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TB Notes 4, 2006
Director's Letter
Highlights from State and Local Programs
  Los Angeles Presents "The Opera and Perspectives on TB"
  Arizona's and Sonora's Meet and Greet Program for Deportees with TB
  The Flex Power of Memoranda of Agreements (MOAs)
  HIV Status Not Routinely Determined for TB Cases: an Evaluation of Four California Local TB Programs
CDC/ATSDR Group Award for Minority Health Mentor/Champion of Excellence
Laboratory Update
  New Technologies Unveiled at the 2006 National TB Controllers' Workshop
Nursing Updates
  The Red Snappers of National Tuberculosis Nurses Coalition (NTNC)
  Pacific Island TB Controllers Association (PITCA) -  Workshop for Nurses
TB Education and Training Network Updates
  Member Highlight
  Sixth Annual Conference Highlights
  Cultural Competency Subcommittee Update
Communication, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch Update
  New Communication Efforts to Stop TB in the African-American Community
Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch Update
  Using a Private Claims Database for TB Health Services Research, Evaluation, and Analysis
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch Updates
  9th Semiannual Meeting of the Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium
  TBESC Task Order #10: Monitoring Performance and Measuring Cost of TB Public Health Practice at County and State Health Departments: Are We Making a Health Impact?
New CDC Publications
Personnel Notes
Calendar of Events
Return to Table of Contents

TB Notes Newsletter

No. 4, 2006

Personnel Notes

Rana Jawad Asghar MD, MPH, left DTBE after completing his EIS training with the Outbreak Investigation Team (OIT) of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch. He will now be working as Resident Advisor for the Field Epidemiology Training Program in Islamabad, Pakistan, under contract with the Division of International Health, Office of Global Health, CDC. As an EIS-officer with OIT, Jawad led three outbreak investigations (in Miami, Mississippi, and Baltimore). His most important work was his investigation in Miami, which highlighted the importance of place-based contact investigations for high-risk population groups (e.g., alcohol and drug users) who usually do not disclose information about their contacts for TB testing. Jawad presented the findings of this investigation at the EIS conference as well as at the American Public Health Association meeting. He also worked on a very interesting and important analysis about TB among patients from South Asia (i.e., the Indian subcontinent), comparing these patients to other foreign-born TB patients in the United States. He is working on a publication related to these analyses. We wish Jawad the best of luck in his new job!

Subroto Banerji, MPH, of DTBE’s Field Services and Evaluation Branch was selected for a Public Health Advisor (PHA) position with the CDC Global AIDS Program (GAP). He began his new position with GAP on September 4. Subroto is relocating to Pretoria, South Africa, with his wife, Melissa Amaro. (Melissa was also a CDC PHA, working for the Division of STD Prevention in California from 1990 to 1998 with assignments in Los Angeles and Alameda counties.) In his new role, Subroto will serve as Activity Manager for PEPFAR-funded projects with a focus on TB and TB/HIV surveillance, expansion of HIV services for TB patients, and TB screening and treatment for HIV clients as well as blood and injection safety and program evaluation. Subroto came to DTBE headquarters in May 2003. During this time in Atlanta, Subroto worked on several projects addressing program and laboratory improvements for our six US-affiliated Pacific Island programs, patient management information technology, and electronic data notification for immigrants and refugees. Subroto joined CDC in June 2000 as a PHA assigned to the California Department of Health Services, TB Control Branch, Surveillance and Epidemiology Section. Prior to joining CDC, Subroto spent 3 years with the Alameda County TB Control Program, located in Oakland, CA, where he served as the Assistant Director and Epidemiologist for the TB Program (and where he met Melissa). From January 1996 to April 1997, Subroto worked as a Public Health Epidemiologist with the San Bernardino County Public Health Department, in the TB and STD/HIV control programs. Between August 1993 and December 1995, Subroto completed graduate work towards an MPH degree in epidemiology at the San Diego State University School of Public Health and also worked with the San Diego County TB Control Program on various epidemiologic and programmatic projects. Subroto will continue to receive e-mail at his CDC email address:

Stephen Benoit, MD, has joined DTBE in the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB). He recently completed his service as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer, during which time he was assigned to the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion in the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID). As an EIS Officer, Stephen conducted infectious disease field investigations and epidemiologic research on nosocomial infections and antimicrobial resistance. He has worked in Latin America and the US-Mexico border region before and during EIS and will be focusing on this region while in IRPB. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Stephen completed his residency in preventive medicine at the University of California at San Diego and an internship in internal medicine at Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to his service in the EIS program, he completed a fellowship in pharmacoepidemiology at the Food and Drug Administration. He is board certified in preventive medicine and received his master’s degree in public health from San Diego State University and bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Jeuneviette Bontemps-Jones, MPH, CHES, has joined the Communications Team of the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch as an Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) fellow. Her work within the branch will include planning, developing, revising, implementing, and evaluating educational print as well as Web-based materials. Jeuneviette was born and raised in Long Island, New York. After earning her BA degree in psychology from Columbia University, NY, she taught elementary school for 3 years in Queens, NY. She then enrolled in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and received her MPH degree in health education. During the time between completing her degree at Emory and starting her ASPH fellowship, Jeuneviette worked at the Morehouse School of Medicine as a Research Coordinator in their Community Oriented Primary Care Department.

