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TB Notes 1, 2005

No. 1, 2005

Personnel Notes

Tina Albrecht, MPH, a public health advisor (PHA) with the Field Services Branch, has left DTBE and accepted a position with the California Department of Health Services Vector-Borne Disease Section. Tina was assigned to Berkeley, CA, where she has been working at the state TB Control Branch as the Outbreak Response Coordinator. In addition to providing technical assistance for outbreaks and extended contact investigations, her responsibilities also included implementing an exposure control plan, helping to develop a formalized mechanism for evaluation of the outbreak team, and tracking costs associated with responding to outbreaks. Prior to her assignment to California, Tina was a PHA trainee in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where she provided case management and DOT/DOPT services, conducted contact investigations, and assisted with data collection and analysis for the production of ARPEs. Before joining CDC, she was a biological science technician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in New Orleans, Louisiana. She earned a bachelors degree in biology from California State University, Chico, California, in 1994 and a masters degree in public health in tropical medicine from Tulane University in 1999. She also served with the Peace Corps in Ghana from 1995 to 1997.

Idalia Gonzalez MD, MPH, left her position as a medical epidemiologist with DTBE to pursue a career as a clinician in pediatrics. Dr. Gonzalez joined CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Services Officer (EISO) in July 1999 in the National Immunization Program. As an EISO, she conducted epidemiological and operational research in determining better ways to control vaccine preventable diseases. After completing her training as an EISO, she joined the preventive medicine residency program at CDC. Dr. Gonzalez joined the Outbreak Investigation Team in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and Outbreak Investigations Branch in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) in July 2002. During her work in DTBE, she has been instrumental in working on various TB outbreak investigations and providing training and mentorship to EISOs in the branch. Dr. Gonzalez is board certified in pediatrics and preventive medicine. She will be missed by everyone in the division. We wish her well in her new career.

Chris Kissler joins SEOIB as the new project manager (replacing Viva Combs) for the TBESC.  Chris comes to us from the Florida Department of Health where he was the Director of Field Services for the Bureau of TB and Refugee Health.  He has been working in public health for 10 years with a focus on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, STD, and TB at both the local and state levels. 

Mark Lobato, MD, has left Atlanta and is now located in Connecticut as a regional medical Officer. After finishing his pediatric training at the University of California, Mark joined the Public Health Service as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer. As an EISO, Mark provided evidence that a new virus does not cause idiopathic CD4 T-lymphocytopenia. He also studied the use of universal precautions in the homes of persons with hemophilia. In 1994, he was a preventive medicine resident with the California Department of Health Services where he characterized missed opportunities to prevent TB. He left the Commissioned Corps to complete an Infectious Diseases fellowship where he defined a new risk factor for TB infection and demonstrated the usefulness of outpatient gastric aspirates for diagnosis of TB in children. Upon his return to CDC and the Commissioned Corps, Mark joined the Division of HIV/AIDS as a medical epidemiologist assessing HIV-related opportunistic illnesses and participating in the implementation of national HIV surveillance. The following year, he joined DTBE as a medical officer, and was innovative in several areas of TB prevention and control. He served as the team leader for a 35-person Evaluation Work Group, the representative to the CDC/ ICE-DHS/ DIHS policy work group, the lead for a 51-person TB in Corrections Working Group, the CDC representative to a team for the Surgeon General’s “Call to action on correctional and community health care,” and a member of an advisory group to overhaul quarantine stations. He evaluated TB control in 20 large urban jails and designed a study of missed opportunities to prevent TB and LTBI in young children, conducted a multisite study of treatment for latent TB, and produced recommendations to improve TB control on the U.S.-Mexico border. Presently, Mark is embarking on a new mission as New England region medical officer where he is learning the best practices for the elimination of TB in low-incidence areas. He is located in Hartford, Connecticut.  Mark started this position on December 13, 2004.

