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TB Notes 2, 2000

Personnel Notes

Gustavo Aquino was selected for the public health advisor position in the International Activity Unit, DTBE. Gus reported for his new assignment on May 21, 2000. He is the lead TB public health advisor for TB activities in Russia, the Baltic Republics (Latvia and Estonia), and other countries as assigned. Gus was previously assigned to the Puerto Rico Department of Health, where he served as the TB program advisor since 1996. In Puerto Rico his management skills contributed toward program progress and success in updating and coordinating island-wide TB policies relating to surveillance, case reporting, case management, directly observed therapy (DOT), contact investigations, and screening. Gus started his TB career with CDC in New York City in 1993 where he was involved with numerous local activities involving program evaluation and consultation, DOT, and assisting with the supervision and training of new TB reps. He began his public health career in Miami, Florida, in 1990 with the STD program and has had previous assignments to the Chicago STD Program and the New Jersey TB Control Program.

Brenda Ashkar retired on March 30, 2000, as nurse manager and consultant from the County of Los Angeles TB Control Division after 19 years with the program. In 1995, she served as the first president of the National TB Nurse Consultant Coalition (NTNCC) and on the National TB Controllers Association (NTCA) Executive Board the same year. In 1989 and 1990, she served on the Executive Committee of the California TB Controller's Association (CTCA). Additionally, she helped train many CDC field staff who were assigned to the County of Los Angeles TB Control Division. Brenda is lovingly called the "public health nurse's nurse." Brenda, Carol Pozsik, and Tina Schein designed the first guide to TB nursing practice, which was later published as Tuberculosis Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide to Patient Care, 1997. She is a mentor and role model for public health nurses around the world.

Subroto Banerji was selected for the public health advisor position in Berkeley, California, effective June 5, 2000. Subroto attended Ohio State University where he completed his B.S. in Biology in 1990. He completed his M.P.H. in 1996 at San Diego State University with an emphasis in epidemiology, biostatistics, and analytical research methods. He is currently employed as the Asst TB Program Director/ Epidemiologist for the County of Alameda Public Health Department, where he has overseen major changes in program operations, development, and management since 1998. His other significant employment experience includes that of TB Program Analyst/Database Mgr/Asst Epidemiologist in the San Diego County TB Control Program from 1994 to 1996, and part-time lecturer at San Diego State University, Graduate School of Public Health, in the field of international health and Epi-Info. Subrotoi has significant training in database applications, including TIMS, Access, SURVS-TB and software analysis programs that include Epi-Info, TB-Info, and SAS-PC.

Rosalyn Barner-Springs retired on October 15, 1999, after 28 years of government service working in the Division of TB Elimination. Her last years were spent working with the Research and Evaluation Branch as a Project Clerk.

Regina Bess accepted a position as a Visual Information Specialist in the Graphics Unit of the Communications and Education Branch, taking the position that was left when Sylvia Ivill retired. Those who have been here a few years remember Regina from her previous employment here, from August 1992 until March 1996. Before that, she had worked in the Creative Arts Branch in the Public Health Practice Program Office. In 1996 she left DTBE to take a graphics position in the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and has now returned. We are very happy to have her back, not only because of her excellent graphics skills but also because of her sunny, fun-loving disposition.

John Brooks, PhD, Research Chemist, TB and Mycobacteriology Branch, DASTLR, NCID, retired on December 31 after 40 years of service. For the past 10 years Dr. Brooks had performed research on the detection of metabolites associated with TB for diagnostic purposes. We wish Dr. Brooks a long and happy retirement after his many years of government service.

Lisa Cairns, MD, left the division on August 1, 2000, to join the Global Measles Elimination Branch, Vaccine Preventable Disease Eradication Division, NIP, where she will have the opportunity to participate in more international activities. Lisa was a valuable member of the Field Services Branch over the last 2 years, working on activities such as conducting the study on delays in completion of therapy, providing valuable consultation to the consultants and state and local TB program staff, implementing the targeted testing projects, and assisting with the screening of Kosovar refugees. She was a great pleasure to work with, both as an epidemiologist and as a person.

