TB Notes Newsletter
No. 3, 2013
Deborah Bedell left DTBE earlier this year for a position as a Project Officer with CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis. In 1982 she began her public health career as a case manager with the Alabama Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) program. In 1989, she joined CDC's Division of STD/HIV Prevention (now the Division of STD Prevention) as a public health advisor (PHA) stationed in Alabama, and in 2003, she left CDC and returned to the Alabama STD program. In 2008, Deborah returned to CDC and joined DTBE as a PHA assigned to the Florida TB control program in Tallahassee, Florida. Among her accomplishments there, she co-authored Mr. Tuber's Coloring Book in collaboration with the Florida Bureau of TB and Refugee Health colleagues. This product was later adopted by the TB control program in Sidney, Australia, and by CDC's TB Education and Training Network (TB ETN). She went on a 90-day temporary detail to help investigate a TB outbreak in a small rural town in Florida involving a family with more than four generations of TB disease. At the 2010 Southeastern Regional TB Meeting, she presented findings from this investigation in "Addressing TB in African-American Communities: The Gadsden County Experience." She won a 2009 CDC honor award for Excellence in Surveillance and Health Monitoring as part of the Decline in Reported TB Working Group, and later she was a co-author on the MMWR reporting an investigation of the decrease in reported TB.
In August 2010, she accepted a DTBE assignment with the TB control program in South Carolina. Among her accomplishments there, she wrote South Carolina's first Program Evaluation Plan. In 2011 she had a poster as well as an oral presentation, "Monitoring the Tuberculosis Case Evaluation Process for Immigrants and Refugees: The South Carolina Experience" at the TB Program Evaluation Network (TB PEN) meeting. She was selected to participate in a temporary duty assignment in Denver, Colorado, for the response to a high school TB outbreak, where she was involved in the cutting-edge use of TB's new 12-dose drug treatment for latent TB infection. This contribution led to Deborah's winning the February 2013 NCHHSTP Director's Recognition Award along with Maria Galvis, who also assisted with the response. Deborah served as co-author on the MMWR article describing the Colorado outbreak and the successes achieved with the new treatment regimen.
Deborah writes that, in her new position, she is able to apply the knowledge and experience acquired from DTBE. She credits DTBE with having a remarkable staff with unbelievably great support for their field staff. She gives special thanks to Dan Ruggiero and Gail Burns-Grant for the excellent job they did in preparing her for newer challenges, such as teaching her leadership skills that she states will always be an asset to her career with CDC. We thank Deborah for all her contributions to DTBE, and we wish her much luck in her new position!
Emily Bloss, PhD, was the worthy recipient of the DTBE Director's Quarterly Recognition Award for the Fourth Quarter of 2013. Emily was nominated for her work over the past 2 years with the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Task Force on Impact Measurement for outstanding international collaboration and leadership in strengthening national TB surveillance systems, leading and supporting the development of guidance documents and tools, and supporting prevalence surveys in multiple countries.
Specifically, Emily has contributed to the development of international guidelines for national TB prevalence surveys and inventory studies for assessing underreporting, in which she helped define methods used for conducting these large studies. She also helped lead the development of internationally applied standards and benchmarks for TB surveillance. These WHO documents are used globally to measure impact of TB control strategies and strengthen national TB surveillance systems. With support from others in DTBE, Emily is currently helping to develop a handbook that national TB program staff in high burden settings can use to more effectively analyze TB surveillance data.
Emily has demonstrated exceptional skill in gaining the confidence and cooperation of partners through her 50% secondment with the Global TB Program at the World Health Organization. In this role, she has exceeded expectations by successfully and efficiently responding to the needs of both DTBE and WHO and facilitated collaboration and communication between the two organizations. Emily is commended for her leadership, innovation and collaboration in these areas.
In addition to her work on the Task Force, Emily has continued to successfully work on a variety of complex and unique activities in IRPB and has proven to be versatile and innovative in her broad scope of work, which has spanned across 14 different countries. For example, currently Emily is finishing up the fourth and final module of a USAID funded operations research course in Uganda where, despite consistent bureaucratic roadblocks, staff turn-over, and poor infrastructure, she has continued to maintain her sense of humor and cheerfulness when coordinating, teaching, and mentoring TB program staff as they learn to conduct their own epidemiologic studies.
