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TB Notes 2, 2006
Highlights from State and Local Programs
  An Outbreak Response in a Rural, Southwest Missouri County Jail
  No Reported TB Cases in Wyoming in 2005
  Suffolk County (New York) Targeted TB Testing and Treatment Program Among the Foreign-born, 2000–2004
  The Changing Epidemiology of TB in Connecticut, 2000-2004
  Molecular Genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Connecticut
  Third Annual Conference on TB in the U.S. Pacific Islands: Meeting Highlights, Challenges, and Solutions for Addressing the Disparities
  "Update: Tuberculosis Nursing" Workshop in Hawaii
  Lessons Learned in the Process of Evaluation – Illinois
  TB Education and Targeted Testing of Garfield County, Colorado, WIC Clients
Laboratory Updates
TB Education and Training Network Updates
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch Updates
Information Technology and Statistics Branch Update
SEOIB Updates
New CDC Publications
Personnel Notes
Calendar of Events
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TB Notes Newsletter

No. 2, 2006


Sandy Althomsons, MA, MHS, has joined DTBE in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch. Sandy joined the branch as of April 11 as its new Data Manager (the position previously held by Lynn Latimer). Sandy has been with Northrop Grumman Corporation since 2002, working in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and serving as Task Lead for a Northrop Grumman Corporation Research and Development effort addressing pandemic influenza surveillance detection and response. Previously Sandy worked as a short-term professional for the Stop TB Unit at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Manila, the Philippines, where she helped monitor tuberculosis programs for the region. Sandy received a masters degree in biology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a masters degree in international health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. In her spare time she reads, studies German, and tries to improve her cooking skills.

Eileen Bell, an Office Automation (OA) Clerk, recently began working in the DTBE Office of the Director, and is available to provide a wide array of administrative services to DTBE staff. Eileen, who is organizationally a part of CDC’s Management Analysis and Services Office (MASO), has been assigned to support all of NCHSTP but is located in DTBE for direct support. She brings with her a great amount of experience and enthusiasm, and her OA support will be beneficial to all. She is new to the Atlanta area, having come here from Northern California after serving in the Air Force in the 1990s on active duty. She left after serving 4 years at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, as an Administrative Assistant. She also spent a number of years at Kaiser Permanente Hospital working in different support capacities. In addition, Eileen has had experience working in retail sales in private industry. We welcome Eileen and are happy to have her here.

Deborah Carr was selected for a TB public health advisor (PHA) position with the Austin/Travis County Health Department in Austin, Texas, and has moved from Los Angeles, California, where she had worked for CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. Deborah has a BA degree in sociology from California State University. She began her public health career with the STD program of the County of Los Angeles, working as a Disease Intervention Specialist from 1991 to 1996. Her additional assignments with the County STD program included serving as a Research Analyst from 1996 to 1999 and as Syphilis Elimination Coordinator from 1999 to 2001. In 2001, Deborah was hired by CDC’s Division of STD Prevention and was assigned to Los Angeles as Lead PHA/Special Projects Coordinator. This position involved the planning, coordination, implementation, evaluation, and oversight of daily operations of special STD/HIV screening projects in the Los Angeles County Jail. Deborah began her assignment in Austin effective March 19, 2006.