George Cauthen, PhD, retired from CDC on June 30. George served over 20 years in the Commissioned Corps. The last 2 years were spent in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Epidemiology and Health Services Research Branch (EHSRB), where he was a major contributor to the US Burden of Disease and Injury Project. However, most of George's work was in the field of TB epidemiology and control. Prior to coming to EHSRB, he worked in the Division of TB Elimination, starting in 1980, during which time he served as a Branch Chief for the Surveillance and Epidemiologic Studies Branch.

Yvette Davis, VMD, MPH, has left the division after accepting a position with the National Institute of Health (NIH) as a Scientific Review Administrator in the Center for Scientific Review. Yvette entered the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program at CDC in 1992, followed by the Preventive Medicine Residency (PMR) program also at CDC. She was Chief Resident of CDC's PMR program before coming to DTBE as a medical epidemiologist in the Surveillance Section of SEB in July 1996.

Nick DeLuca accepted the Freddie Award for CDC at an awards ceremony in New York City in November. The outstanding work of the CDC team responsible for developing and implementing the Web-Based Self-Study Modules on Tuberculosis was recognized with the award at the International Health and Medical Film Competition. This prestigious and competitive award is given for excellence in health and medical film, videotape, and Website production. The Freddie Award is named after Dr. Fred Gottlieb, who started the competition 27 years ago. CDC's Web-Based Self-Study Modules on Tuberculosis course, developed by an intercenter team from DTBE/NCHSTP and DMTS/PHPPO, was voted the best in the Infectious Disease Category. Representatives from DTBE and DMTS attended the ceremony in New York City to accept the award. The International Health and Medical Film competition is owned by Time Inc. Health and is sponsored by the American Medical Association. The Web-based modules are available on DTBE's Website at under Site Highlights; click on Self-Study Modules on TB.

Lisa Fitzpatrick, MD, has left the division to begin a Preventive Medicine Residency. Lisa joined DTBE as an EIS Officer in the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch 2 years ago in July 1998. She assisted with epidemiologic investigations and related assignments. Lisa came to CDC from the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine.

Gloria Gambale joined the division in June as a Computer Program Assistant in the Computer and Statistics Branch. Prior to this position, she worked for 2 years in the Division of Oral Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Before joining CDC, Gloria was employed by the IRS.

Teresa Goss was selected for the Program Operations Assistant position in the Field Operations Sections (FOS) in the Field Services Branch (FSB). She serves as the key support person for FOS headquarters and field staff needs, including travel, personnel, and any other operational and administrative matters. Teresa initially worked for CDC in 1989 and then again in 1990 in temporary assignments. She left CDC for a permanent position with the Internal Revenue Service; in November of 1998 she came back to CDC in DTBE's Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch (SEB) as branch secretary. Teresa started her new assignment in FSB on May 21.

Lillian (Pat) Griffin retired on December 31, 1999, after more than 30 years of contributions to the Division of TB Elimination. She worked as a statistical assistant in the Field Services Branch from 1993 to the time of her retirement; prior to that, she worked in the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch. Pat's attention to detail and cheerful, gracious personality made her an indispensible member of any office she worked in. We miss her and wish her much happiness in her retirement.

Connie Henderson was selected as a Program Operations Assistant in the Research and Evaluation Branch (REB) effective April 10, 2000. Connie started as a temporary employee in October 1998. After many extensions her term expired in October 1999, and she was then hired as a contract employee. Connie is now officially a CDC employee, with REB's congratulations.

Sylvia Ivill retired from CDC on October 31 after 31 years of government service. She had worked in the position of Visual Information Specialist in the Graphics Unit of the Communications and Education Branch, assisting DTBE staff with a variety of graphics projects and earning praise from coworkers for her patience and helpfulness. Before that she worked in the Computer and Statistics Branch, where she assisted with the computer graphics work; prior to that position, she worked in the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch. Sylvia was a caring, good-humored friend to all and a valued coworker, showing persistence in following through on each assignment to achieve what the author wanted. We will miss her and wish her the best in retirement.

