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Walker - Leadership

Photo: David Walker, MPH, BA

David Walker, MPH, BA

Chief, Surveillance and Data Branch

Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Office of Public Health Scientific Services

“Public health staff must focus on providing effective and efficient program-related services, without focusing on the ego facades of personal glory or chasing IT fads.”

David Walker, MPH, BA; branch chief, Surveillance and Data Branch in the Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance; began his public health career in 1985 and specializes in analytical data management and analyses of health care services data for public health outbreak detection, response, and program management. He has been with CDC since 1997, and has worked in a variety of positions providing technical support and management of processes that augment traditional public health surveillance with novel data sources and novel analytical techniques.

David began his public health career in 1985 at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, employed as a Statistical Analyst, utilizing clinical care databases for program management and decision support. In 1995, David took a position as a Research Associate position with the University of Colorado, at the Center for Health Policy Research, utilizing patient data (collected via Epi Info!) for analyzing outcomes in home health care services provided by over 300 agencies.

David came to CDC/National Immunization Program in 1997, first working as a Health Scientist, then as the Deputy Branch Chief, in the Data Management Division’s Statistical Analysis Branch. In these positions, he coordinated the utilization of Medicaid, Vaccine Safety Datalink, and VAERS data for studies of immunization coverage and vaccine safety. In 2002-2003, he developed and coordinated situation awareness reporting for the National Smallpox Vaccination Program integrating data from vaccine distribution, immunization records, and VAERS.

In 2003, David became Director of Operations for the BioSense program in NCPHI, coordinating the roll-out operations of the BioSense interface to state/local health departments, and serving as liaison to CDC’s Emergency Operations Center. These duties included consulting with state/local health departments on their outbreak detection and response needs, consulting with other federal agencies on integration of data to support outbreak detection, advising on data quality assurance and analytical processes in clinical encounter data, and implementing the Situation Awareness Unit in the EOC for pandemic flu exercises.

In 2007, David became the Associate Director of Operations for NCZVED’s Office of Critical Information Integration and Exchange, developing and operating public health “fusion center” monitoring and reporting, and leading the process to produce daily reports summarizing local, national, and international public health events of concern. In 2009, David moved to NCIRD’s Informatics Office, serving as Data Management Lead and Acting Deputy Director, and supporting the data management and data quality assurance needs of NCIRD and the H1N1 Influenza Task Force.

In 2012, David joined the newly formed Analytic Tools and Methods Branch as Branch Chief, initiating the Analytic Data Management Unit to provide data acquisition and analytical support of external clinical data sources (CMS, HCUP, AHA) for CDC-wide use, as well as coordinating on-going activities of the Epi Info Team and the Population Health Metrics Team.

David has an M.P.H. in Biostatistics from the University of Oklahoma, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma.He currently lives in Peachtree City with his wife and pets. In his spare time he enjoys bicycle touring, skiing, traveling, roaming the woods with his dog, and is an avid reader of historical biographies.