2020 CDC U.S. TB Elimination Champions
Collaborating with public health partners, health care providers, and community organizations
Dr. Aldous is dedicated to the elimination of TB. Working with the San Diego TB program to improve coordination, she has helped ensure that public health TB prevention efforts are appropriately modified for implementation in the primary healthcare setting, where individuals and families are tested and treated for LTBI to prevent TB in her community of San Ysidro, a community-at-risk.
Breathe Easy South Texas (B.E.S.T.) is a collaboration of governmental and private agencies specifically dedicated to performing targeted testing and treatment of latent TB infection. The program has been successful in extending the capacity and function of local public health agencies to address critical gaps in TB prevention. Recent studies and analysis of operational data as well as a Costs and Savings Report have demonstrated there have been positive economic, social, and health benefit returns.
Staff in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination are dedicated to strengthening national tuberculosis surveillance through the optimization and implementation of whole genome sequencing (WGS). Implementation of WGS at the National Tuberculosis Molecular Surveillance Center strengthens national TB surveillance for detection of outbreaks and drug resistance (e.g., rpoB alerts). WGS examines over 90% of the genome and can improve accuracy of outbreak detection systems. This additional information can aid public health authorities to conduct more targeted interventions.
Dr. Bruce Chandler is a passionate champion in the fight to eliminate TB from Alaska. He is a leader in the Alaska TB Program. Dr. Chandler’s work continues to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges of TB prevention and control in Alaska. He is an excellent teacher, a compassionate healthcare provider, and an approachable and generous consultant. His deep understanding of the history and current challenges of TB in Alaska are a tremendous resource.
The Dekalb County Board of Health Refugee and Tuberculosis Program implements culturally appropriate and innovative strategies grounded in best practices that address the unique and diverse TB epidemics in their community to end TB. Foreign-born individuals have the highest incidence rate of TB in DeKalb County, accounting for 77% of all cases in 2017. Using culturally appropriate and innovative TB prevention and treatment strategies has resulted in optimal case detection and management of TB in their community.
Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments partner to test and treat TB disease and latent TB infection in migrant farmworker camps. Working together with a local federally funded qualified health center, they have adapted how they provide directly observed therapy to better match the schedules of their clients. This partnership allows them to provide TB screening and treatment for TB disease and latent TB infection to over 70 migrant farmworker camps in both counties.
The Hope Clinic and Houston Health Department staff collaborate to provide latent TB infection (LTBI) treatment in high-risk communities in Houston, TX. The Hope Clinic LTBI team are dedicated to educating and delivering the 12-dose regimen to treat LTBI through directly observed therapy to their patients onsite resulting in a completion rate above 80%. The Hope Clinic staff says “it’s time to test and treat latent TB infection” and is putting those words into action by continuing their patient enrollment and partnership with the Houston Health Department.
The staff of Jefferson County Department of Health’s TB Program are working to end TB through screening, treatment, contact investigation, and community education. JCDH’s TB staff has decreased the spread of TB in the community by offering treatment to all patients with latent TB infection, providing directly observed therapy for patients with TB disease, offering testing to high risk populations, and increasing awareness of TB (symptoms and treatment) by attending community events.
Dr. Karen Landers is a skilled physician, public health leader, and passionate advocate for patients and communities who works tirelessly as a TB Elimination Champion! Dr. Landers fought for state funding for a young patient’s specialized treatment/surgery in another state, saving her life. She and her team implemented a program to stop INH-resistant TB transmission and prevent new disease in a vulnerable community. She remains 100% committed to training public health workers to “Stop TB”.
Dr. Low is a TB Elimination Champion, promoting TB awareness and practical strategies to test and treat latent TB infection in Orange County, CA. As the TB controller of a high-incidence county in California, Dr. Low works tirelessly to engage local healthcare providers and educate them on latent TB infection testing and treatment. In partnership with TB Free California, she has helped established quality improvement projects focused on latent TB infection treatment at two clinic sites in Orange County.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MIDHHS) recognizes “It’s Time” to strengthen national tuberculosis surveillance through implementation of universal whole genome sequencing for isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The implementation of universal whole genome sequencing at MIDHHS as the National Tuberculosis Molecular Surveillance Center strengthens national TB surveillance for detection of outbreaks and drug resistance. MDHHS has extensive experience with genotyping of M. tuberculosis and currently performs testing on ~9,000 isolates per year.
For over 20 years Dr. Marisa Moore has worked to improve TB care and prevention, through her epidemiologic research and participation in the California TB Elimination Task Force. By improving surveillance systems and processes, increasing partnerships with primary care clinics serving communities at risk, contributing expertise to state TB elimination efforts and epidemiologic study design and implementation, she has worked to ensure quality care for persons living in San Diego.
Eric Morgan was an advocate for TB elimination in correctional settings. His work as Alabama’s Coordinator for Minority Health and Prison Liaison will long be remembered. Eric Morgan gained trust, built rapport, and established strong communications with Alabama’s prison facilities. He conducted chart audits and maintained a database to monitor treatment completion as part of the community re-entry program. As a result of Eric’s interventions, many inmates reported to Alabama’s DOH following their release from prison.
The Chest Clinic provides expertise to our community, evaluates and treats TB disease and latent TB infection, and trains future healthcare providers to “think TB” using hands-on experiences. The Chest Clinic’s healthcare community uses the Chest Clinic to provide guidance and specialized care for their residents. In partnership with a local university, the clinic helps our future physicians to understand their role in controlling and preventing TB disease.
Dr. Skarbinski is a passionate TB Elimination Champion, dedicated to preventing TB cases and promoting successful practices within Kaiser Permanente and throughout California. Dr. Skarbinski studies latent TB treatment practices within Kaiser, educates colleagues on testing and treating LTBI, and is working to establish a regional center of excellence for LTBI. In partnership with California Department of Public Health, Dr. Skarbinski is also piloting a quality measure related to LTBI testing and treatment.
Dr. Chris Spitters has worked in TB for 25 years, and is a trusted TB provider exceptionally dedicated to testing and treating latent TB infection (LTBI). He manages approximately 200 LTBI cases per year, in addition to managing and consulting on TB cases around Washington state. Dr. Spitters is a kind, calming, and down-to-earth TB Elimination Champion who uniquely shares his clinical decision-making process with colleagues and encourages a patient-centered approach to TB management.
Wadsworth Center (NYSDOH) recognizes “It’s Time” to strengthen clinical testing for detection of drug resistance through the implementation of whole genome sequencing for isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In New York State, the implementation of whole genome sequencing at NYSDOH for clinical testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has improved testing algorithms and the turnaround time of drug susceptibility test results.