TB Notes Newsletter
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Rachel Albalak, PhD, has left the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) and DTBE for a new position as a Supervisory Epidemiologist, at the National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infection (NCPDCI), Division of Emerging Infections and Surveillance Services, (DEISS), Surveillance Services and Health Economics Branch (SSHEB). She starts her new job on March 2, 2008. Rachel received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1997. She worked for Emory University, where she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of International Health. She joined CDC in 2000 in the Lead Poisoning and Prevention Branch, and in 2001 she came to the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. In the last 7 years in that Branch, which in 2003 became the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch, she has made enormously important contributions to the formation and direction of the Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium. While her technical title has been Project Officer of TBESC, she has, in reality, been Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Science Officer, cheer leader, and mother to CDC’s investment in epidemiologic research of tuberculosis in the United States. As a direct consequence of her ability to direct such an ambitious effort, TBESC is thriving, and Rachel has left in place a Consortium that will continue to thrive in her absence. All members of her Branch, her Division, and her Consortium will miss Rachel terribly, but we wish her the best in her new and exciting job.
Cindy Castaneda has joined DTBE as a new Public Health Advisor trainee in the Field Services and Evaluation Branch. She is assigned to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, TB Program under the direction of Dan Dohony. Cindy graduated in 2005 from Stockton State College in New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Administration. Cindy comes to TB after working for a year and a half at the Atlanticare Regional Medical Center, in Atlantic City, NJ, as an HIV counselor/ tester.
Smita G. Chatterjee, MS, joined DTBE's Surveillance,
Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch on March 3, 2008,
as a Research Epidemiologist on the Outbreak Investigations Team.
Smita, who received her master's degree from Tufts University, is
not new to DTBE. Since 2005, she has served as the Research
Coordinator for the TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC) in
Texas, where she worked with Dr. Charles Wallace. Her TBESC projects
included “Analysis of the Molecular Epidemiology of Multidrug-Resistant
M. tuberculosis in the United States” (Task Order 8), “Enhanced
Surveillance to Identify Missed Opportunities for TB Prevention in
Foreign-born Populations in US and Canada” (Task Order 9), and
“National Study of Determinants of Early Diagnosis, Prevention, and
Treatment of TB in the African-American Community” (Task Order 23).
She will continue to serve as Chair for the TBESC “Translating
Research into Practice” (TRiP) workgroup that is engaged in
disseminating practical research findings into the field for
adoption. She has a wide range of experience investigating outbreaks
of TB and other infectious diseases. As the Genotype Coordinator for
Texas, she led all genotyping activities for the state. Also, as an
active member of the Texas TB Incident Response Team, she
facilitated all genotyping aspects of large-scale contact
investigations and outbreak investigations. Smita will be assisting
Patrick Moonan and Lauren Cowan in accelerating universal TB
genotyping in the United States and will work closely with NTCA's
genotyping workgroup to address the challenges of implementing
genotyping into routine practice through trainings and technical
consultations. She will also assist in identifying TB outbreaks and
be actively involved in outbreak response. She moved to Atlanta from
Austin with her husband and toddler.
Heather Duncan, MPH, has accepted the Senior Public Health Advisor (PHA) position in the DTBE Office of the Director. Heather received her MPH degree in Health Systems Management from Tulane University. She started her career with CDC in September 1991 as a Public Health Associate with the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) program in Long Beach, California. In January 1993, she accepted a transfer to New York City to join DTBE's PHA training program with the New York City Bureau of TB Control, where she had several assignments (outreach worker, front-line supervisor, city-wide clinical coordinator). In November 1998, she transferred to Chicago, Illinois, as a special projects coordinator. In January 1999, she transferred to Tallahassee, Florida, and served as the Senior PHA and Deputy Bureau Chief for the Bureau of TB and Refugee Health through May 2005. While in Florida, she provided technical assistance and consultation to the 67 county health department TB control programs, assisted with the development and implementation of a statewide quality improvement process, supervised the Field Services and Nursing/Health Education sections, established Florida's training program for new DTBE PHAs, and assisted with the establishment of the Southeastern RTMCC. In May 2005, she transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, as the program consultant for the mid-Atlantic region and provided technical assistance and consultation to the nine cooperative agreement recipients in this region. Since arriving in Atlanta, she has completed temporary details in the NCHHSTP Office of the Director and DTBE's Office of the Director. Heather's move to the Office of the Director is effective March 2.