Zyrus Campbell has been helping DTBE as a webmaster. A native of Maryland, Zyrus earned his B.S. degree in 2001 from the University of Maryland, University College. He has worked as an independent consultant, developing websites for government agencies, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations; assessing Internet audiences for website usage; and creating Web graphics and other design elements. In addition to his IT interests, Zyrus also has an M.A. degree in religious studies from Howard University.
Stephanie Chan, PhD, has joined DTBE and SEOIB as a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow and will be with us until 2015. During her time here, she will work on several cost-effectiveness projects related to screening options, outbreak investigations, and TB genotyping. Such analyses can help policymakers see more clearly the impact of TB prevention efforts and the trade-offs of their decisions on how much and where to allocate resources. Prior to coming to CDC, Stephanie graduated from the Pardee RAND Graduate School with a degree in Policy Analysis; her dissertation project was titled "Fighting Obesity in the U.S. with State Legislation." She also worked on a variety of health projects at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA, and managed the Medicaid budget for the New York City Office of Management and Budget.
Allison DeFer has joined CEBSB and will be working with DTBE as a web developer. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Management from Auburn University. Prior to coming to CDC, Allison worked for Engauge, GE, MailChimp, and CareerBuilder in several capacities. She worked most recently with AutoTrader as an email developer.
Alstead (Al) Forbes has left DTBE for a position with CDC's Center for Global Health. His last day with DTBE was August 24. Al began his CDC career in February 1993 as a Public Health Associate with the New York City (NYC) Department of Health Bureau of Tuberculosis Control. In 1997, he was promoted and transferred to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Tuberculosis Program, where he served as the assistant to the DTBE senior PHA. In 1999, Al was selected as DTBE's assistant project manager for the Tuberculosis Information Management System (TIMS) in Atlanta. In this position, he provided technical assistance and training to TIMS users nationwide. He worked closely with the Surveillance Branch regarding the interface of TB surveillance data and with the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) program consultants regarding resource needs and management problems. In 2001, he became a Program Consultant and assumed the duties of overseeing DTBE's cooperative agreement activities and providing guidance and consultation to the Mid-Atlantic region. On September 18, 2005, he began serving in the Miami, Florida, PHA position, and returned to Atlanta in June 2007 as a TB Program Consultant. Since his return, he has provided guidance and program consultation not only to the Mid-Atlantic region but to the Pacific Island territories as well. A few highlights of other projects include the following: in 2009, as part of the RVCT Training Team, Al received the DTBE Director's Recognition Award for development of updated training materials for the revised RVCT. In 2011, he was one of the recipients of an NCHHSTP group honor award for Excellence in Emergency Response (International) as part of the Haiti Responders Group. In addition, he was a co-author on an MMWR article that was one of the 2012 CDC World TB Day features, Tuberculosis Control Activities Before and After Hurricane Sandy — Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, 2012. We will certainly miss Al, and we wish him all the best in his new position.
Tom Kenyon, MD, MPH, is the Director of the Center for Global Health (CGH) at CDC. Dr. Kenyon most recently served as Country Director for CDC in Ethiopia from 2009 to 2013, where he played a major role in expanding partnerships with the Ethiopian Government in maternal child health, health systems strengthening, strategic information, TB, malaria, pandemic influenza, HIV prevention in key populations, and comprehensive HIV/AIDS care and treatment.
His career with CDC began in 1994 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. From 1996 to 2002, he served as the CDC Country Director in Botswana where he led numerous studies in HIV/TB and developed a wide range of initiatives in HIV/AIDS prevention with the Ministry of Health and partners from civil society. From 2002 to 2006, Dr. Kenyon began CDC's operations in Namibia in partnership with the Ministry of Health where he led US Government efforts under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to establish the national antiretroviral therapy (ART) program, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), HIV surveillance, and comprehensive programs in HIV prevention and care. He returned to Washington, DC and served from 2006 to 2008 in the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, Department of State, as Principal Deputy Global AIDS Coordinator and Chief Medical Officer for PEPFAR. During his tenure as Principal Deputy, PEPFAR established systems of accountability, achieved major program expansion, and reached critical targets in HIV prevention, care, and treatment.
