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TB Notes Newsletter

No. 4, 2005

Personnel Notes

Heather Alexander, PhD, joined the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB) in July 2005. Heather received her BS in biology from Lafayette College in 1999 and her doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from Emory University in February 2004. After completing her thesis on the molecular pathogenesis of Neisseria meningitidis, Heather worked for a year as a DHHS Emerging Leaders Program intern, completing 2-3 month rotational assignments at the FDA, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office for In Vitro Diagnostic Devices Evaluation and Safety; the NIH, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Office of Global Affairs; the Foundation for the NIH Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative, as well as at IRPB. As a fellow working for both the IRBP MDR TB Team and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), she will work on a number of projects involving evaluation and implementation of TB diagnostics and laboratory capacity building in low-income settings.

Tracy Dalton, PhD, joined the Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch (MLB) in February 2005. She received her BS in microbiology from Auburn University in 1999 and her doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from Emory University in 2005. For her dissertation research, Tracy studied the effects of environmental signals on gene expression in the pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. As an ORISE fellow, Tracy will work in collaboration with MDR TB team members from the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB) and the Green Light Committee (GLC) to investigate the acquisition of resistance to second-line anti-tuberculosis drugs.

Anupa Deshpande, MPH, is leaving DTBE, where she has been working with the Field Services and Evaluation Branch Program Evaluation group as an ASPH/CDC fellow; her last day here is Nov. 10. Anupa will be the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for USAID's MEASURE Evaluation project. This project is being conducted by the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partnership with Tulane University, ORC Macro International, John Snow Inc., and The Futures Group. Together, they work to ensure the availability and use of quality population and health data, particularly to improve family planning, maternal and child health, nutrition, and the prevention of infectious diseases worldwide. As the M & E Specialist, Anupa will provide primary oversight for the collection and reporting of project-level data for performance monitoring and for evaluation analysis. Anupa joined DTBE this summer as an ASPH/CDC intern after receiving her MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before starting her MPH program, Anupa worked at the American Lung Association of Washington State managing TB and asthma awareness programs. She has enjoyed working in FSEB and is thankful she was given this opportunity to further develop her skills and interest in program evaluation.

Al Forbes has been selected for the Miami, Florida, public health advisor position. He began his Miami-Dade assignment on September 18, 2005. Al began his CDC career in 1993 working as a public health associate with the New York City (NYC) Department of Health Bureau of Tuberculosis Control. His assignment to NYC provided him with a broad understanding of public health and knowledge about programmatic issues and clinical services. In 1997, Al was promoted and transferred to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Tuberculosis Program, where he served as the assistant to the senior public health advisor. While in New Jersey he provided consultation and technical assistance in program planning, coordination, operations, training, administration, and evaluation. In 1999, Al was selected to be the assistant project manager for the Tuberculosis Information Management System (TIMS). In this position he provided technical assistance and training to TIMS users nationwide. He worked closely with the Surveillance Branch regarding the interface of TB surveillance data and with the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) program consultants regarding resource needs and management problems. Al became a program consultant in 2001 and was given responsibilities for overseeing DTBE’s COAG activities, providing guidance and consultation to the Mid-Atlantic region.

Reuben Granich, MD, MPH, a Commander in the USPHS Commissioned Corps, has been approved by the PHS Commissioned Corps Awards Board, which met in August 2005, to receive the Outstanding Service Medal (OSM). He was cited for his “outstanding leadership in the face of enormous difficulties to significantly strengthen India’s National Tuberculosis Control Program.” Reuben had been assigned to the California State TB Control Branch as a Medical Officer when, in April 2002, he was reassigned to the International Research and Programs Branch and accepted an 18-month secondment to the World Health Organization as the Medical Officer in Tuberculosis to the Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) in India. During his tour, Reuben contributed immensely to the expansion of access to DOTS services, from 459 million (45%) to 772 million (72%) persons. In 2004, he returned to the International Research and Programs Branch in Atlanta; he left DTBE in May 2005 to take a new post as a technical advisor and program officer with the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (S/GAC) in Washington, DC.