Vernard Green, MSPH, has been selected for the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) Public Health Advisor (PHA) position in Detroit, Michigan. He started in the new position on January 20, 2008. Vernard joined DTBE in July 2005 and was assigned to the New Jersey TB program. He worked at the Lattimore Clinic in Newark for one year as a trainee and was then transferred in September 2006 to the position of Chief Assistant in the state TB program. From September to December 2007 he was on a temporary duty assignment in Detroit as Operations Manager. Since January 2008, he has been assigned to the City of Detroit as Operations Manager for the Department of Health and Wellness Promotions. Previous to joining DTBE, Vernard served as a PHA I Disease Intervention Specialist with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, working in the STD and HIV programs. Vernard also brings to DTBE his military experience in the Marine Corps, having served at the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, medical center from 1985 to 1992. Vernard received an MSPH degree in public health from Walden University in 2007.
Darryl Hardge has left DTBE and CDC for a new job and promotion as a Public Health Analyst in the Emergency Response Division of DHHS in Washington, DC. He officially left CDC on February 3, 2008. Darryl most recently served as the senior PHA for the Pennsylvania TB control program in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Prior to that assignment, he was the Program Director for the Washington, DC, TB control program. During his tenure there (2003 to 2007), Darryl made significant progress in strengthening and modernizing the TB control program through the recruitment of key staff and planning for and coordinating the renovations for a new, state-of-the-art TB clinic, which opened in 2007. In addition, he participated in a temporary duty assignment assisting the Louisiana TB program with recovery efforts from hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Darryl came to work for CDC in May 1991 as a Public Health Associate I in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention, and was assigned to the Division's Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) training center in Decatur, Georgia. In 1992 Darryl was reassigned to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a DIS working in high-morbidity areas. From January until February 1996, he had a temporary duty assignment in Baltimore, Maryland, assisting the STD program with a syphilis and HIV outbreak. In 1996 Darryl became a lead worker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, supervising six DIS staff. In October 1997, Darryl joined DTBE and was assigned with promotion to the state of Louisiana TB program. In November 1998, Darryl assumed a number of the senior PHA duties on an interim basis for the Louisiana TB program and received a promotion for these efforts. In May 1999, Darryl was assigned to the Baltimore TB program as the Program Manager. During this assignment, Darryl led the program through two large and complex TB outbreaks. During his tenure in Baltimore, Darryl participated in a temporary duty assignment in Washington, DC, helping with CDC's effort to respond to the anthrax attacks. In 2002, Darryl took a position as a Program Consultant with DTBE at CDC headquarters and was responsible for providing consultation and assistance to TB control programs in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Darryl’s keen ability to translate and incorporate CDC goals and objectives at all levels of a program’s local activities greatly contributed to the success and progress of each of his assignments in DTBE. Here’s wishing Darryl the best in his new ventures in public health and thanking him for all his contributions to TB.