Raffaella Espinoza, MPH, has joined the Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) as an Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) fellow. Born and raised in South Africa, she moved in 2000 to Oklahoma. She received a BA degree in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and an MPH degree in epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. She worked as a graduate research assistant in both the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Health Science Center where she assisted with outbreak investigations at the Oklahoma State Health Department, Communicable Disease Division. While she is with FSEB, she will be working with the Program Evaluation team to help develop technical assistance materials for TB program evaluation.

Vernell Fields has joined DTBE in the Field Services and Evaluation Branch as a Public Health Advisor (PHA) with the TB control program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her career in public health started in 1988 when she became a CDC PHA in the STD Division in Miami, Florida. Vernell also worked in a Tampa, Florida, STD/HIV clinic, where she worked on various studies related to the prevention of and early testing for HIV. She then worked in Baltimore, Maryland, as an STD surveillance supervisor as well as a jail coordinator, returning to Miami, Florida, in 1995 as a front-line supervisor and clinic manager. In 2000, Vernell transferred to Nashville, Tennessee, where she served as a Special Project Coordinator with various community-based organizations in the area of STD/HIV. Also, as a PHA assigned to the Metro Health Department (Nashville), and a team member of the Health Promotion Unit, Vernell was involved in other health-related education activities. Some of these activities included providing high-risk groups with creative and age-appropriate intervention presentations, such as a haunted house at Tennessee State University, the 92Q radio station Sky Show, the Faces of AIDS Exhibit, and National HIV Testing Day. In addition, she worked on the RAID ethnographic community assessment process report, which was conducted in 2001 at the Metro Health Department. In June 2006 Vernell transferred from the Nashville STD program to the Baton Rouge TB program, changing not just to a new duty station but to a new CDC program as well. She received a bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University, Commerce, Texas, and recently earned a graduate certificate in public health from the University of Washington at Seattle.

Indhira Gnanasekaran, MPA, has been selected as the new Project Manager (Chris Kissler's replacement) for the TBESC. Indhira, a native New Yorker, received a masters degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University. While at Syracuse University, she also received an Advanced Certificate of Study in Health Services Management and Policy. After completing her MPA, she worked at the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut as their Development and Communications Associate. In this position she oversaw development of projects; managed a committee of children’s mental health advocates; and developed grant proposals, evaluation reports, budgets, analysis reports, and communication materials.

Wendy Heirendt, Field Services and Evaluation Branch Public Health Advisor (PHA) assigned to Virginia, has left DTBE for a new job within CDC. She joins the Division of Diabetes Translation in Atlanta on September 17. Many of us have known Wendy and greatly appreciated her work and contributions over the nearly 15 years she has been with DTBE. Wendy started her DTBE career with an assignment to Puerto Rico in 1991, was then assigned to Indiana in 1993, and finally to Virginia in 1999. Wendy has been the consummate Public Health Advisor in all of her assignments and numerous temporary assignments. She has a keen ability to translate and incorporate CDC goals and objectives at all levels of a program’s local activities, especially with surveillance, DOT, and the use of incentives and enablers. She also has a strong reputation for guiding and developing state and local staff. Without question she will be missed, and we wish her the best in her new position as project officer in the Diabetes division.

Awal Khan, PhD, has left DTBE to pursue a new opportunity within another Center at CDC. As of August 21, Awal is the newest Team Leader in the Division of Alliance Management and Consultation, National Center for Public Health Informatics, Coordinating Center for Health Information Service. Awal began working in DTBE's Clinical Research Branch (now Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch, CHSRB) in March 1997 as an Epidemiologist, Data Analyst, and Data Manager for Study 22. He had worked previously with Dr. Andy Vernon, Chief of CHSRB, at the Georgia Department of Human Resources, and had also overseen the management of TB and HIV surveillance data for the state of Georgia. Awal came to CDC with a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Arizona, a master's degree in demography, and postdoctoral experience in nutritional sciences at Cornell University. From the beginning, Awal demonstrated a rigorous work ethic and superb attention to detail. During his tenure with CHSRB, Awal was instrumental in the data management and primary analysis for every TBTC clinical trial (both parent trials and substudies), in every secondary analysis, and in the engagement of all quality control issues associated with TBTC data. Awal consistently did the work of three persons, while maintaining the positive attitude and the gentle manner that characterize him. Some of the latest TBTC innovations, such as daily Internet posting of quality assurance data so that TBTC site investigators and coordinators can access information on their performance and respond to data queries on a 24/7 basis, are part of the legacy that Awal leaves with the TBTC. In addition to his demanding work schedule, for the past 3 years Awal has been pursing part-time at Emory University the course requirements for a master’s degree in biostatistics; he has completed about 75% of these requirements. Invariably, when a challenging analytic issue arose, Awal would suggest an approach or knew an expert to whom we could pose our questions, and facilitated this interaction. Awal has many reasons to be proud of the contributions he has made to the TBTC. We are grateful for his dedication to his work and his kindness to his coworkers, and wish him the best in his new position.