Kim Field, RN, MN, the TB Program Manager for the Washington State Department of Health, has been selected as President of the Board of the American Lung Association of Washington (ALAW). In 2006, during Kim’s 2-year tenure as President, the ALAW will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Kim has been a board member for the ALAW for 5 years and a volunteer for 10 years. She has served on multiple committees within the ALAW organization over the last decade. In addition to the ALAW, she is also affiliated with other public health organizations such as the Washington State Public Health Association and the Washington State TB Advisory Committee. “It is clear to everyone who knows her that Kim is a dedicated professional for those living with lung disease,” said Marina Cofer-Wildsmith, CEO of the ALAW. “I look forward to working with Kim over the coming 2 years to continue our strong work in promoting lung health issues in Washington State.” Kim has served as the TB Program Manager of the Washington State Department of Health since 1996 and has been employed with the Department since 1989. She has also been a member of National Tuberculosis Controller’s Association since 1994 and has served on the Executive Board as President (2004) and Secretary (2000). Kim is currently serving as adjunct faculty at the University of Washington’s School of Nursing. Since 1997, Kim has concurrently been employed as a community-based home health nurse. She provides skilled nursing services to patients recently discharged from acute care and rehabilitation facilities. She applies nursing assessment skills with the Oasis Assessment tool. Kim received a masters degree in nursing from Seattle University in 1997 and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from San Diego State University in 1971. She has lifetime certification in Public Health Nursing and School Nurse Standard Services Credentials from the State of California.

Kathryn Ruck Guillen has been selected for the public health advisor (PHA) position in New Orleans with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health. From June 2004 through January 2006, she functioned as technical and programmatic advisor to the TB Program Manager with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Her primary responsibilities included serving as team leader for program evaluations of New Jersey TB clinics and serving as the TB education focal point for the state. From March 2002 to June 2004, Kate served as an advisor to the South Carolina TB Controller, with a specific focus on contact investigations. While in the position, she conducted statewide trainings on contact investigations, developed state contact investigation policies and procedures, participated in audits and quality assurance reviews, and developed the content and reports for the Tuberculosis Contact Investigation System (TBCIS). Prior to that assignment, Kate served as a PHA for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services assigned to the Hudson County TB Program as a public health field representative. Before coming to DTBE, she was a member of the TB Control Program for the Louisiana Office of Public Health. Kate began her new assignment on February 5, 2006.

Sandra Kong, MPH, has left DTBE after accepting a new position as a Program Officer at the Academy for Educational Development (AED), Center for Global Health Communication and Marketing in Washington, DC. The Center works to bring about positive changes in the actions of individuals, communities, and institutions that will improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations around the world. Sandra will be working on various global health projects through advocacy strategies, behavior change communications, and community-based initiatives to provide technical support to many health-related fields such as treatment of common childhood diseases, pregnancy prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, containment of avian influenza, and communication in humanitarian emergencies. Sandra joined the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) as an ASPH Health Education and Instructional Design Fellow in 2005, and has been a member of the Education, Training, and Behavioral Studies Team. Sandra came to DTBE from the Global AIDS Program (GAP), where she had served as an ASPH Global HIV Behavior Change Fellow for 2 years. Sandra's last day in DTBE was April 11. We miss Sandra and wish her the best of luck.

Lynn Latimer, MS, MIS, has left her position in DTBE as data manager with the surveillance team in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch for a position at the University of Georgia, Athens, as Data Analysis and Statistics Manager. She will be leading efforts to establish an accountability program within the Information Technology Division there. She was employed at CDC through the Northrop Grumman contract, and worked with the surveillance team for over one year. Lynn was the recipient of the DTBE Director's Award for the first quarter of 2006; she was also the recipient of the NCHSTP Director's Recognition Award for March 2006. She received these awards for innovations she made that improved quality, effectiveness, and efficiency; for her initiative in developing new approaches or procedures; and for her efforts beyond the call of duty and beyond the scope of her position. Her leadership and efforts in the development and production of the Annual Report (Reported Tuberculosis in the United States, 2004) were exceptional. She introduced efficiencies and automated certain processes which will save both time and money next year. Furthermore, she documented all processes in such detail that it will simplify the development of future reports. Lynn began making significant contributions to the surveillance team shortly after her arrival. She worked beyond the scope of her position by taking a leadership role in “process improvements.” She brought to every task the same level of dedication, professionalism, and expertise that she demonstrated on the Annual Report. She became instrumental in the development of procedures for developing and sharing the completeness reports with our state partners. She set up a system to take basic Excel information regarding GPRA variable completion rates by state and evaluate these against a predetermined completion goal which changed for each variable. She was also able to automate the process to generate e-mails which could be provided to the state TB controllers and FSEB consultants responsible for each area, reducing this process from an estimated several days to about an hour. Lynn made wonderful contributions to our team, to our spirit, and to the processes we follow to get our work done, and she will be missed.

