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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
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