EIS has trained more than 3,600 officers who have responded to domestic and international public health threats since 1951.
Where Are EIS Alumni Now?
EIS alumni have gone on to become CDC directors; leading CDC scientists; acting surgeons general; WHO assistant directors-general, regional directors, and country directors; public health and medical school faculty and deans; city health commissioners; and state epidemiologists. Many others take on leadership roles in industry, foundations, nongovernmental organizations, and the news media.
- More than 85% of EIS program graduates enter the public health workforce.
- More than 30% of state or large city epidemiologists are EIS alumni.
Vikram Krishnasamy, EIS ’16: Emerging Leader Winner, 2020 Service to America Awards
Vikram Krishnasamy, MD, MPH, EIS Class of 2016, and current medical officer in CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, has won the Emerging Leader award in the 2020 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal awardsexternal icon. The Sammies recognize federal employees whose professional contributions exemplify the highest attributes of public service. Krishnasamy is recognized for his work in establishing a training program and communications network to help local public health officials deal with the opioid epidemic, including coordinating outreach to patients when law enforcement arrested medical professionals for illegal conduct. Released in conjunction with the Emerging Leader award, this new videoexternal icon chronicles Krishnasamy’s valuable accomplishments.
“Dr. Krishnasamy’s work embodies CDC’s mission of saving lives and protecting people from public health threats,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “This recognition is well deserved, and it symbolizes his commitment to addressing our Nation’s most pressing public health issues with determination and innovation.”
Hear Krishnasamy discuss his work on opioids and COVID-19, his career, and importance of the public health workforce in the Partnership for Public Service’s audio clipexternal icon and recorded video broadcastexternal icon (timestamp 13:30-22:00). Hear more of his personal story in this EIS video.
“There are hundreds of CDC employees and U.S. Public Health Service officers from other agencies who have now been trained in both basic knowledge about the opioid epidemic and skill sets needed to support local state health departments because of Vikram’s work,” said Anne Schuchat, MD (RADM, USPHS), Principal Deputy Director of CDC and EIS alum (’88).
Cynthia Ogden, EIS ’94: Changing Paths During the Pandemic
As the analysis branch chief for CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and former EIS officer, Cynthia Ogden saw an opportunity and quickly leveraged her network to expand access to COVID-19 testing sites. In March 2020, as COVID-19 quickly became an agency priority, NHANES halted routine activities which left their fully equipped mobile laboratories unused. Ogden tapped into a broad network of fellow EIS graduates, many of whom hold positions in public health offices across the country. Her timely outreach helped identify areas in need and allocate NHANES’ mobile exam trailers for COVID-19 testing. So far, trailers have gone to the Washington DC Department of Forensic Sciences for antibody testing and to the Montgomery County Department of Public Health in Maryland. This effort also sparked the idea to revive, equip, and certify other unused trailers that were in storage for COVID-19 testing. Ogden and others on the NHANES team continue their outreach to identify states in need of remaining trailers for testing sites. Read the full story on CDC’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.
Daniel B. Jernigan, EIS ’94: Service to America Medalist
Daniel B. Jernigan, MD, MPH (CAPT, USPHS), EIS Class of 1994 and current director of CDC’s Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), is a winner of the 2019 Service to America Medal. The award recognizes Jernigan’s leadership in coordinating response efforts for dozens of disease crises, including Ebola, SARS and West Nile virus, while also greatly improving the nation’s ability to identify, prepare for and respond to inevitable flu pandemics. Learn more about Jernigan’s leadership, service, and contributions on his CDC Spokesperson Portfolio web page and the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medalexternal icon web page.
Photo caption: HHS Secretary Alex Azar presents CDC Influenza Division Director Dan Jernigan with the 2019 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for Science and Environment. Photo courtesy of Service to America Awards.
- Postcards from the EIS: Rollins alumni recount their most interesting cases as CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officers
Emory Rollins School of Public Health magazineexternal icon
- Hear from EIS alumni who have since joined CDC’s workforce. “I Am CDC” videos focus on employees whose day-to-day dedication and hard work make CDC a better organization and improve the public’s health.
- Alexis Peterson is a health scientist working in the area of traumatic brain injury in CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Learn more in her CDC expert bio.
- Alaine Knipes is an epidemiologist working in CDC’s Center for Global Health and supporting the President’s malaria initiative.
- Alice Wang began her EIS assignment in CDC’s National Center for Environmental health and is an epidemiologist currently working in CDC’s Center for Global Health.
- Neil Vora is a physician and epidemiologist stationed in a New York City health department as part of his work for CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response.
EIS Graduates May Qualify for 3-Year Leadership Program
Future Leaders in Infections and Global Health Threats (FLIGHT) is a CDC leadership program that prepares participants, known as FLIGHT officers, to address global public health threats. FLIGHT officers are selected from physicians and veterinarians in the most recent graduating class of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. Eligible candidates must have an unrestricted license to practice their clinical specialty in the U.S. and be a U.S. citizen. The FLIGHT application period opens in September of each year. Learn more at the Future Leaders in Infections and Global Health Threats (FLIGHT) website.
Resources for Alumni
- EIS Alumni Associationexternal icon
The EISAA provides ongoing support to the EIS program and alumni primarily through enhanced networking and communications within the alumni network. EIS alumni can connect with fellow alumni worldwide through the Alumni Portal on the EISAA website.
- Recruitment Tools