Elvin Magee, MPH, joined the Surveillance Team of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch as a health scientist on March 20, 2006. Besides being very personable, Elvin brings with him a wide array of education and experience in the fields of engineering, management, and public health surveillance. He joins us from the Statistics and Data Management Branch, Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), where he served for almost 7 years as a Health Scientist and Information Technology Specialist. He has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering, a masters degree in human relations and business, and a masters degree in public health. He transitioned from private industry to public health in 1990 by serving as an evaluation supervisor for the Dallas County AIDS Community Demonstration Project. In this capacity, he supervised data collectors, and managed the information system for this community-based project. In January 1996, he moved to Atlanta to work with the HIV/AIDS Reporting Systems (HARS) in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP). Elvin trained personnel to use the Health Information Retrieval System, which supported local surveillance teams in extracting epidemiologic data from HARS. Elvin also worked as data manager for the Young Men’s Survey Project in DHAP. His efforts included data management for quality and survey development. In August 1999, he joined the STD division and worked with the Syphilis Elimination and Corrections Projects. He primarily supported the Office of the Director and branch staff with data requests and routine surveillance activities. In addition, he participated in the CDC mentoring program, Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Council, and emergency response efforts for Hurricane Katrina. In his leisure, Elvin enjoys poetry, chess, basketball, football, and a variety of music. He comes from a family rich in music as many of his relatives are music teachers or performers.

Brandii Mayes, MPH, has joined DTBE from the Office of the Chief Science Officer (OCSO) as part of her second CIO fellowship assignment in the Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) program. While at the OCSO, she worked with the Science Vision and Alliances Team to help with CDC's internal public health ethics capacity building efforts. During her 6 months assignment at DTBE, Brandii will be working with Field Services and Evaluation Branch and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch staff to develop a systematic process for evaluating the effectiveness of outbreak response activities. Brandii received an undergraduate degree in biology from Clark Atlanta University. As a student there, she became a member of Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. During her undergraduate summers, she conducted laboratory research at various institutions including Harvard University School of Public Health/Dana Farber Cancer Institute, The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston, University of Texas Medical Branch, Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse College in areas such as HIV, ophthalmology and visual science, diabetes, and environmental toxicology. During her final undergraduate summer of 2002, she conducted research abroad in Kingston, Jamaica, with the assistance of the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Fogarty MIRT program. There she co-authored her first journal article, entitled Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of Jamaican adolescents with HIV/AIDS. She obtained her masters degree in public health from the University of Texas - Houston School of Public Health with a concentration in community health practice. While a student there, she spent 3 years conducting behavioral research on several studies targeting high-risk, drug-using populations aimed at encouraging condom use, testing, and education about HIV and hepatitis B. A native of Houston, Texas, Brandii enjoys organized sports, and is currently on a CDC Share softball team. While in Houston, she coached an all-girl, award-winning high school step team and was a member of the NBA's Houston Rockets G-Force Step Squad. In her spare time, she enjoys working with youth in the community.

Paul Moffat has been selected for a TB public health advisor (PHA) position with the Los Angeles County Health Department in Los Angeles, California. Paul departed for Los Angeles from Atlanta, Georgia, where he had been working for CDC’s Coordinating Office for Global Health, Division of Epidemiology and Surveillance Capacity Development (DESCD). Paul began his CDC public health career with the Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) program, working as a Disease Intervention Specialist. His additional assignments have included serving as a TB PHA in New Orleans, Louisiana, and later as a PHA in the Immunization Program. Paul began his assignment in Los Angeles effective May 1, 2006.