CDR Theresa A. Harrington, MD, MPH&TM, U.S. Public Health Service, left DTBE on February 4, 2008. She will transfer to a new position as senior medical epidemiologist on the Asthma Epidemiology Team, Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, CDC. CDR Harrington began her CDC career in 2002 as the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer assigned to Mississippi during the large West Nile virus epidemic. She will be missed by everyone at DTBE, but particularly by the Outbreak Investigations Team in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch, which she joined in 2004. With board certification in both pediatrics and internal medicine, she quickly established herself as a key clinical resource for DTBE colleagues. In addition, as one of the first CDC officers deployed to staff an emergency medical facility for Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina, she received the prestigious U.S. Public Health Service Crisis Response Service Award. Known for her willingness to set aside her own work to give her full attention to EIS officers, CDC Experience Fellows, and medical elective students, CDR Harrington has mentored numerous trainees during TB outbreak investigations and other epidemiologic projects. Under her direct guidance, trainees have published numerous manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals as well as CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and have presented at both domestic and international conferences, providing broad exposure for DTBE and CDC. CDR Harrington has also served as an enthusiastic speaker for the numerous TB trainings offered by CDC; she regularly receives high praise and repeat invitations. Finally, CDR Harrington has been integral to DTBE’s most complicated and high-profile TB investigations since 2004, including an MDR TB outbreak involving Hmong refugees during the 2005–2006 resettlement from Thailand, the widely publicized international air travel contact investigation in 2007, and numerous multistate TB transplant investigations. Most importantly, few scientists demonstrate CDR Harrington’s unwavering passion for serving our state and local public health partners. Her dedication and her optimism have reenergized coworkers on innumerable occasions during long investigations; she has earned the respect of public health partners and coworkers alike as a trusted team player who works hard for the sake of seeing a job well done. Deflecting any credit for herself, CDR Harrington takes pride in what the team has accomplished together. Her generosity, integrity, and care for the people around her have earned her the respect and commitment of her coworkers. We wish her all our best as she begins a new pathway in her public health career and sincerely hope our paths will cross again in the future.
Tony Holmes has joined DTBE/FSEB as the West Coast's new Public Health Advisor trainee. He is assigned to the Los Angeles TB Program, where he will be working under the direction of Stuart Mc Mullen. Since 2003, Tony has worked for the Fulton County, Georgia, STD Program as a Communicable Disease Specialist. From 2001 to 2002, Tony was a Disease Intervention Specialist with the Harrison County Health Department in Biloxi, Mississippi. Tony has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Biological Sciences.
Bryan Kim, MPH, has accepted the Senior PHA position in the International Research and Programs Branch, effective March 2. From 1998-2004, Bryan worked on a variety of HIV/AIDS prevention projects in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, CDC. During that time, he served as a Project Officer for several cooperative agreements focusing on capacity building activities for national HIV/AIDS organizations. He also worked on multi-site, community-level behavioral interventions focusing on HIV prevention for high risk populations. He also developed and facilitated trainings for national grantees involved in domestic HIV prevention activities for youth and racial/ethnic minorities. In 2004, Bryan was selected as a CDC International Experience and Technical Assistance Fellow, where he worked on technical and administrative HIV/AIDS projects in Vietnam. From 2004-present, he has served as a Public Health Advisor in DTBE’s International Research and Programs Branch. In this capacity, he worked on a variety of technical and administrative Tuberculosis elimination projects in Botswana, Ethiopia, Russia, Brazil, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Croatia. Bryan received his MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Patrick Ndibe has joined DTBE/FSEB as a new Public Health Advisor trainee. He will work under the direction of Tom Privett in his new duty station of Newark, NJ. Patrick comes to TB with experience working for the State of Georgia and for the Fulton County, Georgia, STD Program since 2002. Patrick was awarded a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nigeria in 1992. In 2007, he was certified in Public Management from the University of West Georgia.
Adriane Niare, MPH, CHES, departed DTBE’s Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch (MLB) on December 9 to take a position as an IRB administrator in the Office of the Chief Science Officer, Office of Scientific Regulatory Services, Human Research Protection Office. In her new position she will be managing the review process for research conducted by CDC investigators. Adriane joined MLB in August 2004 and worked as part of the Reference Laboratory Team doing the important work of drug susceptibility testing for Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates as well as maintaining the laboratory database for TBTC studies. We wish Adrianne the very best in her new position.
