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No. 2, 2013

HIGHLIGHTS FROM STATE AND LOCAL PROGRAMS

2012 New England TB Heroes Awards Presented to TB Case Manager and Lab Supervisor; First Lifetime TB Achievement Award Given

The annual New England TB Heroes Award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the care or management of patients infected with M. tuberculosis complex or an activity that greatly enhanced the TB prevention and control efforts in a locality or state. The 2012 awards were bestowed on Danielle Orcutt, an epidemiologist-case manager with the Connecticut Department of Public Health TB Control Program, and Julie Crosby, supervisor of the mycobacterial laboratory at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, the first Lifetime TB Achievement award was given to Sue Etkind, recently retired Director of the Massachusetts TB Control Program and current Director of Stop TB USA.

TB Hero Danielle Orcutt (center), Margaret Tate (left), and Maureen Williams, RN (right)

TB Hero Danielle Orcutt (center), Margaret Tate (left), and Maureen Williams, RN (right)

Danielle Orcutt had multiple nominators who spoke eloquently of her initiative, organization, cheerfulness, support, and encouragement to local health staff, and dedication to the control of TB in Connecticut. As one person summarized these qualities, “Danielle goes the extra mile in TB.” The nomination statement highlighted Danielle’s knowledge, motivation, and dedication to the care of persons with TB.

The selection committee was impressed by the description of Danielle as always being "available, regardless of her present workload” and her “unwavering willingness to help us on any level" so that each patient receives the best of care.

Testimony of Danielle’s contributions also came from the field: “We consider her a coworker at the local level. She has the uncanny ability to move between roles of enforcer, diplomat, and empathizer, depending on the complexity of the situation.”

Julie Crosby (right) holds award presented by Dalit Wolfe, RN, BSN, Maine TB coordinator

Julie Crosby (right) holds award presented by Dalit Wolfe, RN, BSN, Maine TB coordinator

Julie Crosby is the supervisor for the TB/Mycology/Rabies lab for the State of Maine’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. She has been at this lab for more than 30 years. Julie plays a vital and active role in identifying M. tuberculosis complex, performing drug susceptibility testing, and sending specimens for genotyping. Julie’s team in the TB lab has taken her lead and is as dedicated, friendly, and committed as she is. Julie and her staff train TB public health nurses on specimen collection, mandatory demographic data, specimen volume, and other critical information to assist in specimen handling and results interpretation. The TB Epidemiologist remarked, “Julie’s quick response time and willingness to stay on top of things is critical. She is eager to be part of the process and understand the whole picture.”

Julie is known in TB control for always going the extra mile to ensure patients receive the most timely diagnosis. She can be counted on to take the time to answer questions, no matter how busy she is. Julie is dedicated to giving lab tours and is eager to explain the processes for TB testing to anyone who wishes to learn more. Maine’s TB Controller states, “Maine TB Control, our TB patients, and the general public are thankful for the vital work Julie and her team do.”

Bob Carr, MA Bureau of Infectious Disease, Deputy Director, praises Sue Etkind, Exec Director, Stop TB USA

Bob Carr, MA Bureau of Infectious Disease, Deputy Director, praises Sue Etkind, Exec Director, Stop TB USA

The New England TB Consortium was inspired to give the first Lifetime TB Achievement Award to Sue Etkind, R.N. Sue has long been a leader in TB control and public health in Massachusetts, New England, and the United States.

Over the years, Sue has demonstrated her outstanding leadership as an exemplary program manager, a noted researcher, and a dedicated public servant. As Director of the Massachusetts Division of Tuberculosis Prevention and Control since 1984, she displayed courage in responding to the resurgence of TB in the late 1980s and early 1990s, determination in the face of financial cutbacks, dedication in turning the tide of increasing TB cases, and vision for what the future holds for the ever-changing requirements of effective TB prevention and control. Sue is an untiring advocate for public health and has never let obstacles like uncertain funding prevent her from embarking on a great idea. She is highly respected by her colleagues and staff, many of whom have been beneficiaries of her mentoring.

—Reported by Dalit Wolfe, RN, BSN, MPH Coordinator, ME TB Control Program;
Lynn Sosa, MD
CT Deputy State Epidemiologist;
Jennifer Cochran, MPH,
Dir, MA Div of TB Prevention and Control; and
Mark Lobato, MD, CDC Regional Medical Officer


Past recipients of the TB Heroes Award

2008

Suzanne Gunston, RN; Maine TB Program manager (retired)

Susan Nutini, RN; RISE TB Clinic, RI

2009

Florence Grant, RN; Public Health Nurse, City of Cambridge, MA

Helen Wu;  Bridgeport, Connecticut TB outreach staff

2010

Jeanne Ellis, RN; Getchell TB Clinic, Worcester, MA

Alex Sloutsky, PhD; University of Mass. Laboratory and former director Mass. State Mycobacteriology Lab

2011

Maureen Williams, RN; nurse consultant Connecticut TB Program
Nancy O’Neil, LPN; Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System


This photo shows a group of people walking through Washington Square Park in New York City for World TB Day.

