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TB Notes 1, 2005

No. 1, 2005

TB Education and Training Network Updates

TB ETN Member Highlight

Gail Denkins, RN, BS, is a Regional TB Nurse Consultant for the American Lung Association and the Michigan Department of Community Health. She received her BS degree in Nursing Science and Management of Healthcare Organizations. Gail heard about TB ETN from Teri Dyke, RN, BS, CIC (who is also a TB ETN member) and decided to join because it was a terrific opportunity to learn, share, and network, as well as to assist in the cause of combating TB. “I know well the benefits of colleagues coming together to uplift each other with knowledge, skill, and support,” Gail said. She is also a member of the TB ETN conference planning subcommittee. Gail says she joined this committee because it is satisfying and rewarding to work towards putting together a meaningful and valuable conference from which professionals can return to their respective roles armed with new knowledge, partnerships, and inspiration! “I have assisted with other conferences in the past and feel I can be of service,” she said.

Gail’s job responsibilities consist of providing education and consulting expertise to assist health professionals in the control of tuberculosis. These activities include certification of professionals in skin testing and assisting communicable disease personnel in TB disease management. She also assists in prevention, conference-planning, and case management activities.

One of Gail’s projects was the development of an educational program, called “Lunch for a Bunch,” for employers and employees of a local company. The purpose of the program was to bring together employees or their family members with diabetes to share lunch and learning programs, while at the same time creating support networks at the workplace. This particular employer had employees with high numbers of sick days related to diabetes. The plan was to track the anticipated reduction of sick days after the lunch hour education programs had provided basic and necessary information to control this chronic disease. It proved to be a win-win situation. Gail enjoyed working with the diabetes prevention and control project through CDC and the Chronic Disease Division at the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Besides Gail’s work-related activities, her personal interests revolve around her family: her husband, Greg, to whom she has been married for 36 years; her four grown children; and her seven grandchildren. She also shares her home with Elvis the yellow lab, Jake the beagle, and Marilyn the cat. The family’s shared interest is their small log cabin in Indian River, Michigan. There they enjoy hiking, fishing, riding snow mobiles, and creating fine cuisine!  “It is glorious to be in the North Woods and see all the beauty around us,” Gail relates. Her hobbies include herb and flower gardening, home decorating and sewing, and painting.

Gail is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, from whom she received an Outstanding Mentorship Award from the Indiana Society for Healthcare Education and Training in 1995.

In the future, Gail would like to see TB ETN broaden its scope by enlisting more international colleagues and perhaps developing a mentoring program.  “Imagine the broad-based learning and understanding that could be shared around the world!” explained Gail. In addition, the mentoring program could increase the opportunities for training and education.

If you’d like to join Gail as a member and take advantage of all TB ETN has to offer, please send an e-mail requesting a TB ETN registration form to You can also send a request by fax at (404) 639-8960 or by mail at

CEBSB, Division of TB Elimination
1600 Clifton Rd., N.E., MS E10
Atlanta, Georgia 30333

If you would like additional information about the TB Education and Training Network, visit the website.

—Reported by Regina Bess
Div of TB Elimination

TB ETN Cultural Competency Subcommittee Update

The TB ETN Cultural Competency Subcommittee has set its agenda for the months ahead. This year the committee is co-chaired by Savitri Tsering of Wisconsin and Margaret Rohter of Illinois.

For the September 2004 - October 2005 year, the TB ETN Cultural Competency Subcommittee plans to

  • Craft and launch a new cultural competency needs assessment of the TB ETN membership

    In 2002, the TB ETN Cultural Competency subcommittee conducted a needs assessment of TB ETN members in the area of cultural competency. Because TB ETN membership has doubled, the subcommittee plans to revise and repeat the needs assessment. The subcommittee is currently seeking volunteers from its membership to be part of the work group that will design the new assessment.  This needs assessment will be launched during the 2005 TB ETN conference.

  • Assist the TB ETN 2005 conference planning committee to ensure that cultural competency presentations continue to be part of the conference agenda

    Based on the August 2004 TB ETN conference evaluations, TB ETN members still want to learn more about cultural competency. Creative ways to integrate cultural competency into the program are being explored.

  • Solicit stories from the TB ETN membership to include in the New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) National TB Center cultural competency newsletter

    As a representative of our subcommittee, NJMS National TB Center staff member Lauren Moschetta will request submissions from the TB ETN membership for the newsletter. In addition, submissions that are of interest but not used in the newsletter will be explored as possible options for "local" presentations for the TB ETN conference on the use of cultural competency in the field to enhance services TB patients receive.

  • Review ethnographic profiles developed by a CDC research team on population groups' immigration history, TB related beliefs, and immigrant experience with TB treatment in the United States; provide feedback on the profiles and offer distribution suggestions to the research team

  • Continue to review cultural competency tools and add them to the cultural competency resource list, which is available from Heather Joseph (

The committee wants to share the following Cultural Competency Tip:

“Culture is a complex matter. Although we often think of it in terms of beliefs and values, it is actually more than that. Culture comprises what we feel; what we learn; what we do; who we spend our time with; memories of and preferences for smells, tastes, sounds, and feelings; images and stories we cherish. It is the resource we all draw on when we problem solve, interpret information, plan for the future, assess ourselves and others, and locate ourselves within time and space.”

—Osher D and Mejia B. Overcoming barriers to intercultural relationships.  Reaching Today's Youth 1999; 3(2):48-49.

—Submitted by Savitri Tsering, MSSW
TB Elimination and Refugee Health Coordinator
Wisconsin Division of Public Health


TB ETN Membership

If you have not yet registered or re-registered for TB ETN membership, now is the perfect time to do it. Membership is free, and new and re-registering members will receive a beautiful TB ETN lapel pin!

Two membership options are available for the TB ETN: Active and Information Only.

Those who have a lead role in TB education and training within their agencies are encouraged to apply for Active membership. Benefits of Active membership include opportunities to participate in all TBETN activities, including subcommittees and the annual TBETN conference. Active members are entitled to priority registration for all TB ETN meetings, and may also vote on TB ETN business-related issues.

Information Only membership may appeal to those less directly involved in TB education and training, but interested in maintaining and improving their understanding of TB-related issues and practice. Information Only members receive information about TB ETN meetings, activities, etc., via convenient e-mail postings. Subcommittee participation and voting privileges are not extended to this membership, however.

Request a membership registration form by sending an e-mail to Register today!

—Submitted by Linette McElroy
Vancouver Island Health Authority


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

Please send comments/suggestions/requests to:, or to
CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333