Tim Holtz, MD, has been selected to receive the Mid-Career Award from the International Health (IH) Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA). This award will be presented to him in November. The following three criteria have been defined for the IH Section Mid-Career Award: 1) the nominee must be committed to the promotion and development of primary health care in a cross-cultural setting over a period of 5 to 15 years (primary health care is meant here to encompass a broad array of public health issues, including HIV/AIDS prevention and environmental health); 2) the individual must have demonstrated creativity in expanding the concepts pertinent to the practice of public health with an international focus; and 3) the nominee must be a member in APHA (preferably with primary affiliation with the International Health Section), a State affiliate, or a national public health association that is a member of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

Emmanuel Iroanya was selected for the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) public health advisor position in Fulton County, GA, and started in the position on September 18. Emmanuel has come to DTBE after working in the Texas Department of State Health Services since 1988. Over the course of the years, he worked in several health-related programs in Texas. Emmanuel initially worked in the state program providing information to implement the EPA-approved curriculum for asbestos remediation. Beginning in 1989, he maintained the Texas cancer registry for 3 years. In 1992, Emmanuel transferred to the Texas TB control program, where he collected, analyzed, and distributed drug resistance information to agency field offices, local health departments, and community-based organizations. Emmanuel also maintained and updated a database tracking system for drug-resistant cases. In his last position in Texas as a Program Specialist III, he coordinated and performed evaluations of regional and local health services in HIV and tuberculosis for the Texas Department of State Health Services. His work contributed to the development of a uniform standard for the management and treatment of TB cases, resulting in greater efficiency. FSEB welcomes Emmanuel to its field staff.

Olga Joglar has left DTBE upon accepting a position with the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine as the San Juan Quarantine Station Officer in Charge; she began in her new position on October 17, 2005. Olga had served as the senior public health advisor for the Puerto Rico TB program since December 2002. During her tenure in this position, she was responsible for providing leadership in programmatic and administrative matters, including the development of standardized program activity protocols and draft policies for legal actions and detention. For the past 2 years, Olga had worked closely with her CDC program consultant in conducting an extensive review of the TB program in Puerto Rico and later assisted the program with the implementation of the recommendations made by the CDC site visit team. Before her reassignment to the Puerto Rico TB program, Olga had been the Chief of Field Operations Section I and had done an outstanding job in that position. During her tenure, she assisted in the reorganization of the program consultant project areas and served as a mentor to two new program consultants. She will be missed.

Elizabeth Kalayil, MPH, finished her Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) Fellowship on August 31 and has left DTBE. In September 2003 Elizabeth joined the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch. During her fellowship with the branch, she worked on a number of health education projects such as revising the DTBE fact sheets, developing the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium brochure, and assisting with the development of educational materials for the Isoniazid TB Preventive Therapy (IPT) Project in Botswana. She was also instrumental in planning the annual TB Education and Training Network (TB ETN) conference. We wish her well in her career!

Sandra Kong, MPH, recently joined the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) as an ASPH Health Education and Instructional Design Fellow, and is a member of the Education, Training, and Behavioral Studies Team. Sandra comes to DTBE from the Global AIDS Program (GAP), where she served as an ASPH Global HIV Behavior Change Fellow for 2 years. While with GAP, she worked on a behavior change strategy called Modeling and Reinforcement to Combat HIV/AIDS (MARCH) being implemented in Botswana, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In addition, Sandra completed a 2-month temporary assignment to Zimbabwe, where she worked with CDC staff and local partners on a community-based HIV/AIDS prevention project. She received her MPH from Emory University in International Health, Reproductive Health, and Population Studies. While at Emory, she worked at CARE providing assistance to its reproductive health activities and at The Center for Pan Asian Community Services coordinating health projects such as breast cancer screening and HIV/AIDS prevention. She completed her thesis work with Save the Children on a 3-month qualitative, formative research project addressing safe motherhood issues in rural Malawi. Prior to graduate school, Sandra spent 2 years in Boston working at Pathfinder International in program operations for the sub-Saharan Africa region, where she also provided short-term technical assistance to Kenya and Nigeria.

Jessica Lam joined the staff of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch on September 14, 2005, as an Emory University work-study student assisting with TB Epi Studies Consortium (TBESC) Task Order 10, “Applying a New Conceptual Framework to Evaluate Tuberculosis Surveillance and Action Performance and Measure Costs.” Jessica is a second-year Rollins School of Public Health student in Health Policy and Management at Emory University, and will be assisting the branch through the school year (i.e., finishing in May 2006). She is working with the Task Order 10 team to facilitate Phase 3 of that project. Phase 3 is designed to bring products or tools from the operational research in Florida and Texas to a beta-type testing point. Specifically, she has been helping by developing documents such as an issues paper, two 1-page advocacy or marketing descriptions for Task Order 10 products 1 and 2, a marketing plan and training guidelines for a Dec. 6 Task Order 10 training session before the TBESC meeting in Denver, and training materials for the tools and products of Task Order 10.

