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Personnel Notes

Suzanne Beavers, MD, will be the new staff epidemiologist for the Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB), starting July 1, 2008. She was born in Athens, Georgia, but spent most of her childhood in Punta Gorda, Florida. She graduated with high honors from the University of Florida with a degree in political science, and also obtained her MD degree from the University of Florida. She subsequently attended the Medical Center of Delaware for her internship and residency in emergency medicine. After practicing emergency medicine for several years, Suzanne became interested in a career in public health and epidemiology. She applied to the Epidemic Intelligence Service, was accepted into the Class of 2006, and served as Kentucky’s EIS Officer from 2006 to 2008. As Kentucky’s EIS Officer, she completed projects in infectious disease epidemiology as well as injury and maternal and child epidemiology. She looks forward to the opportunity to focus on tuberculosis epidemiology. We welcome Dr. Beavers to DTBE.

Deborah Bedell has accepted the Public Health Advisor (PHA) position in Tallahassee, Florida. She is returning to CDC after several years with the Alabama Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) program. Deborah received a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Southern Illinois University 1979. She began her career as a case manager with the Alabama STD program, where she worked from 1982 to 1989. In 1989, she became a federal employee, joining CDC as a PHA in the STD program. She subsequently worked as a supervisor in Alabama; Baltimore, Maryland; Fulton County, Georgia; and Memphis, Tennessee. While in these assignments, she held various positions including outreach activities coordinator, front line supervisor, and manager. In 2003, Deborah left CDC and returned to the Alabama STD program. She earned a masters degree in Health Care Management from the University of Phoenix, Columbus, Georgia, in May 2006. FSEB welcomes Deborah back to the CDC fold as she begins this new phase in her public health career. She began her new job on May 27, 2008.

Sean Cavanaugh, MD, joins DTBE in the International Research and Programs Branch as a new EIS officer. He grew up in Washington, DC, and attended Duke University in North Carolina, where he majored in psychology and English. After graduation, he returned to Washington, DC, and worked as a case manager for a few years before moving to New York City to attend medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He graduated in 1997 and went on to New York University and Bellevue Hospital for his internal medicine residency and finished in 2000. He stayed on as Chief Resident for a year and then took a position with the Manhattan VA and as an associate program director at NYU. He has been working as a clinician educator since that time and has referred legions of former medical residents to the EIS over the years before taking his own sterling advice.

Kim Do, a Public Health Advisor with the Field Services and Evaluation Branch, has accepted a transfer to Las Vegas, Nevada. Kim received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1988. In 1989 he began his CDC career as a Public Health Associate in the STD program in West Palm Beach, Florida, and then served as a Public Health Advisor in Washington, D.C. From 1992 to 2000 he was assigned to the Los Angeles STD program, where he worked as a supervisor for local and federal staff. In 2000 he transferred to the Los Angeles TB Control Program, where his duties consisted of supervising three local staff members. Additionally, he managed the Targeted Testing for Latent TB Infection Project from 2002 through 2004 and also managed the Class A/B Notification for New Immigrants Project and the Incentive and Enablers Project. Kim also served as back-up coordinator for the Detention Unit and as Health and Safety Coordinator for the TB Control Program.

During his 18 years at CDC, he has participated in numerous international and domestic outbreak investigations and temporary duty (TDY) assignments. In April 2006 he helped with an outbreak investigation in Indiana, assisting with TB contact investigations, placing tuberculin skin tests for contacts, and providing directly observed therapy. In December 2005 he helped the East Baton Rouge Health Department, Louisiana, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He served a TDY assignment in Fresno, California, in March 2005, working with the Hmong refugees who had recently immigrated to the United States from the Watt-Ka-Bat refuge camp in Thailand; he interviewed TB index cases, completed data collection forms, and identified locations in Fresno and in the refugee camps as possible sources of TB cases or contacts. In April 2004, he helped with the interviewing of TB index cases in the local Vietnamese community in Mobile, Alabama, assisting in the creation of the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (KAB) survey; conducting the survey for both English and non-English speakers; and conducting education for TB in the Vietnamese language for Vietnamese persons who lived in the “fishing village.” Kim completed data collection forms and identified numerous places as possible sources of TB cases or contacts. In April 2003, Kim participated in SARS screening at Los Angeles International Airport with the Global Migration and Quarantine staff. He was a member of the team that created the SARS manual and assisted Quarantine staff in providing training to airport employees. He has had a number of other assignments as well. His transfer to Las Vegas was effective May 11, 2008.

