordinator for MMWR and the National Center for Health Marketing (NCHM). Barbara came to CDC in 1991. She joined MMWR in 1999, after having worked for the National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. Barbara serves as the documentum administrator for NCHM, which manages CDC electronic clearance. She also is responsible for planning the MMWR Editorial Board meetings each year, and other administrative tasks in the office. Barbara earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Augusta State University.

Barbara enjoys reading mystery novels, seeing good movies, attending plays, traveling, and spending time with her granddaughter, Angelica.

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Billie Lester
Data Analyst/Administrative Assistant (Contractor)

Billie Lester, BBA, is a Data Analyst/Administrative Assistant working for MMWR as a contractor with Karna, LLC. Billie has been working at CDC since 2004, providing programmatic, administrative, and data entry management support to several key programs. Billie’s many years of government experience has led her to provide direct administrative and programmatic support to Directors, Deputy Directors, and Compliance Officers.

Before joining MMWR in May 2014, Billie spent 6 years providing data control management support to CDC’s Division of Select Agent and Toxins. At MMWR, her duties include responding to requests from email and phone inquiries, preparing travel arrangements, and preparing the weekly forecasting report, among her other duties as the administrative assistant.

Billie recently received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is looking forward to continuing her education towards a Master’s Degree program. In her spare time, she loves planning and hosting events, networking, and spending time with her 3 children and 2 grandsons.

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Jamey S. Giddens
Editorial Assistant

Jamey S. Giddens is the editorial assistant for MMWR. In addition to performing various administrative tasks, he assists the writer-editors with copy editing references to AMA and MMWR stylebooks and with writing summary blurbs and photo captions for the MMWR website.

Jamey joined the MMWR staff in June 2008. Before moving to Atlanta, he worked as a public affairs specialist for the Department of the Army in South Texas. He also worked for Lee Enterprises, the fourth largest newspaper conglomerate in North America, headquartered in Davenport, Iowa.

Jamey earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Southern Arkansas University, where he double-majored in print and broadcast journalism.

In his spare time, Jamey can likely be found at Borders reading the first few chapters of the latest book by David Sedaris or Chelsea Handler before making a decision to buy.

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Robert P. Gaynes, MD
MMWR Podcast Host

Robert Gaynes is the MMWR podcast host. Before retiring from CDC in 2008, Dr. Gaynes was Medical Epidemiologist in the Office of the Director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and an Associate Professor at Emory University School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Gaynes attended the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. He was an EIS Officer in Hospital Infections Program and also received training in infectious diseases at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics. He served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Hospital Epidemiologist at the University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor, MI. He also was the Chief of the Surveillance Activity, Hospital Infections Program and Director of the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance (NNIS) System.

Dr. Gaynes has recently spent time working on Clinical Decision Support and the Computerized Medical Record System at the Atlanta VA Hospital. He is Chair of the Infection Control Committee at the Atlanta VA Hospital. Currently, he works primarily on antimicrobial resistance/use, including surveillance of antimicrobial resistance connected to healthcare, identification and control of antimicrobial resistant infections, and the prevention of monitoring and preventing healthcare-associated infections at the Atlanta VA Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Gaynes is a Fellow in the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and a Fellow in the Infectious Disease Society of America. He has authored and/or co-authored over 100 papers/book chapters on infectious disease topics related to healthcare epidemiology and infection control and antimicrobial resistance and use. In addition, he serves on the Editorial Board of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and as a reviewer for several scientific journals.

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