Kathryn Koski was selected as the TIMS Project Coordinator. Kathryn came to Atlanta from an assistant public health advisor position in the Florida Department of Health. She joined the DTBE field staff in 1997 with an assignment to the Los Angeles TB Control Program. In that assignment she had a wide range of responsibilities including the management of the TB registry, oversight of the laboratory surveillance and mobile chest x-ray units, and the management of the incentive and enabler program. She gained experience in preparing grants and program management reports and acting as liaison to the Los Angeles HIV Prevention Planning Council. She also coordinated the countywide implementation of the DTBE contact investigations study. Prior to joining the DTBE field staff, Kathryn was a supervisory PHA with the Division of STD Prevention in Los Angeles and Miami, Florida. She graduated with honors from Emory University's Graduate Certificate Program, class of 1998. Kathryn started her assignment in DTBE in February 2000.

Scott McCombs, MPH, was selected for the position of Deputy Branch Chief, Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch. Previously an epidemiologist in SEB, Scott left DTBE in April 1997 to assume the position of Chief, Systems Integration Activity, Division of Public Health Surveillance and Informatics, EPO. Before joining DTBE in February 1993, he was an epidemiologist in the HIV Seroepidemiology Branch in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

Eugene McCray, MD, has left DTBE to accept a position as the Director of the NCHSTP Global AIDS Activity (GAA), leaving his post as Chief, Surveillance Section, Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch, DTBE. Prior to taking that job in 1993, he was a medical epidemiologist in the former Division of HIV/AIDS; in 1983 he entered CDC as an EIS officer with the Hospital Infections Program. Eugene was a true leader in many aspects of the Division's work in surveillance, including the implementation of SURVS-TB in 1993, in helping during the subsequent transition to TIMS, and in analyzing the TB surveillance database to improve our understanding of the recent epidemiology of TB to guide rational prevention and control efforts. Additionally, Eugene is a consummate team player, always willing to extend himself to accomplish our shared mission. He served as our Center's representative to the CDC Commissioned Corps Awards Committee, always being of assistance in helping supervisors understand the complexities of successful award nominations. He has developed increasing interest and experience in international health over the past several years, including important work in developing community-based care for people with TB and HIV in rural settings in Africa. Given that TB is a leading HIV-related opportunistic infection (OI) in Africa, much of the Global AIDS Activity's work in the provision of care and prevention of OIs will inevitably be related to TB. NCHSTP is fortunate to have Eugene take his outstanding knowledge, abilities, and personality to this important work.

Ida Onorato, MD, Chief, Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch (SEB), DTBE, has accepted a position with the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention - Surveillance and Epidemiology, NCHSTP. She came to DTBE in 1992 from the Division of HIV/AIDS, where she had been the Chief of the Clinic and Special Surveys Section, HIV Seroepidemiology Branch. She helped reshape SEB by recruiting and retaining outstanding staff. Over the past several months she had also served as Acting Chief, Epidemiology Section. Ida made many outstanding contributions in the fields of TB epidemiology and surveillance. We appreciate her leadership and expertise and wish her the best of luck in her new position.

Kate O'Toole was selected for the position of Associate Director for Management and Operations (ADMO), DTBE, Paul Poppe's previous position. Her official start in this position became effective on October 25, 1999. Between that date and December 31, Paul assisted Kate achieve a smooth transition into her new position, as Paul was likewise making the transition into his new position of Deputy Director, DTBE. Kate assumed full duties of ADMO on January 1, 2000. Prior to taking this position, Kate was the Project Manager of the TB Information Management System (TIMS), a position to which she was appointed in April 1996. Prior to that, Kate served as a TB public health advisor in New York City and an STD public health advisor in Long Beach, California, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Kathleen Perez-Hureaux was selected for a public health advisor position in the New York City TB Control Program. She is responsible for the overall direction and development of the education and training unit within the TB Control Program and will also manage and supervise all staff assigned to the unit. Kathleen served as Director of Training with the Home Care Association Training Institute from 1988 to 1995. From 1995 to 1997 she served as curriculum developer for three organizations requiring her training expertise (Philadelphia Home Care, 1199 Job Security Fund, and Consortium for Worker Education). In 1997 Kathleen joined the New York City TB Control Program as a Senior Public Health Educator. In that role, she conducted TB training and education for program staff and for the community, participated in the production of videos on treatment of latent TB infection, and assisted the acting director with overall management of the unit. In January 1999 she was promoted to Director, Education and Training Unit. Kathleen started her assignment as a new PHA on February 27, 2000.