John Oeltmann, MEd, MSPH, PhD, leaves SEOIB and DTBE on March 3, 2008. He will transfer to a new position as an epidemiologist with the Malaria Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases, CDC, and he and his family will move to Accra, Ghana, in mid-May. John came to DTBE in 2003 as the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer assigned to the Outbreak Investigations Team. His EIS assignment was marked by his enthusiasm and willingness to go on numerous Epi-Aids, including a TB outbreak at a Taiwan hospital in the aftermath of the SARS outbreak. Because it was so important to the Taiwanese that the investigation be completed before the Chinese New Year, John was away from his family for nearly a month and missed his newborn daughter’s first Christmas. He also led the CDC Epi-Aid team deployed to Thailand in 2005 to investigate an MDR TB outbreak affecting Hmong refugees awaiting resettlement in the United States. His work during EIS has led to the publication of several articles, including “Tuberculosis Outbreak in Marijuana Users, Seattle, Washington, 2004,” in Emerging Infectious Diseases, and “Childhood Tuberculosis Treatment Outcomes — Botswana, 1998–2002,” in The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. After EIS, John transitioned to a staff epidemiologist position on the Outbreak Investigations Team, where he has continued working until now. Multiple outbreak investigations involving drug users led to his novel analysis of data in the National TB Surveillance System to better understand the role of substance use as a risk factor for TB. He also introduced GIS mapping and helped advance social network analysis tools during outbreak investigations. In addition to supervising EIS officers from both the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch and the International Research and Programs Branch, John has worked closely with the program consultants in the Field Services and Evaluation Branch, and over the past 5 years has built many friendships with state and local TB control staff in Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, South Carolina, and Washington state. John’s quick wit will be missed by all his TB colleagues, but particularly by coworkers at the weekly Outbreak Evaluation Unit meetings. A mark of his work is his excellent group facilitation skills; his ability to discern and bring to the forefront of a discussion the key underlying issues, then turn the discussion back towards consensus-building, will be particularly valued in his new international role. We wish John all our best as he transitions to his new responsibilities in Ghana. Don’t forget to send us postcards!
Lynelle Phillips resigned as Public Health Advisor with DTBE, Field Services and Evaluation Branch. She has been serving as the PHA for Missouri’s TB Control Program since 2003. Lynelle began her career at CDC in 1991 as an Environmental Health Scientist for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She then served as the Nurse Consultant for the Vaccine Safety and Development Activity in the National Immunization Program until 1996, when she moved to Missouri, where she was the state TB nurse consultant during 1996 – 2003 for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. She has a masters degree in public health from Emory University and has worked as a critical care nurse in cardiac units in Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia. Lynelle has accepted adjunct faculty positions with the Sinclair School of Nursing and Masters of Public Health program at the University of Missouri, and also serves as nurse consultant for the Heartland National TB Center in San Antonio, Texas.
James (Jamie) Posey, PhD, has accepted the position of Applied Research Team Leader for the Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch. Jamie received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1999 and began his career at CDC in the Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch in 2000 as a Postdoctoral Fellow having been awarded a prestigious NIH/NIAID post-doctoral fellowship. His research started in the area of pathogenesis of mycobacteria and has since expanded into exploring the scientific basis of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He is currently involved in research to understand resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis to ethambutol, fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides. Since August 2007 Jamie has served as leader of the molecular genetics activity mentoring and guiding fellow staff, postdoctoral fellows, and students.