Mark Miner was selected for the Senior Public Health Advisor (PHA) position for the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) TB Program. Since August 2002, Mark has been working as the Public Health Advisor with the Baltimore City TB Program in the role of Program Manager.  His duties included managing the local TB budget, writing the co-operative agreements and contracts, developing local TB policy, directing personnel activities, overseeing surveillance issues and monitoring the TB clinic patient care and contact investigation issues. Mark previously worked as a Public Health Representative with the New York State Department of Health TB Bureau from January 1993 to August 2002. His duties included monitoring TB cases and suspects for a 14-county region in Central New York. This involved field visits to various county health departments and state correctional facilities where he reviewed completion of morbidity reports, consulted with prison and county clinical and administrative staff, conducted contact investigations and monitored targeted testing activities. Prior to working with the New York State Department of Health, Mark worked as a Public Health Sanitarian for the health departments in Oneida and Madison counties in Central New York. Mark also taught health classes to middle school and high school students at the Canastota Central School District in New York. Mark began his DHMH assignment on February 7, 2005.

Carol J. Pozsik, RN, MPH, former TB Controller of South Carolina, has accepted the position of Executive Director of the National TB Controllers Association, effective January 3, 2005. She has been the TB Controller for South Carolina for the past 23 years and was the former Secretary, then President, of the Association. She also was appointed to serve on the first Advisory Council for the Elimination of TB (ACET) and several times subsequently as a consultant to the Council.  She is well known to CDC TB staff as being an advocate for TB programs and has worked closely over the years on many CDC committees and projects.

Carol J. Pozsik, RN, MPH
Executive Director
National Tuberculosis Controllers Association
2452 Spring Road, SE
Smyrna, GA 30080-3828
678-503-0503 (local calls)
877-503-0806 (toll free calls)
678-503-0805 (FAX)
877-503-0805 (toll free FAX)

Valerie Robison, DDS, MPH, PhD, has been selected as the new Chief of the Surveillance Team at DTBE, and will join DTBE on April 18. She received a DDS degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1983, a PhD from the University of North Carolina in 1979, and an MPH in Health Services Administration from the University of North Carolina in 1995. Since moving to Atlanta and joining CDC in 1999, Valerie has been working at NCCDPHP; with the Division of Reproductive Health in HIV/AIDS research and most recently with Division of Oral Health in oral health surveillance. Valerie brings to her new job a wide range of national and international experiences in TB, surveillance, and public health. From 1996 to 1999, she directed field activities in northern Thailand for the HIV/AIDS collaboration between Chiang Mai University and Johns Hopkins University. At that time she was on the faculty at the Department of Epidemiology, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. From 1995 to 1996, she worked in TB epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Center in Tyler, Texas.  She met her future husband, Dr. Peter Cegielski (DTBE, International Research and Programs Branch), in 1989 in Tanzania when she sold him a leaky windsurfer -- he, and their relationship, survived. She lived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from 1983 to 1990 and worked at the Ministry of Health.  She worked as a dentist in North Carolina and then went to Kathmandu, Nepal (1980-1982) to work in public health dentistry. She and Peter Cegielski have two children, ages 12 and 8, and they enjoy travel, water sports, music, and their Golden Retrievers.