Betsy Carter Marchant, MPH, CHES, a health education specialist with the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch, has moved to Richmond, Virginia, where she will be an Instructional Designer with the Emergency Preparedness & Response Program at the Virginia Department of Health. Betsy originally came to us as an Association of Schools of Public Health fellow, and was then hired as a full-time health education specialist in 2002. She has played a key role in the development of our computer and web-based products, as well as the Internet and Intranet services. Betsy was also instrumental in coordinating the TB Education and Training Network annual conference. Her last day at CDC was September 16.  We will miss her and wish her all the best.

Courtney Maus of the Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch has fulfilled the requirements for her Ph.D. from the Emory School of Arts and Sciences, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Program. On Friday, November 4, she presented and successfully defended her dissertation, “Capreomycin Resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Identification of the Molecular Mechanism of Resistance and Characterization of Cross Resistance to Ribosome-Inhibiting Drugs.”

Sharon McAleer has joined DTBE in the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch as one of our two Web Masters, joining Jesse Bradley and replacing Jason Hauser. She comes to us from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) Office on Smoking and Health, where she was the Web Master for close to 6 years. Prior to this she worked in the private sector as a Web designer and developer. She earned an undergraduate degree from Queens University, Belfast, in information management and economics, and will complete her masters degree in management information systems from Devry University later this year. She is very interested in Web usability and information architecture and plans to obtain her certification as a Certified Usability Analyst in 2006. She enjoys all sports and currently captains a Gaelic football team called Na Fianna here in Atlanta: She is a native of Ireland and came to the United States in 1996 on a scholarship to Presbyterian College in South Carolina. In 1999 she immigrated to the United States and moved to Atlanta.

Doris Morishige, RN, BSN, TB nurse consultant with the Hawaii TB Control Branch, is retiring in December after 51 years of service in public health. Doris was presented with a plaque by Ellen Murray, RN, on June 27, 2005, at the NTCA meeting in Atlanta, GA, for 51 years of distinguished service to public health nursing, most of which were in the field of TB control. Doris is responsible for the statewide coordination of all nursing activities and for all epidemiological and surveillance activities needed to maintain the state TB registry. Doris, a third-generation Japanese American (known as a sansei) born in Hawaii, received a nursing diploma in 1953 from Queens Hospital School of Nursing, Honolulu. She received a certificate in 1954 from the University of Hawaii School for Public Health Nursing, and subsequently received a BS degree in nursing from the University of Hawaii in 1958. Doris began her nursing career in 1954, working briefly as a private duty nurse. She then made the transition to public health in the same year, becoming a public health nurse with the Hawaii Health Department. She has served there in several capacities: as a field public health nurse, as a clinic nurse supervisor, and predominantly as a TB nurse consultant and educator. Her responsibilities as a TB technical expert have included providing staff inservice training and continuing education for nurses and physicians, and as a result she has had much experience as a planner and presenter at TB conferences and workshops. Doris has for many years been an active member of the Nurse Institute Training Committee, which is involved with annual Nurse Institute training for statewide registered professional nurses in state government. She has served as a preceptor to students in the nursing program and in the MPH program at the University of Hawaii, and has served as a guest lecturer at the University School of Nursing. She also established an ongoing TB training program at the TB clinic for public- and private-sector nurses. As a consultant, she has had many years of experience meeting and collaborating with nurses and physicians at all levels and types of care and with health care professionals in other organizations. The knowledge and expertise she has gained and shared with others has greatly added to the quality of care for the patients of Hawaii, has resulted in needed changes in policies and procedures, and has left a legacy of training and educational services and programs that greatly enhance Hawaii’s TB control efforts. After all her years of dedication and hard work, when she so richly deserves to rest and relax, Doris says her future plans after retirement are to travel (perhaps explaining the energy level that has sustained such a long career)! We are grateful to Doris for the expertise she has shared with so many others and for her many years of dedicated service to public health and TB control. We wish her the very best in the years ahead.