Paul Poppe was selected for the position of Deputy Director of DTBE in anticipation of the retirement this year of Carl Schieffelbein, the previous Deputy Director. The months of overlap between Carl and Paul provided for a well-planned transition period during which Paul became familiar with his new position while Carl became more involved with the special projects to which he is now devoting his time. Effective January 1, 2000, Paul assumed full duties of Deputy Director. Paul came to DTBE in 1993 from the former Division of STD/HIV Prevention, initially assisting in division operations in the Office of the Director, DTBE. In 1995 he was selected as Associate Director for Management and Operations. Paul brings to the Deputy Director position a wealth of supervisory and managerial expertise.

Joann Schulte, DO, left the division in May 2000 for an epidemiology position in the National Immunization Program. Joann joined DTBE as an epidemiologist in the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch in August 1995. She came to DTBE from the Texas Department of Health. Prior to that she was an EIS Officer with the Division of STD/HIV Prevention.

Patricia Simone, MD, formerly Chief of the Field Services Branch of DTBE, was selected for the position of Chief, Prevention Services Office (PSO), in NCHSTP. Pattie was recruited to DTBE in 1992 from National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, at a time when our country was confronted by numerous outbreaks of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB). Her expertise in the complicated clinical management of patients with MDR TB was indispensable in the revision of policy recommendations and in the implementation of several components of the 1992 National Action Plan to Combat MDR TB. In September 1996, Pattie was appointed Chief, Field Services Branch (FSB), DTBE. During the last few years she has strengthened FSB by adding Medical Officers to the excellent staff of Public Health Advisors, enabling DTBE to provide both medical and administrative expertise to TB programs throughout the country. During her tenure in DTBE, Pattie was a great team player, always willing to help our division on issues related to the prevention of TB in health-care settings (she was one of the few who understood all the complexities of the CDC recommendations published in the MMWR in 1994), the clinical management of TB cases, the training of other physicians in Latvia on the management of MDR TB, and in the assessment of approaches to integrate the management of HIV, STD, and TB prevention in several parts of the country. She traveled to Guantanamo, Cuba, to help train the Department of Defense physicians in the TB screening of Haitian- and Cuban-born refugees. An active member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS), Pattie has also contributed immensely to the development of the scientific content of their annual meeting (and worked with John Seggerson on the yearly CDC-sponsored TB poster session), as well as to the latest ATS/CDC TB diagnostic standards, and helped review all of the TB guidelines published by CDC. Most recently, she had been assisting with the development of our outbreak response plan to better coordinate the long-term response with the acute investigative phase.

Louella Simonetti, secretary for the Computer and Statistics Branch (CSB) in DTBE, left the division in March 2000. She is now employed in a position as a Program Operations Assistant with the Prevention Services Office, Office of the Director, NCHSTP. Louella came to DTBE in February 1999 from Mississippi, where she had been employed by the Navy.

Leeza Stoller left her position as Director of the Francis J. Curry National TB Center at the end of 1999. She had worked in that position over the past 6 years. As of January 2000, she joined the newly-formed Institute for Global Health, a San Francisco-based joint endeavor of the University of California, San Francisco; the University of California, Berkeley; and Stanford University.