Dr. Kenyon also previously served as Communicable Disease Director for the Chicago Department of Health and as a pediatrician and program director for Project HOPE in Grenada, West Indies, Swaziland, and Malawi. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Indiana University and a Masters in Public Health with a focus on international health from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. He completed medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia and subsequently completed a 3-year residency in pediatrics at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson.
Katherine Klein, MPH, M(ASCP), has joined the Laboratory Capacity Team (LCT) of the Laboratory Branch as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow. Kate will be assisting LCT and the Global Laboratory Activity (GLA) with providing consultation and technical assistance to TB laboratories and TB programs in the United States and overseas. She will assist with educational activities, such as workshops on the laboratory diagnosis of TB, and she will design and manage a project to build laboratory capacity in TB high-priority countries. Kate earned her BS in Microbiology and BA in Physiology from the University of Minnesota in 2005. From 2005 to 2011 she worked in the Mycology/Mycobacteriology laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, first as a bench technologist and then as a Quality Specialist. She became certified in clinical microbiology through ASCP in 2008. While at Mayo, Kate volunteered with the Minnesota Interlaboratory Microbiology Association, the Rochester Healthy Communities Partnership, United Way, and the Rochester World TB Day group. In May, Kate graduated with an MPH degree in Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology and a Certificate in Global Health from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. While at the University of Michigan, she volunteered with the Blue Mountain Project in Hagley Gap, Jamaica, and completed an internship with the TB program at the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). During her internship at MDCH, Kate participated in education and outreach activities and in analyzing demographic and clinical characteristics of TB cases in Michigan.
Margaret Patterson has left DTBE for a position as a Project Officer with CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis. Margaret joined CDC in 2001 and was assigned to the Washington, DC, STD Program. At that time, she already had several years of public health experience, working mostly in the South Carolina STD Program. In April 2003, she joined the DTBE Field Services Branch as a Public Health Advisor (PHA) assigned to the West Palm Beach, Florida, TB Program. In 2004, she accepted a DTBE assignment with the South Carolina TB control program, and in 2009, she transferred to the Kentucky TB control program.
As the Assistant TB Program Manager and CDC liaison to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Margaret facilitated the local health department response to TB outbreaks. In one instance, she assisted DTBE's Outbreak Investigations Team with a unique TB genotype cluster occurring in six communities, while simultaneously assisting with a CDC epidemiological technical assist assignment involving correctional facilities and homeless shelters in the Louisville area. Working with the Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center, she served as one of the Lead PHAs on the pilot for DTBE's Enhanced Contact Investigation Course. She organized Kentucky's first Cohort Review, and she developed Kentucky's first quality assurance and improvement review tool. She coordinated multiple testing and screening activities within the homeless shelters in Louisville, and she submitted an abstract of these activities entitled, "Investigation of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis genotype cluster: PCR-2118_KY011 Louisville Metro County Health Department, 2000-2009." This was presented as a poster at the 2010 National Tuberculosis Conference and won first place.
In South Carolina, Margaret collaborated with the University of South Carolina's Institutes for Family Services to address TB in the African American Community, serving as Project Director of the CDC demonstration project, "Intensification of TB Prevention, Control and Elimination Activities in African American Communities in the Southeastern United States." She contributed to the report, "Understanding the Social and Cultural Determinants of Tuberculosis: African Americans and Tuberculosis in South Carolina," which revealed TB rates among persons of racial or ethnic minorities were 5 to 10 times higher those among white persons in the same region. At the 38th World Conference on Lung Health, Cape Town, South Africa, she served as co-author for an abstract and poster presentation entitled, "Tuberculosis PhotoVoice: Mobilization and Empowerment in the Communities" for four PhotoVoice sites: El Paso, TX; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and South Carolina. She also represented both CDC and South Carolina on a panel at that meeting.
In addition, she served as evaluation coach as part of TB ESC'S Task Order 15: Enhancing Tuberculosis Programs' Capacity for Evaluation: Testing New Tools and Developing an Evaluation Toolkit, a project that responded directly to CDC's and DTBE's commitment to facilitating the self-evaluation of TB programs. She also had a temporary duty assignment in New Orleans, LA, helping with the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief efforts for CDC. We thank Margaret for her many contributions to TB control over the past 10 years, and we wish her all the best in her new position!
