Division of Bacterial Diseases (DBD) News Bulletin

Summer 2016, Issue 18

July 2, 2016: Content on this page kept for historical reasons.

CDC Honor Awards

The 64th Annual CDC & ATSDR Honor Awards ceremony held March 29 highlighted the agency staff’s remarkable achievements and recognized groups and individuals who continue to advance CDC’s distinguished legacy of improving public health. DBD’s Bacterial Meningitis Laboratory was awarded the Excellence in Laboratory Research award for exemplary performance in developing and implementing cutting edge technology to improve laboratory capacity, surveillance, and advancing science.


NCIRD Honor Awards

The 2015 NCIRD Honor Awards on December 17 recognized many DBD staff for achievements in 2014 and 2015.

  • Excellence in Emergency Response, Domestic (2015): New York City Legionnaires’ Disease Response Team
  • Excellence in Emergency Response, International (2015): Niger Meningitis Surveillance and Outbreak Response Team
  • Excellence in Epidemiology, Domestic (2015): Meningococcal Carriage Evaluation Team
  • Excellence in Laboratory Quality (2014): Division of Bacterial Diseases Quality Team
  • Excellence in Laboratory Research (2015): Bacterial Meningitis Laboratory Team
  • Excellence in Program Delivery, International (2014): Latin American Pertussis Project (LAPP) Team
  • Excellence in Program or Policy Evaluation (2014): Anthrax Vaccine Evaluation Team
  • Excellence in Program or Policy Evaluation (2015): Pneumococcal Vaccine Evaluation Team
  • Excellence in Leadership, GS-11-13: Tamara Pilishvili
  • Excellence in Plain Language, Communication for General Public Audience: Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work
  • Outstanding Team Leadership Award, Domestic: Matt Moore
  • Outstanding Team Leadership Award, International: Xin Wang
  • Outstanding Team Player Award, Domestic: Ivy Adekoya
  • Rising to the Challenge Award, Domestic: New York City Legionella Outbreak Response Team
  • Rising to the Challenge Award, International: Niger Meningitis Surveillance and Outbreak Response Team
  • Commissioned Corps Award, Commendation Medal: Sarah Meyer
  • Length of Service Award, 10 Years (2014): Cyndi Hatcher, Antonette Hill, Tamara Pilishvili, Jeni Vuong, Margaret Williams
  • Length of Service Award, 20 Years (2014): Beth Laney
  • Length of Service Award, 10 Years (2015): Rita Desai, Debra Kuehl, Brian Raphael, Gloria Carvalho
  • Length of Service Award, 20 Years (2015): Patricia Shewmaker
  • Length of Service Award, 25 Years (2015): Pam Cassiday
  • Length of Service Award, 40 Years (2015): Leonard Mayer
Raphael Legionella Award, NCIRD

Photo: DBD’s Brian Raphael, Legionella Laboratory lead, with Rima Khabbaz, acting NCIRD director, accepting one of two NCIRD awards recognizing the Legionella team’s role in the agency’s response to the 2015 New York City Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Wang CDC Award

Photo: Xin Wang, Bacterial Meningitis Laboratory lead, proudly shares her team’s 2016 CDC Excellence in Laboratory Research award with DBD director Rana Hajjeh.

Adekoya Team Player Award, NCIRD

Photo: DBD’s Ivy Adekoya, public health analyst in MVPDB, accepts the NCIRD 2016 Outstanding Team Player Award from Rima Khabbaz, acting NCIRD director.

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Jeni Vuong, Employee of the Month

Photo: Jeni Vuong (center), a microbiologist in the Bacterial Meningitis Laboratory, worked with colleagues from Nigeria on a laboratory training at CDC headquarters this spring. Pictured left to right: Grace Olanipekun, Jeni Vuong, and Chinwendu Ogbonnaya.

NCIRD Employee of the Month

Jeni Vuong, a microbiologist in the Bacterial Meningitis Laboratory, was selected as NCIRD’s Employee of the Month for May. She was recognized for her significant contribution to the rapid response to the meningitis outbreak in Ghana, deployment to Chad to provide laboratory training for molecular diagnostic testing and establishing real-time PCR capacity at the national laboratory, and conducting a meningococcal carriage evaluation in Rhode Island.


DBD Staffer Honored by Alma Mater

Bernie Beall

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) honors the best in its alumni ranks annually, and this year the UMKC Alumni Association Governing Board is recognizing Bernie Beall, DBD Streptococcus Laboratory lead, with its 2016 School of Biological Sciences Alumni Achievement Award.


HHS Ignite Accelerator
Gayle Langley
, director of DBD’s Active Bacterial Core surveillance and her team’s (including RDB’s Jennifer Hudson and the Office of Noncommunicable Diseases, Injury and Environmental Health’s Melvin Crum) project “System to Prevent Group B Streptococcal Infections” (STOP GBS) was selected for the HHS Ignite Spring 2016 Accelerator HHS Idea Labexternal icon. This internal innovation startup program is for HHS staff who want to improve the way their program, office, or agency works. The program provides selected teams with methodological coaching and technical guidance in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial framework. Langley’s entry was selected from roughly 100 proposals and almost 50 finalists—with four winners having been selected from CDC. STOP GBS is a tool embedded in medical records that provides healthcare providers patient-specific recommendations to prevent group B streptococcal disease based on clinical information entered into the mobile application tool.

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HHS Green Champion Award

DBD associate director for laboratory science, Debra Kuehl, and DBD global laboratory coordinator, Stephanie Schwartz, along with colleagues in CDC’s Office of the Chief Operating Officer, were awarded HHS’s 2016 Green Champion Award.

The CDC Quality and Sustainability Office (QSO) fosters a long-term partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology through various projects and educational events. This year QSO and CDC’s Environment, Safety, and Health Compliance Office teamed with two classes of industrial design graduate students to incorporate sustainable design and materials into products to minimize their environmental footprint. Students worked with CDC project champions to deliver improved design concepts for CDC equipment and other systems, including deployment kits for CDC staff working abroad, detectable warning paving systems, decontamination foggers, backpack sprayers, and ergonomic stand-up desks. This partnership mentors the next generation of design professionals with a focus on the importance of sustainable design and supply chain management.