Sarah A. O’Leary, MPH, MA, is a new Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) fellow in DTBE’s Field Services and Evaluation Branch, where she will focus on program evaluation. Sarah received an MA degree from the University of Chicago in 1981 and an MPH degree from the University of North Carolina in the Public Health Leadership Program in May 2003; she then moved to Atlanta in June 2003. She recently worked part-time for a suicide prevention project in Columbus, Georgia, assisting with evaluation. Prior to entering public health, Sarah served for many years as a social worker. She worked for 6 years in the Winston-Salem public school system in a school-based health center. Prior to that she served as a social worker at the University of Illinois Hospital for 6 years and in other hospitals in Chicago for shorter periods. Sarah is very interested in learning more about evaluation in public health and how it can be applied in various settings, and about TB, particularly in the southeast. She is very pleased to have joined DTBE and looks forward to meeting and working with the division staff.

Sapana Parikh, MPH, joined the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) on October 31, 2005, as a new Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) fellow. Sapana received her MPH degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and comes with an extensive background in international health. Sapana’s most recent experience includes a 1-year stint with the American India Foundation Service Corps in rural Gujarat, India, with efforts focused on maternal and child health. Sapana will be working with Dr. Scott McNabb on economic and performance evaluation of TB programs (budget and performance integration efforts) and the biotechnology engagement project in the Republics of Armenia and Georgia.

Dana Peebles, MPH, left DTBE in August 2005 for a new position as a Training Specialist with Constella Health Sciences. During her time at DTBE, Dana served as an ASPH fellow for the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB). Her projects included assisting in the management and the marketing efforts of the TB Education and Training Resources Website ( and assisting with the TB Epidemiologic Consortium Studies Task Order #11: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Treatment Adherence for LTBI and Active TB Diseases Among African-American in the Southeastern United States. Dana also contributed to the planning of the 5th Annual TB Education and Training Network Conference. We wish her well in her new position.

Drew Posey, MD, MPH, joined the Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch in the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) at CDC in July 2005 as a medical officer/epidemiologist. Drew will coordinate and support advancement of the joint objectives of DTBE and DGMQ for improving TB control among foreign-born populations entering or residing in the United States. He has been the DGMQ Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer for the past 2 years, working on issues related to travelers’ health, nonhuman primate tuberculosis, and refugee health. In February and March 2004, he traveled with DGMQ to Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to assist with Liberian refugee medical screening. Drew earned a history degree from Western Carolina University, an MPH degree in epidemiology from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and a medical degree from Mercer University. Prior to EIS, he completed a residency in family medicine at Floyd Medical Center.

Cathy Rawls, MPH, has left DTBE. After spending nearly 3 years with the division, Cathy has departed for California, where she plans to continue her public health career with local refugee and immigrant communities. As an ASPH fellow, Cathy spent her first 2 years in the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch devoting the bulk of her time to planning and carrying out the TB Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum. She also played an instrumental role in reviewing the related literature and coordinating the development of the literature database and electronic mailing list for persons involved in social science research pertaining to TB. Cathy dedicated her third year to two activities in the Clinical and Health Systems Research branch: planning and developing the Ethnographic Guides for the five foreign-born groups targeted in “Perceptions of TB Among Foreign-born Persons: An Ethnographic Study,” and assisting with the development of the IRB package and training materials for the Health Resources and Services Administration study. We miss Cathy and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Paul Regan has accepted the public health advisor position in Tallahassee, Florida; his report date was August 21, 2005. Paul had previously been assigned to the Alabama Department of Health where he supported local staff and performed disease intervention activities in an eight-county area. His additional duties included regular interaction at the division level where Paul assisted with central office projects. His division-level projects included export, analysis, and presentation of epidemiologic data from each of Alabama’s 11 public health areas. Paul came to DTBE from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he worked in the TB control program as a Disease Intervention Specialist II. His assignments included conducting contact investigations, performing case management, and conducting health seminars. Prior to that, Paul worked with the Louisiana Dept. of Corrections for 8 years as a Probation and Parole Field Agent.

