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TB Notes 2, 2007
Director's Letter
Highlights from State and Local Programs
  Successful Collaborations by New England TB Prevention and Control Programs
World TB Day 2007
  First Annual TB Awareness Walk
  TB and HIV Analogy
  From Us to You
Nursing Update
  Judy Gibson, BSN, MSN, Receives Chief Nurse Officer Award
TB Education and Training Network Updates
  Member Highlight
  Cultural Competency Workgroup: Special Topic Discussion on “The Culture of Substance Users”
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch Update
  New Additions to
Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch Updates
  MDR TB and XDR TB Clinical Trials Design Working Group Formed
  The Long Road to a Shorter, Stronger, Safer Cure for TB – How to Get There Faster
International Research and Programs Branch Update
  Building the Capacity of Health Care Workers from the Former Soviet Union on TB/HIV Surveillance Activities
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch Updates
  RVCT Revision
  10th Semiannual Meeting of the TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium
New CDC Publications
Personnel Notes
Calendar of Events
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TB Notes Newsletter

No. 2, 2007


Member Highlight

Margaret Marek RohterMargaret Marek Rohter, MPH, has been an Outreach Program Supervisor for the Suburban Cook County TB District in Illinois since February of 1996. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1973. Five years later, she graduated from the University of Illinois School of Public Health with a masters degree in public health. Margaret is a Certified Public Health Administrator in the state of Illinois, as well as a Licensed Environmental Health Practitioner. In addition, she is a fellow with the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.

Margaret’s job responsibilities include planning and delivering effective training and instructional programs (primarily in English, but also in Spanish when appropriate); developing and maintaining community relationships; and facilitating collaboration and communication with external groups to ensure participation of key stakeholders, such as immigrant groups. Her duties also encompass coordinating targeted testing programs at community sites, reviewing and developing educational materials for patients and staff, and developing content for her agency’s website.

In the late 1990s, Margaret began contacting TB programs around the country requesting that they share their foreign language educational materials. Through this effort, she heard about the first TB ETN conference — Culture, Language, and Literacy in TB Education and Training — in 2001. Unfortunately, she was unable to attend that conference, but has attended every TB ETN conference beginning with the following year and has learned a great deal at each one.

Margaret joined the Cultural Competency subcommittee in 2002 and was impressed with the efforts of that group to identify resources for TB programs. In 2004 she volunteered to serve as the incoming co-chair of that subcommittee. “I have been most impressed with the caliber of the individuals who have served as co-chairs of this subcommittee. They have become a long-distance support network for me. Members of this subcommittee are dedicated professionals who are always willing to share resources, experiences, and insights.” She is very proud of the Cultural Competency Resource List that is available on the TB Education and Training Resources website.

It is Margaret’s belief that the role of TB educators will continuously evolve with the development of new technologies, such as webinars, and diagnostic tools such as the QuantiFERON blood test. It is critical for TB ETN to continue to develop new materials to educate the public and other health professionals about these changes. As the number of TB cases and financial resources decreases in the United States, it will be even more important for TB ETN to provide a network for staff members to use in sharing resources and to provide a forum for discussing education and training issues. She also hopes that TB ETN will be able to advocate for international programs to reduce the burden of disease in other countries.

Margaret’s most recent accomplishment has been the re-design of her agency’s Website, Margaret noted that in the past, she had been more of an “implementer” than a “developer” of products. Over the course of 10 years, she has provided in-service training in all of the long term–care facilities in the district. She also provided training and materials for school district nurses, drug abuse agency personnel, social service providers, paramedics and police departments, and other community agencies.

On a more personal note, Margaret has two children in college and a husband who is a civil engineer and a geographic information systems (GIS) instructor. She is the oldest of seven daughters (no brothers). In her spare time, Margaret enjoys listening to Brazilian music, bicycling, and canoeing. She also loves traveling and seeking out new experiences as was evidenced when she traveled throughout South America for 6 months in 1976 after serving 2 years in Bahia, Brazil, as a Peace Corps volunteer. She is involved with fundraising for the Peace Corps Partnerships through the Oak Park Council on International Affairs as well as advocacy for TB through the Metropolitan Chicago TB Coalition. She is also a member of Campaign for Better Health Care, the Sao Paulo-Illinois Partners of the Americas, and the Chicago Area Peace Corps Association.

If you’d like to join Margaret as a TB ETN member and take advantage of all it has to offer, please send an e-mail requesting a TB ETN registration form to The registration form is available online (PDF). You can also send a request by fax to (404) 639-8960 or by mail to
TB ETN, CEBSB, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, CDC,
1600 Clifton Rd., N.E., MS E10,
Atlanta, Georgia 30333.

Please visit TB ETN if you would like additional information.

—By Jeuneviette Bontemps-Jones, MPH, CHES
Div of TB Elimination

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Cultural Competency Workgroup:
Special Topic Discussion on “The Culture of Substance Users”

At the 2006 TB ETN Annual Conference, the Cultural Competency workgroup decided to hold quarterly discussions to explore cultural issues regarding TB control among specific populations that were not traditionally defined foreign cultural groups. Suggested topics for the quarterly discussions included TB among substance users, corrections, African Americans, alternative sexualities, and the homeless. The quarterly discussions are conducted in conjunction with the monthly workgroup conference call meetings. The first 30 minutes of the calls are devoted to the normal business of the workgroup. The special cultural issue discussion is held for the next hour. The current format includes guest speakers who facilitate a discussion on the topic. Ideally, these discussions will include an exchange of resources that will be incorporated into the Cultural Competency Resource List. This list is on the Behavioral and Social Science Resources page of the TB Education and Training Resources website.

The first special topics discussion, “The Culture of Substance Users,” took place in November 2006 and included guest speakers from New York City and Washington State. The first guest speakers were Douglas Goldsmith, an anthropology professor from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and staff from the TB Control Program at the Snohomish Health District in Everett, Washington. The staff included Susan Robison, public health nurse; Jenny Donovan, disease investigator; Gloria Fiedler, HIV/AIDS Program Manager; and Donna Allis, TB program manager.

Based on his methadone treatment research for heroin addicts, Dr. Goldsmith discussed different subcultures of drug users, their unique set of beliefs and perceptions, and how those influence treatment compliance behavior. The staff from the Snohomish Health District described their recent experience with an outbreak of TB among individuals who use methamphetamines, and identified some behavioral norms of substance users.

The next edition of the Northeastern COE’s Cultural Competency Newsletter, “TB and the Subculture of Methamphetamine Users,” will be based on the experience of the Snohomish Health District.

—Submitted by Kristina Ottenwess, MPH
Training Specialist
Southeastern National TB Center
University of Florida

We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.

—Former President Jimmy Carter


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