Denise Garrett, MD, MS, joined the Epidemiology Team in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) in August 2007. Denise was born in Brazil, where she received her medical degree in 1986, and a masters degree in science in 1991. She joined CDC in 1993 as a visiting fellow in the Division of Parasitic Diseases (DPD). In 1996, Denise was accepted into the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) and served as an EIS Officer for the Division of Healthcare and Quality Promotion. During EIS Denise worked closely with DTBE in conducting TB analytic investigations (nationally and internationally) and developing TB infection control guidelines for hospitals. For the past 7 years Denise and her 8-year-old son, Lucas, lived in Brazil where she served as a CDC consultant for the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) during 2000–2002, and as a Medical Epidemiologist providing advice to the National TB Program/Brazilian Ministry of Health during 2002–July, 2007. Besides her extensive experience with TB and public health, Denise has mastered the ability to prepare Caipirinha, the most popular Brazilian cocktail. Dr. Garrett has done an excellent job since she joined SEOIB, and we welcome her to DTBE.

Andrew N. Hill, PhD, has joined the Data Management and Statistics Branch. Andrew, who was born and raised in New Zealand, completed his undergraduate and graduate education in mathematics, statistics, and physics at the University of Auckland, NZ, and at the University of Michigan. He received his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Canterbury, NZ; his dissertation was on symmetry structures of nonlinear differential equations. After teaching at the university level in NZ, Andrew emigrated to the US and in 1999 was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellowship in biostatistics at Emory, focusing on epidemic models. Following his fellowship, he taught classes and conducted and published research in the Emory biostatistics department (A.N. Hill and I.M. Longini, Jr. The critical vaccination fraction for heterogeneous epidemic models. Mathematical Biosciences 2003; 181: 85-106). In 2007, Andrew came to CDC, where he first worked in the Vaccine Analytic Unit of the Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Disease Branch, Division of Bacterial Diseases, NCIRD. His work there involved analyzing the US military electronic database (Defense Medical Surveillance System) for vaccine-related adverse events. In March 2008, he came to DTBE. Welcome, Andrew!

Christine Ho, MD, MPH, has joined DTBE as a field medical officer at the San Francisco TB Control program. She received her bachelors degree in biophysics and art at UC Berkeley with honors, and her medical degree at UC San Francisco. After completing her internship and residency in primary care internal medicine at UC San Francisco, Christine stayed on as faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine. There she started the nascent primary care residency program at the Mount Zion site, developing the outpatient curriculum and clinical rotations, as well as developing a faculty-resident partnership model at the new practice site. From there she worked for 5 years as a primary care physician at Asian Health Services, a nationally renowned community clinic site for delivering care to Asian primarily non-English speaking patients. She instituted the first community-based case conference series there, which has been published and replicated in the SF area. She also served as a TB clinician at the San Francisco TB clinic during that time. In 2004, Christine returned to UC Berkeley to obtain an MPH degree in epidemiology and upon graduation, worked for Dr. Art Reingold at the California Emerging Infections Program. She served as the project clinician for multiple projects including the Unexplained Pneumonia Project, Unexplained Deaths Project, and the California Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) Surveillance Project. She also conducted an investigation of deaths secondary to C. sordellii in young women through retrospective death certificate review and molecular assays. She was board certified in internal medicine in 1996 and was recently recertified in 2006.

Peri Hopkins, MPH, has joined the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) as a Health Education Specialist. Peri comes to the branch with a wealth of health education experience and is already familiar to some of us; at a past TB ETN conference, she co-presented a session with Cheryl Tryon. Peri received her MPH degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Before coming to DTBE, she worked at the Global AIDS Program for 4 years as a Training Specialist. Peri joined the Communications Team on March 31.