Participants in the NYC World TB Day Walk going through Washington Square Park.

New York City’s First TB Walk
Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2013 issue of the Northeastern Spotlight newsletter.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NY City DOHMH) Bureau of Tuberculosis Control, with the New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute and others, sponsored the first Annual New York City World TB Day Walk on Saturday, March 23. Over 100 people participated in this awareness-raising walk from Union Square to Washington Square.

This was followed by a performance by the New York Stars Twirling and Marching Band, Inc., as walkers entered the educational rally. The diverse roster of speakers included Dr. Joseph Burzynski, Assistant Commissioner at the NY City DOHMH Bureau of TB Control; TB survivors Jigna Rao, Bart Willems, and Patricia Bond; as well as New York City Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene. The NY City DOHMH and community organizations provided educational materials and information on accessing community resources. This event united a diverse group of community stakeholders to build partnerships, educate the community, and raise awareness that TB is still a prominent health issue in NY City and around the world.


—Reported by DJ McCabe, RN, MSN
New Jersey Medical School
Global Tuberculosis Institute

Texas’s “Stop TB in My Lifetime” 5K Fun Run/Walk and
TB Update Training

The Heartland National TB Center hosted a TB Update training and Stop TB in My Lifetime 5K Fun Run/Walk event on March 22, 2013, in observance of World TB Day. The event took place on the grounds of the Texas Center for Infectious Disease (TCID). 

Stop TB in My Lifetime 5K Fun Run/Walk event on March 22, 2013

The overarching goal of the event was to bring TB awareness to the community, highlight patient struggles, and foster cooperation between various TB entities in the community.  The event encompassed those who wished to participate from the TCID (including patients); two TB Trials Consortium (TBTC) sites, San Antonio and Houston; local and regional health offices; the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District; HIV groups; local hospitals; and others with an interest in TB.

The day began with a TB Update training session (for which CNEs and CMEs were available) consisting of the following presentations. These were presented live (to 71 participants), as well as by webcast (to 78 participants):

TB Update training session
  • Co-morbidities in Substance Abuse That Impact Management of TB, by Lisa Armitige, MD, PhD; Heartland National TB Center
  • Interferon Gamma Release Assays: Understanding the Test by David Griffith, MD; Heartland National TB Center
  • Update from CDC’s Tuberculosis Trials Consortium by Marc Weiner, MD, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
  • Implementation of the 12-Dose Regimen: A State Perspective by Phil Griffin; Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Laboratory Update by Denise Dunbar; Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Ethical Considerations in the TB Patient (approved for one-hour of ethics credit) by Eva Moya, PhD, LMSW; the University of Texas at El Paso
James Elkins, Hospital Director – Texas Center for Infectious Disease.

At the completion of the TB Update session, a 5K Run/ Walk began. The opening ceremony for that event featured a proclamation that was signed by Mayor Julian Castro of the City of San Antonio and read by Vincent Nathan, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Director for Environmental Safety, City of San Antonio. This was followed by the singing of the national anthem by a Heartland staff member, and a few words from Mr James Elkins, Hospital Director – Texas Center for Infectious Disease.

The race was officially started by the Texas TB Program Manager. The route through the TCID/State Hospital grounds accommodated 192 runners/walkers, 30 of whom were patients at TCID. Each participant received a t-shirt, “goodie” bag, and lunch. A live band (members of the TCID staff and patients) played for the crowd as attendees enjoyed lunch and networked with each other. The patients were involved in assisting with the event as well as participating in the run/walk, and took pride in their efforts.

Texas TB Program Manager

Vendor booths were set up around the TCID campus to share health-related information. The following organizations participated as vendors at the event:

  • Baptist Health System
  • City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
  • City of San Antonio
  • San Antonio Aids Foundation
  • Stop TB Partnership
  • Texas Dept of State Health Services, Region 8 Office
  • The American Lung Association
  • The American Diabetes Association
  • The University of Texas at El Paso

And the following offered support to the events via donations of items or donation of staffing:

Texas TB Program Manager

B & B LLC (Burger King and Wahoos Tacos Franchise) ● Balloon Productions ● Baylor College of Medicine ● Chobani Yogurt ● Community Research Advisory Group-Treatment Action Group ● Home Depot ● Houston Department of Health and Human Services ● Kansas Department of Health and Environment ● La Perla Mexican Restaurant ● Robes St. Juste Company (Burger King Franchise) ● Texas Center for Infectious Disease ● TCID Volunteer Service Council ● Texas Dept of State Health Services ● The Texas Ski Ranch ● UT Health Northeast ● Walker Advertising.

—Reported by Sam Caballero, MA
Director of Education & Training
Heartland National TB Center

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