Lorna Thorpe, PhD, has been selected as a new EIS officer in International Activities. Lorna received her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She worked as project director on a CDC-funded HIV study among young injecting drug users (IDUs) while also completing her dissertation work on hepatitis C transmission among IDUs. She has also worked internationally on HIV risk factors and prevention in Indonesia and with the Women and Infant Transmission Study at NIH examining the effects of drug use on HIV disease progression. Lorna joined International Activities in July.

Dawn Tuckey was selected for the vacant supervisory public health advisor position in the Philadelphia TB program. Dawn will function as a senior program advisor to the TB controller, Dr. P.J. Brennan, and will be involved in program assessment, assisting local management officials in preparing and managing the program budget and cooperative agreement mechanism, and oversight and consultation on the use of local program staff. Dawn started her CDC career in 1985 as a public health associate assigned to the North Carolina STD control program. She also held STD positions in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She joined the Division of TB Elimination in July of 1990 and was assigned to New York City. In 1993, she took a senior public health advisor position in Wisconsin where she was the TB program director until 1997. In that year, Dawn accepted a position in Washington, DC, with the Division of Diabetes Translation. She has worked as the director of that program since that time. Dawn began her duties in Philadelphia on Jan 2, 2000.

Stephen Waterman, MD, MPH, was selected for the position of FSB medical officer in a joint assignment with the Division of Quarantine (DQ) as a coordinator for U.S.- Mexico border infectious disease control activities, and is stationed in the California Office of Binational Border Health in San Diego. Steve is the CDC lead for the border infectious disease surveillance (BIDS) project, a collaboration with Mexico and border states implementing sentinel surveillance in border sister cities, and is assisting DTBE with evaluation of CDC U.S.-Mexico border TB projects and with liaison to Ten Against TB. Steve attended Stanford University as an undergraduate and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He received an MPH in epidemiology from UCLA. Steve was a member of the EIS class of 1981 assigned to the Division of Vector-borne Viral Diseases and was a CDC Preventive Medicine Resident. He was a fellow in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, San Diego. He is board certified in pediatrics and preventive medicine. Steve served as disease control officer in Los Angeles and San Diego counties and was the California State Epidemiologist from 1995 to 1999. He has published a variety of articles on infectious disease surveillance and epidemiology and immunizations. He has been a consultant to the Mexico Secretariat of health on a number of occasions and was a member of the Design Team for the U.S.- Mexico Border Health Commission. He began his assignment in San Diego on August 1, 1999.

Jessie Wing, MD, joined FSB as a field medical officer assigned to the State of Hawaii in the position of medical director of the Hawaii TB program. Jessie received undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Arizona, and she completed a residency in internal medicine at Brown University. She was an EIS officer in the Center for Environmental Health from 1987 to 1989, and completed a preventive medicine residency in 1992. She has worked as a medical epidemiologist in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and in the National Immunization Program. She has international experience in China and other parts of Asia, including special projects with the World Health Organization (WHO), and has extensive experience in working on Asian/Pacific Islander issues. She also worked in Hawaii on a CDC project on hepatitis among indigent populations. Jessie started her assignment on October 1, 1999, in Hawaii, where she joined Gabe Palumbo, DTBE public health advisor assigned to Hawaii.


Diana Mazzella, who was the lead secretary for the Field Services Branch, passed away at home on May 16, 2000. Diana was on medical leave while undergoing treatment for retroperitoneal fibrosis. She had recently reported feeling much better and was looking forward to returning to her position. It was therefore very distressing to learn about her sudden death, especially as we were expecting her imminent return. Diana joined CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS in 1991 and later worked for the Office of the Director, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention. In 1994 she was recruited to the Division of TB Elimination. In May 1999 she was a finalist among the hundreds of nominees for the Outstanding Technician or Assistant Award at Atlanta's annual Federal Employee of the Year awards ceremony. A native Puerto Rican, Diana was proud of her heritage and actively participated in the organization and activities of the Puerto Rican Society of Georgia. She was hard-working, good-natured, a great team player, and well liked. Diana is missed by all of us.


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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