Vic Tomlinson, MPA, has accepted the Senior PHA position
in the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch, effective March
23. Vic started his public health career as a tuberculosis
investigator with the Virginia Department of Health in the eastern
part of Virginia in 1970-1971. He began his career with CDC as a
public health advisor in the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
program in 1972 in Washington, D.C. His first federal assignment as
a TB public health advisor was with DTBE in Norristown, PA, in 1975,
followed by an assignment in Boston, MA, in 1977. In the latter
assignment, Vic was assigned to the City of Boston and also served
as a liaison to the state TB program, which was located in another
part of Boston. He then accepted a position as a project officer
with the Bureau of Community Health Services in the Regional Office
in Philadelphia (1977–1981). Vic left federal service in 1981,
returning to the State of Virginia where he worked in the state’s
certificate of need program and then as a budget analyst in local
government before returning to CDC, DTBE, in January 1990. During
1990–1992, he served as the program manager for a statewide TB
control program while assigned to Missouri’s state health
department. From 1992 to1996, Vic was assigned to the Texas
Department of Health’s TB control program and then to the Louisiana
Department of Health in New Orleans. In 1996, he accepted a transfer
back to Missouri and again served in the role of the program manager
for TB control for most of his tenure there (1996–2003). In addition
to his work with TB control, Vic was also asked to accept the dual
role of managing the Immunization and TB programs in Missouri from
1998 to 2003. From May 2003 to March 2008, Vic served as a program
consultant at headquarters in the Field Services and Evaluation
Branch (FSEB) working with the Midwestern states initially, and then
with the Southwestern states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and
Oklahoma plus Kansas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Paul Tribble, MA, has accepted the TB Outbreak Coordinator position in the Field Services and Evaluation Branch, effective March 16. Paul started his career in public health in 1985 as the Coordinator of the Refugee Health Program for the state of Oklahoma. In 1988, he was hired by CDC and selected for the Public Health Advisor position in the Hawaii State TB Program in Honolulu. In 1994, Paul was assigned to the Arizona Department of Health Services as the State TB Program Manager for the newly organized TB Section within the Office of Infectious Diseases Services. In 1996 Paul accepted a PHA position with the Division of Quarantine in Atlanta, where he provided technical assistance to state and local health departments on refugee and immigrant health issues (especially TB) relating to overseas medical screening and notification. For the past 7 years, Paul has served DTBE as a program consultant for nine state TB programs in the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountain region.
I nM emoriam
Phyllis Q. Edwards, MD, MPH, passed away on December 25, 2007, at 91 years of age. Phyllis was a trailblazer in TB, as well as for women in public health. She has over 70 articles from the 1950s through 1980 on TB and histoplasmosis, many of which are still being referenced in current research articles. After receiving her medical degree, she joined the Public Health Service, which took her all over the world. In the 1950s, while working in the Tuberculosis Research Office of the World Health Organization in Copenhagen, Denmark, she was the first to document the occurrence of histoplasmosis outside of North America. She received her MPH degree from Harvard in 1958, where she was a classmate of Dr. David Sencer. She came to CDC in 1961 when the Division of TB Control was transferred to Atlanta. In 1970, Dr. Sencer (then CDC Director) appointed her Division Director, making her the first woman at CDC to occupy such a high- ranking position. Her policy-setting study demonstrating the efficacy of INH in preventing TB disease progression among thousands of children with latent TB infection was published in 1970. In 1977, Phyllis left CDC to work with the Indian Health Services (IHS) in Tucson, Arizona. From 1977 to 1980, she coordinated the overall national IHS TB prevention and control activities, as well as research studies.
Phyllis was not just content to make changes in public health science. One of her colleagues remembers visiting CDC around 1970, walking into the main building and seeing a large poster over the two elevators in the lobby. The poster said "We Love You Dave!" When he asked about this, he was told that Phyllis (and maybe others) had gone to Dr. Sencer and asked for permission for the women of CDC to be able to wear slacks to work at CDC and he had agreed. Her nephew Bruce Edwards offered these comments: “Phyllis’ entire life was an amazing adventure! She lived all over the globe… and helped so many people with her amazing work for the world health, public health, CDC, and Indian affairs agencies… She was a devout lover of the outdoors, nature, and her garden, as well as a huge fan and patron of the opera, and made amazing impacts to many organizations and people. As Phyllis would say, “Oh, for Gosh sakes, don’t send flowers,” but if you feel compelled to make a donation, please donate to The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County – Geyer Quarry Acquisition Fund. This fund is trying to turn the Sand Hills Area in Scotts Valley into an ecological preserve, a quest that PQ started years ago and my sister Peg is close to making a reality. That would make PQ ‘tickled pink,’ as she would say.” Donations can be made to: Land Trust of Santa Cruz County: Geyer Quarry Acquisition Fund, in memory of P.Q. Edwards, 617 Water Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060. For more information, call 831-429-6116 or visit www.landtrustsantacruz.org/sandhills/