Raynal Jabouin, Jr., M.Ed., has joined DTBE for the summer in the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch as a Ferguson fellow. Raynal, a native of Brooklyn, NY, and son of Haitian immigrants, is currently an MPH candidate at New York University. His area of specialization is international community health. Raynal received a B.A. degree magna cum laude in Political Science from Long Island University and a masters degree in International Education Development from New York University. In the winter of 2005, Raynal embarked on a life-changing journey to Haiti. While there, he worked with Save the Children, assisting in the implementation of various intervention activities. These included the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, vaccination of children, distribution of supplemental vitamins and micronutrients, and reproductive health activities. This experience propelled him to pursue an advanced degree in public health. As a fellow in DTBE, he is drafting an ethnographic guide for TB programs serving the Karen ethnic group from Burma. His interests include program management and evaluation as well as infectious disease control and prevention. His mentor is Robin Shrestha-Kuwahara.

Daniela Makembe is working in FSEB this summer as a Project: IMHOTEP intern. She is a rising senior at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. She is majoring in interdisciplinary studies, a degree program that encourages students to integrate multiple fields of study into one degree. She has chosen to integrate public health, infectious diseases, and international health to form a degree in international health development. Ultimately she hopes to work internationally to alleviate the health care burden faced by developing nations. She is participating in the Project: IMHOTEP program at Morehouse College. This program exposes undergraduate students to various components of the public health field. Daniela’s public health experience includes malaria relief work in Ghana, an independent study project in the infection control unit of a Baltimore County hospital, an assignment with the national health initiative project, and a practicum on the NIH-funded Healthy Neighborhood (HANDLS) program.

Blen Mekuria has joined the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) as an administrative support contractor. Blen has a degree in sociology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Her work experience includes providing research assistance, working as a graduate teaching assistant, developing and facilitating trainings for community groups, and working with task forces and non-profit organizations as an advocate. She joined CEBSB on April 29.

Sonal Munsiff, MD, has resigned from her position as Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of TB Control (BTBC), New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and from her CDC position as a Medical Officer with the Division of TB Elimination, which she has held since 2001. Sonal has spent 15 years with the BTBC, 8 as Director and 7 in capacities that included physician-in-charge of the Morrisania Chest Clinic, medical consultant for field services in the Bronx, and director of the Epidemiology Office. She has authored or co-authored 58 articles and letters on HIV-TB treatment and epidemiology, treatment and epidemiology of drug-resistant TB, and many other aspects of TB treatment and control. She recently completed major edits for the fourth edition of the NYC “TB Manual.” Over the last few years, she has been increasingly interested in expanding the Bureau’s outreach activities targeting the high-risk groups in the city. She was instrumental in reviving the Coalition for a TB-Free NYC in 2006, which is now very actively working with several CBOs serving high-risk communities. She has also served on numerous national and international committees.
She and her family are relocating to upstate New York, where she will work part-time as an infectious disease consultant and have more time for her family. We thank her for her many years of dedicated service to the City and to DTBE, and wish her the best of luck in her new endeavors. Her new e-mail is ssmunsiff@pol.net.

Nancy Ortiz, MPH, has joined DTBE for the summer as a Ferguson fellow in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB). Born and raised in the city of Los Angeles, Nancy desired a change of pace for college and headed to the University of California - Santa Cruz, where she majored in biological anthropology. She interned at the La Brea Tar Pits, where she excavated the asphalt of Pit 91 and uncovered Ice Age flora and fauna. These experiences led her first to a career in education in which she developed science curricula for children and young adults in science centers, museums, and community health settings.

Nancy’s experiences in health education opened her eyes to the world of public health, and she decided to pursue an MPH degree at the University of Southern California, specializing in biostatistics and epidemiology. She had the opportunity to collect data for a diabetes intervention study in couples, as well as serve as a field researcher recruiting and interviewing participants for a health communication study. The latter study involved developing tailored recipes for low-income individuals who receive food from food pantries in Los Angeles. Nancy is interested in infectious disease, and she is very excited to be spending her summer as a Ferguson fellow with the Surveillance Team at DTBE. Her mentor is Elvin Magee.

Krista M. Powell, MD, joins the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) as its new EIS Officer. She will replace Dr. Ann Buff, who has accepted a staff position in SEOIB. Krista grew up in Cairo, Georgia, and attended the University of Georgia in Athens (Go ‘Dawgs), where she was selected for membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in microbiology. She then obtained her MPH degree in epidemiology and her MD degree from Emory University. Krista is currently in her last year of a 3-year residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She already has developed an appreciation for the complexities of conducting TB investigations in her ongoing work on a cross-sectional study of smear-negative tuberculosis in persons with HIV infection in Kampala, Uganda. Look for her results at the upcoming American Thoracic Society (ATS) meeting in Toronto. We welcome Krista to DTBE and look forward to working with her for the next 2 years. She joins SEOIB on July 1, 2008.