Brandy Peterson, MPH, MCHES, has left DTBE and has joined the Division of STD Prevention, Health Systems Research and Evaluation Branch, Program Evaluation Team, as of August 26. Beginning January 3, 2010, Brandy worked for the Program Evaluation Team in DTBE's Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) as a Health Scientist. During her tenure with the FSEB Program Evaluation Team, Brandy did an exceptional job of coordinating the TB Program Evaluation Network (TB PEN) Steering Committee, assisting program evaluation capacity building for TB PEN focal points (state and local staff serving as points of contact for TB PEN). Brandy convened the TB PEN conference planning committee and worked with the TB ETN in organizing and successfully implementing the annual TB Education, Training, and Evaluation Conference. She provided technical assistance and guidance to public health officials in 25 TB programs in planning and implementing evaluation activities. Brandy oversaw the collection and management of data for the Aggregate Reports for TB Program Evaluation (ARPEs) and served as a project officer for this project. She took part in an evaluation project in SEOIB in collaboration with Dr. Brian Baker. She also worked with IRPB colleagues on an evaluation of TB/HIV collaborative activities in Guyana, leading the qualitative assessment with more than 50 interviews of clinic staff and patients. Brandy's many contributions are greatly appreciated. Her work ethic, dependability, and collaborative spirit made her an irreplaceable asset to FSEB. Brandy will be missed, and we wish her the best as she begins her new position in the STD program.
Erik Reaves, DO, is one of the new EIS officers who joined DTBE this year. He has joined the SEOIB Outbreak Investigations and Molecular Epidemiology Activity teams. Erik is a Preventive Medicine Officer, having served most recently as Deputy Director of the Department of Emerging Infections at the Naval Medical Research Unit 6 in Lima, Peru. He is board certified in preventive medicine. Erik earned his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Ohio University and was commissioned in the U.S. Navy. He earned his medical degree from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003 and began his active duty naval career. Erik completed his postgraduate internship medical training at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California, in 2004 and medical residency training in August 2008. From September 2008 to June 2010, Erik served as a Preventive Medicine Officer and medical epidemiologist at the Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit 6 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He led disease surveillance activities for the U.S. Pacific Command Navy and Marine Corps operational forces and provided medical care in the travel and preventive medicine clinic at the Naval Health Clinic in Hawaii.
Aditya Sharma, MD, is one of the new EIS officers in DTBE this year; he has joined the International Research and Programs Branch. Aditya completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware, medical school at Yale University, and residency training in family medicine at Contra Costa (CA) Regional Medical Center. During his medical school education, he wrote a thesis on the cost-effectiveness of Hepatitis A and B vaccination in jail inmates. Aditya is board certified in family medicine. He became interested in public health while serving as a physician in volunteer positions in Nepal and South Sudan. After completing an internship in emergency medicine, he volunteered with Nyaya Health; in this position, he worked with a group of physicians and epidemiologists in the U.S. and in the remote district of Achham in Nepal to help develop sustainable health care services for a population of 250,000. In addition, after completing a residency in family medicine, he worked as a medical doctor in South Sudan with Doctors without Borders.
Tyson Volkmann, PhD, MPH, is one of the new EIS officers in DTBE and has joined the International Research and Programs Branch. Tyson recently completed his doctoral work at the University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University, researching substance use and HIV prevention. As an NIH-supported Pre-Doctoral Fellow during 2009-2012, he worked in the U.S.-Mexico border region, focusing on populations at high risk for transmission of HIV and TB, such as injection drug users, female sex workers and their male clients, and migrants. He is currently a Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute, which is supported by the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse at the University of Southern California. Tyson's global public health experiences include projects in Mexico, Ethiopia, and Brazil. He holds an MPH degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where he worked in public health preparedness for several years.
Jonathan Wortham, MD, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Public Health Service, has joined the Outbreak Investigations Team of SEOIB, DTBE. Jonathan joined CDC in 2011 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer with the Respiratory Diseases Branch in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. There, he led several Legionella outbreak investigations and performed analyses of both racial disparities in invasive pneumococcal disease and antibiotic prescribing for community-acquired pneumonia. Jonathan completed medical school and residency at Baylor College of Medicine and is board certified in pediatrics. Having a strong interest in field work and analytic investigations, Jonathan is excited about his new role in DTBE.