Eileen Schneider, MD, will be leaving DTBE to take up a position with the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) in the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch. Her start date at DHAP is November 14, 2005. During her tenure here, Eileen has made immense contributions to the work we do, both as a valued member of the Surveillance Team and as a colleague always willing to help others in DTBE and beyond. She led the effort to design a revised RVCT form—the first revision in the last decade—and although this revision has been delayed while we wait for the NEDSS TB PAM to be finalized, Eileen’s work on moving this revision forward will be an enormous help in the near future. Eileen worked on several important international projects. She helped design the Binational Card and conduct the evaluation of that project; she published an article on border TB in 2004, she collaborated on the DTBE-DGMQ electronic notification project to help share vital information on recent immigrants, and she conducted and published a study in Uganda that showed that community treatment supervision to implement the DOTS strategy was a viable option for patients living far from a health clinic. Eileen also published important manuscripts on the epidemiology of tuberculosis among American Indians and Alaska natives in the United States and on the epidemiology of childhood tuberculosis in the United States. She also wrote two overviews of tuberculosis epidemiology in the United States with Kenneth Castro. Eileen will be missed very much for her scientific expertise, her dedication to helping states, and her true commitment to TB control and elimination.

Susan Spieldenner, BS, RN, has been selected by the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) for the Berkeley, California, public health advisor (PHA) position; she started her new job on September 4, 2005. Susan comes to DTBE from the state of Michigan Public Health Institute where she worked as a TB program coordinator since 2001. In this position, she provided technical advice and guidance to the local health departments on standards of care and reporting requirements, and addressed issues of patient noncompliance, among other duties, throughout the state. Before this, Susan used her skills as a public health nurse for the Calhoun County (Michigan) Health Department in Battle Creek, Michigan, working in the community. In this position, she worked on contact investigations and managed patient care and follow-up. While employed by the Calhoun County Health Department, she worked in a local homeless shelter, and where she helped develop their guidelines for TB control and conducted screenings on site. As needed, she provided in-service education programs on disease transmission and TB control. FSEB is pleased to have such an experienced PHA on staff.

Phil Talboy, Deputy Director, DTBE, was recently recognized by the Watsonian Society, the professional organization of public health advisors. Phil has been serving as the 2005 President of the Watsonian Society. During the Watsonian Banquet, which was held October 27, Phil received an award recognizing his excellent service, dedication, and contributions to the Society.

Kathrine Tan, MD, completed her Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) assignment with the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB) in June 2005 and has left DTBE. She is now at Emory University here in Atlanta completing an assignment with the Public Health Prevention Service. Kathrine is a family physician who came to DTBE with a background in international health. Her accomplishments as an EIS officer in DTBE include the following: 1) serving as the lead project coordinator on the “preserving effective tuberculosis treatment with second-line drugs” (PETTS) study; she designed and implemented a multinational prospective cohort study to determine the frequency and antecedents of emerging resistance to second-line drugs among MDR TB patients treated with second-line drugs in Green Light Committee (GLC)-approved DOTS-Plus projects compared to non-GLC projects. This effort involved the design and implementation of the study in collaboration with 14 study sites in 10 countries; 2 ) providing technical assistance to national TB programs to build capacity for the design and implementation of operational research in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Russia; 3) developing a protocol to examine the utility of third-generation QuantiFERON in detecting LTBI in patients with HIV in Bostwana in the context of the clinical trial of IPT; 4) evaluating the TB/HIV referral process in Viet Nam; and 5) serving as lead on an investigation of an outbreak of TB in Indiana and determining that the outbreak was attributable to failure to complete treatment for latent TB infection among identified contacts.

Allison Taylor, MPH, joined the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB) in April. She completed her MPH degree at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in 2005, and received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 2003. In her thesis work, Allison analyzed the risk factors for drug resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae, and she is excited to continue her work in this field on the IRPB Multidrug Resistance team.

Kai H. Young, MPH, who has been an Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) fellow in the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB), has been selected as a health scientist in that branch and will continue her work on program evaluation this fall. Prior to coming to CDC, Kai attended and graduated from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University with a focus in behavioral science and health education. While obtaining her masters degree, she developed a passion for program evaluation and worked on several evaluation projects, including California Healthy Cities and Communities; Tribal Efforts Against Lead (TEAL); a teen pregnancy prevention program in Oklahoma City (Hearts of OKC); and the Girl Scouts of Northwestern Georgia. She has served as the co-chair to the New Evaluator/Student group at the Atlanta-area Evaluators Association. Kai hopes her work will strengthen the capacity of local public health programs and help them reach their full potential. Kai is very excited about the opportunity to continue her work and pursue her career goals. Kai’s official start date in her permanent position was September 18, 2005.


Released October 2008
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