Harry A. Stern is retiring on April 2, 2005, after 35 years of service to the U.S. government. Harry served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969, including a tour of duty in Southeast Asia. In 1972, he received a bachelor of arts degree from Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York. In 1972 Harry joined CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, as a Public Health Advisor (PHA) for the Venereal Disease Control Program and was assigned to the New York City Department of Health. He had additional state and city assignments with that program (now the Division of STD Prevention) in Miami, Florida; San Francisco, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Baltimore, Maryland. His career in TB control began in 1987 when he transferred from his STD assignment in Baltimore, Maryland, to an assignment with DTBE as the Baltimore City TB Program Coordinator. In this position, Harry was instrumental in initiating TB and HIV prevention activities in drug treatment centers, jails, and health care centers. In 1988, he transferred to DTBE headquarters in Atlanta. From 1988 to 1994, Harry served as the Associate Director for TB/HIV Activities for the division. During this time, he played a key role in the development of a plan to incorporate TB, HIV, and STD screening activities in methadone maintenance clinics and correctional facilities. He was also the lead consultant for many of the Division’s TB/HIV cooperative agreements with state and local health departments. In addition, he participated on several workgroups addressing the issues of multidrug-resistant TB and nosocomial transmission of TB. In June 1991 Harry received a CDC Unit Commendation for his contributions in addressing the nosocomial transmission of TB from HIV/AIDS patients. In June 1993 he received the PHS Special Recognition Award for his part in an outstanding CDC team effort in addressing the threat of MDR TB. From 1994 to 2000, Harry served as the Deputy Associate Director for International Activities in the division. In this position, he provided management and programmatic oversight for DTBE’s international activities, including coordination with CDC’s Office of Global Health, the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He played a principal role in establishing BOTUSA, the research site in Botswana, Africa. Harry also administered international agreements between CDC, USAID, WHO, and the Ministries of Health of Russia, Latvia, Estonia, the Philippines, and Mexico. While in this assignment he developed the first TB component of the International Experience and Technical Assistance Program (IETA). Through his involvement with IETA, the division selected and assigned several PHAs for international assignments to Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Russia. Since 2000, Harry has served as the TB Program Operations Manager in Miami-Dade County, Florida. He has been involved in all aspects of TB control and prevention, including policy, surveillance, program evaluation, strategic planning, personnel, and fiscal activities. In November 2004, Harry received a Special Recognition Award from the Bureau of Tuberculosis and Refugee Health, Florida Department of Health, for his contributions to improving TB control efforts in Miami (Dade County). Harry plans to temporarily retire to Melbourne Beach, Florida, where he enjoys traveling, kayaking, fishing, and riding his bike.

Todd Wilson, MS, CHES, is leaving DTBE to work for CDC/NCID/Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ). His last day with DTBE is March 25. Todd came to DTBE’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) in late 2002 and assumed most of the duties of Glory Kelly, who retired at the end of 2002. He oversaw the entire process of cleaning and closing the surveillance system data set, formatting the annual surveillance report, proofreading the complex tables, and printing and distributing the report. The annual report Todd produced in 2003, the 50-year anniversary edition, is a remarkable tribute to his hard work. Todd also coordinated all responses to requests for surveillance data. To improve how we provide surveillance data summaries, he conceived of and instituted an on-line surveillance data request system this year. This new system allows us to track these requests and evaluate how quickly and accurately we respond. The success of the new system is already evident by the substantial increase in requests that have been submitted. Todd has also been the surveillance team’s expert in our effort to make an important transition from our current surveillance software system to the new CDC-wide NEDSS platform. This required him to master a new technical field and work with others with very different backgrounds; he did both with great skill. In his new position as the Officer in Charge of the El Paso, Texas, Quarantine Station, Todd will manage the day-to-day affairs of the station and supervise two PHAs and an administrative staff person. He will receive reports of ill passengers arriving via the international terminal at El Paso Airport and conduct case finding and contact investigations with other passengers if needed. He will perform the same functions with the major bus terminals in El Paso. As the agency with statutory authority for preventing persons with certain illnesses from entering the Unites States, his group will work with local hospitals to provide isolation and quarantine facilities for those persons (infectious TB patients, for example). The quarantine station will have a Medical Officer on staff to diagnose and direct these activities. He will also work closely with DGMQ to help identify established epidemiologic and geographic disease links for persons who immigrate to the United States through El Paso (i.e., where do these persons end up in the United States, what kinds of illnesses do the immigrants have.) Eventually, the El Paso Quarantine Station will be the headquarters for these imonitoring and epi activities for a large section of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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

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