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TB Notes Newsletter

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No. 4, 2013


New Mobile App for Latent TB Infection Guide

DTBE's Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch is excited to announce the release of the mobile application for health care providers, Latent TB Infection (LTBI): Guide for Diagnosis and Treatment. The mobile application was designed to make it easy to view CDC’s latest LTBI recommendations on an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android device. When your device is connected to wireless or cellular service, the content is updated automatically to ensure you always have the most up-to-date information.

This application serves as a ready and useful reference that highlights the main points of key guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of latent TB infection.

Check out these features:

iPhone, iPad, Android
  • CDC guidelines on latent TB infection
  • Treatment table outlining regimen options
  • TB testing and diagnosis recommendations
  • TB education and training resources
  • Sample documentation forms for TB testing
  • Ability to personalize your experience with highlighting, annotation, and bookmark options
  • Ability to share the content with others through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter

Download the app today!

Reported by Maria Fraire Sessions, MPH, CHES
Div of TB Elimination

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TB Contact Investigation Interviewing Skills Course

The TB Contact Investigation Interviewing Skills Course is an interactive training course designed to improve the interviewing skills of both new and experienced staff responsible for conducting TB contact investigation interviews. The course development was a collaborative effort between DTBE and the following TB Regional Training and Medical Consultation Centers (RTMCCs):

  • Curry International Tuberculosis Center
  • Heartland National Tuberculosis Center
  • New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute at Rutgers
  • Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center

The course provides an overview of the contact investigation process, basic communication and interviewing skills, and opportunities to apply those skills in role play activities.

Target Audience
Health care professionals responsible for conducting TB contact investigation interviews.

Development of the Course
A multi-phased, systematic health education process was utilized to develop the course. The five-step process includes needs assessment, development, pilot-testing, implementation, and assessing effectiveness.

The need for this training was confirmed after a review of National Tuberculosis Indicators Project data showed poor performance in finding and evaluating TB contacts in some jurisdictions. Additionally, discussions with staff from DTBE’s Field Services and Evaluation Branch determined that there was a need for extensive interviewing skills training for public health staff who conduct TB contact investigations.

Recognizing the need for an in-person intensive skill-building course, a 4-day curriculum was developed. Materials were adapted from DTBE, RTMCC, and STD interviewing courses. Pilot testing of the course took place from October 2011 through December 2012. Eighteen pilot-test courses were conducted, resulting in a total of 271 trained participants.

Each RTMCC worked with CDC and selected TB programs in their respective regions to pilot test the course. Pilot testing locations included

  • Connecticut
  • Arizona
  • Tennessee
  • California
  • Texas
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Florida
  • Washington

Local TB program staff served as faculty, along with CDC public health advisors (PHAs) and program consultants. PHAs who served as course faculty included Shanica Alexander, Kim Do, Patrick Ndibe, Shameer Poonja, Sue Spieldenner, Vincent Fears, Cindy Castaneda, Edwin Rodriguez, Angel Roca, Vernard Green, Carlos Alcantara, Mark Miner, Tracina Cropper, Dawn Tuckey, Dan Dohony, Margaret Patterson, Vernell Fields, Scott Jones, Alan Locke, Kim Seechuck, Bruce Heath, and Maureen O’Rourke-Futey.

Feedback comments from the pilot course evaluations were very positive. For example, 99% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed that their interviewing skills were enhanced as a result of the training. Many also stated that the training should be offered to all TB staff, and approximately 98% of participants said that they would recommend this course to others. Participants also stated that hearing about the contact investigation experiences from the PHAs and other course faculty was a valuable part of the course.

Feedback from the course evaluations was used to make improvements to the course materials. After the final revisions were made, the course materials were uploaded to the DTBE website.

Accessing the Training
All of the RTMCCs now offer the TB Contact Investigation Interviewing Skills Course as part of their standard curriculum. If you are interested in participating in one of these trainings, please contact the RTMCC that serves your region.

TB programs may also use the course materials to conduct their own trainings. All of the course materials are available on the DTBE website:

Instructions on how conduct this training are provided in the course Facilitator Guide. TB programs can also request technical assistance from their RTMCC to conduct the course.