Sarah O’Leary, MPH, MA, finished her assignment with DTBE on April 5, 2006; this was her first assignment as a Public Health Prevention Specialist Fellow. While in DTBE’s Field Services and Evaluation Branch, she worked on several projects, focusing primarily on evaluation with the Program Evaluation Team. She provided technical assistance to state TB programs in the development of their evaluation plans. She also worked on selecting indicators from the indicator library, and preparing a draft guidance document that will be further developed into a guide to using indicators in TB program evaluation. Sarah also worked on analyzing the 2005 TB data for the US-affiliated Pacific Islands, and also prepared the executive summary on that region which was released on World TB Day. Her next assignment is with the Healthy Aging Program in the Division of Adult and Community Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Sarah really enjoyed her time in DTBE, commenting that “It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about TB and program evaluation and a great group of dedicated people to work with.”

Maureen O'Rourke was selected for the senior public health advisor (PHA) position in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is transferring from the Pennsylvania TB Program in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where her responsibilities have included developing goals and objectives consistent with national standards and incorporating them into the cooperative agreement application. She independently wrote the Human Resources Training Plan and assisted with the development of a TB program evaluation plan for Pennsylvania. In addition, she provided TB technical assistance and consultation throughout Pennsylvania, provided presentations, and served as the surveillance coordinator as well as the lead TB program representative for Pennsylvania’s National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (PA-NEDSS). From 2002 to 2004, Maureen was assigned to the Tennessee TB Elimination Program in Nashville, where her responsibilities included writing Tennessee's yearly progress reports and cooperative agreement applications. Maureen completely redesigned the state’s yearly statistical report, and also coordinated World TB Day activities for the state. She also assisted in conducting quality assurance activities for the regions and metropolitan areas in Tennessee. During her last 6 months in Tennessee, she independently revised the state's guidelines for conducting effective contact investigations and also redesigned the contact interview sheet. Maureen began her career with CDC in Columbia, South Carolina, as a PHA in the Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) program. Before that, she was a state Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) for a year and a half in Hillsborough and Manatee counties of Florida. Her job experiences also included clerical and administrative positions at the Veterans Administration and with a National Guard MASH unit. As a state and federal DIS, Maureen was trained and educated in the fundamentals of public health delivery and epidemiology. In 1995 she was reassigned to Dallas, Texas, where she planned, coordinated, and implemented special screening activities at homeless shelters, detention centers, and other sites serving high-risk populations. Maureen also presented educational and training programs. Maureen reported to Raleigh, NC, on March 5, 2006.

Shameer Poonja, MPH, was selected for a public health advisor (PHA) position with the Indiana State Health Department. He is transferring from his current post at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of TB Control, where he has been assigned since 2002. In his most recent position as the Homeless Services Coordinator, Shameer has been involved in overseeing the Bureau’s funded activities with the Department of Homeless Services and HIV Care Services Administration (Ryan White Funding). His activities with the Department of Homeless Services have focused on providing directly observed therapy (DOT) at several DHS shelter sites, as well as at the Bureau’s DOT unit at the 30th Street Men’s Shelter; educating and offering skin testing to all 1500 DHS employees and new hires; and providing education and support to contracted DHS shelter medical providers. Funding from the HIV Care Services Administration has been used to assign Bureau staff to several single-room occupancy (SRO) locations in order to target education, screening, and on-site DOT services to coinfected HIV/TB patients. Shameer began his career with CDC when he was selected to fill the PHA position in New York City in 2002. Prior to his CDC assignment, he had spent 4 years with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 3 of which were with the Division of TB Prevention and Control, coordinating the Division's prevention activities. While with that Division, he was directly responsible for its four community-based targeted testing projects, and also served as the liaison between the Division and various community-based organizations and coalitions. Prior to working in TB, Shameer spent a year with the Refugee and Immigrant Health Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on a CDC-funded research project, evaluating the TB screening practices of the INS-appointed civil surgeons. In 1998, he received his MPH from Boston University School of Public Health. Shameer began his new assignment with Indiana on March 5.


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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