Adero Prescott joined the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB) of DTBE as an Administrative Assistant on March 17, 2008. She brings 5 years of administrative and customer service experience to DTBE and IRPB, having worked for a high-end international skin care company, Jurlique Holistic Skin Care, as a product specialist. In that position, Adero adapted quickly to the demand for efficient leaders within her department and was promoted to team lead, and soon thereafter to the position of manager of the customer support staff. Before working in that position, Adero attended Bauder College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she studied fashion merchandising, psychology, and marketing trends and earned an Associate of Arts degree. Welcome, Adero!

Philip Ricks, PhD, MPH, joins the International Research and Program Branch (IRPB) as a new EIS officer. A Chicago native, Philip grew up on the south side and attended the University of Chicago Lab Schools. He attended Princeton University, graduating with a BA in European History in 1985. He worked in commercial banking in New York City from 1985 to 1992. During that time he also became involved in the AIDS crisis, as an activist and educator. 1993, he left New York to spend 9 months backpacking around the world, then returned to Chicago to pursue an MPH degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health (UIC-SPH). During his masters program he worked as a research assistant on HIV/AIDS among injecting drug users. To complete his masters practicum, he completed an internship at WHO EURO in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he researched the epidemiological aspects of the diphtheria epidemic in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. He subsequently joined WHO EURO, working in infectious disease surveillance. Philip spent a total of 6 years in Copenhagen, where he also worked as an epidemiologist for the Danish Institute of Health (Staten Serum Institut) and as the founding lead data manager on an international AIDS/HIV research study. In 2002, he returned to UIC-SPH for his PhD, writing his dissertation on the control of TB among substance users. Philip is an avid sailor, dancer, and yogi.

Julian Thomas is working in FSEB this summer as a Project: IMHOTEP intern. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology. This summer Julian will be working with Dr. Sundari Mase. He will assess the current research as well as the national and international TB control recommendations for information pertaining to the discontinuation of airborne infection isolation of patients with MDR or XDR TB. Julian hopes to begin medical school in fall 2009 and pursue a joint graduate degree in public health.

Padmaja Vempaty, MPH, MSW, joined DTBE in 2007 as a project coordinator in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) for TBESC’s Task Order 13 latent TB infection (LTBI) study. Padmaja received an MPH degree in International Health from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and an MSW degree in Mumbai, India. Before coming to DTBE, Padmaja was an ORISE Research Fellow at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), where she held a number of responsibilities, including the mapping of avian influenza (H5N1) cases and providing mapping and technical support to CDC’s Director’s Emergency Operations Center (DEOC) following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. During these emergencies, Padmaja assisted in the collection, monitoring, and geocoding of data on shelter locations. On the international front, Padmaja worked for 3 years with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), such as the Committed Communities Development Trust in Mumbai, India, where she provided technical assistance in capacity building through community outreach, training, and establishment of prevention services in communities impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Maureen Wilce, MS, has left the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) and DTBE for a promotion into a new position as Lead Health Scientist (Team Leader), Evaluation and Community Interventions Team, Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). Maureen received her masters degree in Public Services Administration from Georgia State University in 1988. She began her work with DTBE in November 1998 as a Behavioral Scientist in the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch before moving to FSEB in February 2003, where she led the program evaluation team. In her 5 years at FSEB, she led the division’s program evaluation initiative and nurtured a team of evaluation specialists, both at DTBE and at the TB control program level, in making program evaluation a formal component of the TB Cooperative Agreement with the state TB control programs. As a direct consequence of her ability to direct such an ambitious effort, program evaluation is now a routine component of TB public health program practice and continues to evolve and develop. Maureen leaves a program evaluation team that will continue to thrive in her absence. Maureen also mentored numerous Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) fellows and Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) fellows during her tenure at DTBE. Everyone in DTBE, in FSEB, and on the evaluation team, including the TB control programs around the country, will miss Maureen terribly, but wish her the best in her new and exciting job.

 
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