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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  

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TB Notes 3, 2003

TB ETN Update: Member Highlight

The TB Education and Training Network (TB ETN) section of TB Notes will highlight a member each quarter. The hard-working and dedicated people who develop health education materials and conduct TB education and training are among those at the forefront of the fight against TB, and it is our intention to honor and recognize the wonderful work TB ETN members are doing.

Ann Levison, BS, RRT, is the Director of Lung Health Programs and the TB Education Coordinator for the American Lung Association of Connecticut. She received her BS in Public Health from Charter Oak State College, Connecticut.

In her job, Ann is responsible for health education programs related to all lung diseases except asthma. Her work is primarily focused on TB and chronic lung disease as well as influenza and pneumococcal immunization programs. In her TB-related activities, she works under contract for the Connecticut Department of Health TB Program and provides TB educational programs and materials for the state. Some of the programs and products she has been instrumental in developing include TB Transmissions, a newsletter for health professionals; a TB video lending library; TB skin testing workshops; a patient incentive program; organization of quarterly meetings of TB outreach workers around the state; conferences; and catalogs of TB materials.

Ann not only provides the services and programs described above, she is also actively involved in the development of products. Her most recent product is a poster, with English and Spanish versions, promoting treatment for people with latent TB infection. This poster compares latent and active TB to a quiet or active volcano. "It is a dramatic-looking poster (I didnít design it so I can say that) to draw attention to the need to comply with medication regimens." She has also reprinted the booklet Mr.TB Germ, with slight updating of graphics. "This old, much-beloved educational piece was discontinued by the national American Lung Association office some time ago." She is currently working on a pamphlet describing the tuberculin skin test, a publication which was also discontinued by ALA.

Having heard about TB ETN from a colleague in TB control, Ann joined to get new ideas and develop new skills. She also wanted the opportunity to relate to other people providing the same services. "I felt quite isolated before TB ETN. I didnít have regular contact with anyone providing TB education as a main focus (although I believe that every person working in TB provides education). I would occasionally see someone at a conference or see some new material, but there was no forum for regular exchange of information."

Fortunately for TB ETN, Ann was not content to simply join the ranks of the network. She is an active and interested member of the Membership and Communications Subcommittee. " I joined because I see the value in membership and want others to take advantage of the organizationís offerings." When asked what she hopes TB ETN can accomplish in the next 2 years, she replied that she "would like to see lung associations more involved in TB programs, and I think that TB ETN is an organization that can provide the tools for that to happen. As a goal I would hope to have, at the very least, a member from each state association."

Ann grew up in England, beginning her professional life as a radiographer (x-ray technician). When she was in her twenties, she came to the United States for a short-term job. After several years she switched to the field of respiratory therapy, which eventually led her to volunteer with the American Lung Association. "I have been with the Lung Association for more than 25 years and love it." Some of Annís hobbies or interests outside of TB are "in-door plants and gardening, recycling, theatre, art, the color purple, camping, and travel." She is an animal lover and is on the board of the local dog park.

In closing, Ann very generously shared a bit of family information that provides a glimpse into the personal reasons for her dedication to the cause of TB control and elimination. "Iíve always had an interest in TB, as my maternal grandmother died at 29 of TB when my mother was 6 years old. TB had a devastating effect on my mother and her sister. In some small way, I guess I am hoping that my work will prevent that happening to another family."

óReported by Maria Fraire, MPH, CHES
Div of TB Elimination

 


Released October 2008
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