Reported by Sarah Segerlind, MPH
and Peri Hopkins, MPH
Div of TB Elimination

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DTBE Team Creates a Scarecrow to Deliver TB Messages

As many of you know, for the past 11 years the Atlanta Botanical Garden has been holding an annual event and competition, Scarecrows in the Garden. This year was no different, and neither was the participation of Dr. Wanda Walton and her branch, the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) of the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE). This group likes to think of different and creative ways to educate others about tuberculosis (TB) – even if it means building a scarecrow! And not just your run-of-the-mill scarecrow…

Last year they designed and built Miss Scare-let Crow’Hara, a stunning 6-foot crow in a lovely green dress. Scare-let invoked the image of the famous Gone with the Wind character Scarlet O’Hara, portrayed by the actress Vivian Leigh, who died of TB in 1967. Through various elements of the display, CEBSB staff provided a message about TB. Members of CEBSB who visited Scare-let in the Garden observed visitors stopping to admire Scare-let, and actually reading her message that TB is still a global problem.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution included Scare-let in their article about Scarecrows in the Garden, and noted that she was out and about with an important public service announcement. Buoyed by the fact that Scare-let was such a good spokes-bird, CEBSB decided to repeat their efforts.

Edgar Allen Crow

The creature that CEBSB came up with for this year was ... Edgar Allan Crow. And this Edgar was a-ravin’ against TB. Edgar’s name was the brilliant brainchild of Allison Maiuri, Health Educator with CEBSB.

Mr. Crow’s namesake, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), and his family were haunted by tuberculosis. In 1810, when he was a young child, his mother died from TB. Later in life, his beloved wife Virginia, his brother Henry, and his stepparents also died of TB.

Following these many losses, Poe published his poem “The Raven” in 1945. Some critics believed that the lost “Lenore” in the poem was inspired by events in Poe's own life, either to the early loss of his mother, Eliza Poe, or the long illness from TB endured by his wife, Virginia. It is not clear whether Poe had TB. His death has been attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

Similar to Poe, Mr. Edgar Allan Crow has the artistic genius for writing “poe-try.” Mr. Crow and Ann Lanner, Public Health Analyst, co-wrote his first (and only) poem, with critical assistance from Joan Mangan, PhD, Behavioral Scientist, and Cheryl Tryon, Health Education Specialist. It is loosely based on “The Raven” and includes TB messages.

A-Ravin’ Against TB!
by Edgar Allan Crow
Once upon an autumn dreary
As I pondered, none too cheery,
Late one night these words I heard
Coming from a learnéd bird--
Spoken by a raven or a crow,
I can’t be sure.

Speaking with a bold presumption
Of this old disease Consumption,
“We must fight this airborne menace
That still lurks from Beijing to
Venice (California)

‘Til we beat this ancient foe!”

Let’s fight TB together
‘Til TB is nevermore!
Quoth the crow … “TB Nevermore!”

Edgar Allen Crow CakeOver the course of 10 weeks and many, many hours, CEBSB staff met—offsite and outside of regular work hours—to carry out an assortment of tasks under the tutelage of Joan Mangan and Cheryl Tryon. All expenses for this activity were shared by the CEBSB staff (entry fee, paint, and other supplies).

Prior to being transported to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Edgar visited DTBE on September 25 in Building 12 of Corporate Square. The reception in his honor featured a cake that was too pretty to eat, but was eaten all the same: a huge sheet cake decorated to look like a garden, with miniature hand-crafted fruits, vegetables, and a mini-Edgar Allan Crow. Maria Fraire Sessions, Team Lead of the Communications Team of CEBSB, orchestrated this segment of the project.

This year’s crow building could not have been completed without the help of CEBSB family and friends! Joan Mangan’s house was the headquarters where this year’s scarecrow grew up. Joan and her mother, Joanrose Mangan, organized the team’s potluck dinners. Wanda’s partner, Martha Martin, led clean-up efforts after each dinner so the team could get right to work. Maria’s husband, David, cut up wood and boxes to allow safe transport of the garden cake. And Joan’s neighbors lent needed tools and enthusiastic support to cheer on the branch during the process.

Edgar Allen CrowOn October 3, Wanda and her team were among the crowd gathered at the Atlanta Botanical Garden to see the opening of the Scarecrows exhibit and to learn the winners of the contest. Please forgive the crowing, but out of 131 scarecrows entered into this year’s competition, Edgar Allan Crow won first place in the non-professional entry category. The group earned a framed certificate, and bragging rights for the coming year!

All the scarecrows entered in the competition were on display at the Garden for the entire month of October. We hope CDC staff in Atlanta had a chance to come out to the Atlanta Botanical Garden and visit Edgar, the scariest TB educational product CEBSB has developed!
Group in front of the crow
Photo: DTBE’s Communications, Education, and Behavioral Science Branch. From left to right: (back row) Teresa Goss, Amera Khan, Peri Hopkins, Cheryl Tryon, Edgar Allan Crow, Sarah Segerlind, Maria Fraire Sessions. (Bottom row) Allison Maiuri, Molly Dowling, Wanda Walton, Joan Mangan, Ann Lanner. (Not pictured: Nicole Richardson-Smith.)

Submitted by Ann Lanner, Joan Mangan, Cheryl Tryon, and Wanda Walton
Div of TB Elimination

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