Chris Kissler, who was the project coordinator for the Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC), has left DTBE. Chris accepted a position as a Public Health Analyst (Project Officer) in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Prevention Program Branch. In this position, he is now overseeing CDC HIV prevention grants to state health departments and local community-based organizations. This is a great opportunity for Chris, and we are very happy for him. He did a wonderful job overseeing the consortium's activities, which included his work on the TBESC committees, the overall evaluation plan/logic model for the consortium, the semi-annual meetings, and oversight of DMACS. In general, he made sure that the consortium ran smoothly. Chris' last day with DTBE was September 1. We wish him the best of luck in his new job!

Michael F. Iademarco, MD, MPH, DTBE’s Associate Director for Science (ADS) since 2001, left CDC and DTBE September 17, 2006, to take the position of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Attaché in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Michael joined DTBE in 1998 as a Medical Officer in the International Activities Branch (now the International Research and Programs Branch); he then served as ADS from 2001 to 2006. As ADS, he initiated several new systems and improvements in the division and led DTBE staff in carrying out numerous critical projects. He guided the efforts of the DTBE team members who collaborated to find and ensure treatment completion for 200 TB patients displaced from the Gulf area owing to Hurricane Katrina. With significant input from branch chiefs, he redesigned the internal budget planning process to set overall divisional prioritized goals and objectives and to select programmatic and scientific projects. He also streamlined various division clearance procedures such as the coordination of media and communications, and worked to mitigate the increasing complexities of the review for human subjects research. He also meticulously reviewed and offered advice on numerous protocols, manuscripts, and publications, including four major guidance documents in 2005—“Controlling Tuberculosis in the United States”; “Guidelines for the Investigation of Contacts of Persons with Infectious Tuberculosis”; “Guidelines for Using the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold Test for Detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection, United States”; and “Prevention of Tuberculosis Transmission in Health Care–Associated Settings”—serving as a co-author on the last two. Prior to that, during 2001–2003, he played a major role in the coordination of the CDC-wide response (including the publication of four MMWRs) to reports of severe adverse events from treating patients for latent M. tuberculosis infection with 2 months of daily rifampin and pyrazinamide. He also made contributions and lent his expertise to various advisory groups and committees. Since 2001, Michael served as a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for TB control to the Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO). He also led DTBE’s efforts to improve TB laboratory services by improving coordination between the Public Health Practice Program Office (PHPPO) and the TB laboratory unit, serving on the American Public Health Laboratory Task Force, and helping organize the 4th National Conference on the Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis. He also chaired the Scientific Advisory Group of Experts, a group of DTBE leaders who oversee and provide guidance to DTBE’s TB Clinical Trials Consortium. He served on various committees of the Mycobacteria, Tuberculosis, Pulmonary Infection Assembly of the American Thoracic Society, 2001–2005, and also served as co-chair and organizer of the CDC-IUATLD late-breaker session at the IUATLD annual conference. Michael also promoted DTBE and its resources and staff whenever possible. He served on the Charles Shepard Science Award Subgroup Committee, 2001–2004, and served as the chair of the subgroup and the NCHHSTP representative to the full committee in 2004. He coordinated the practice sessions of EIS officers’ oral presentations, and reinvigorated the lunchtime “Brown Bag” series of updates and discussions. He also pushed for the reinstitution of the “TB Weekly Update,” a TB news service distributed by e-mail internationally that he continuously publicized to national and international partners.

From August 1998 to April 2001, as a Medical Officer-Epidemiologist with the International Activities Branch, he provided technical support for six operations research projects of Viet Nam’s National TB Control Program (NTP). He coordinated USAID support for a 3-year management training program for the NTP of Vietnam and for a 2-year pilot project to help develop private sector DOTS models in the Philippines, and he supervised laboratory quality control projects for the TB reference laboratory of southern Vietnam. He also guided the implementation of a collaborative protocol to develop and field test a serodiagnostic test for TB specifically applicable in regions with high HIV prevalence. From September 1998 to present, concurrent with his work here in DTBE, Michael found time to serve as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, and as Adjunct Assistant Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, lecturing to or co-directing a number of graduate-level health courses. While we will miss Michael’s humor, energy, and dedication, we know he will continue to make contributions to public health in his new role as HHS Health Attaché in Viet Nam, and we wish him and his family the very best of luck.

Philip LoBue, MD, was selected as DTBE’s new Associate Director for Science; he started on October 1, 2006. Phil obtained his BA degree in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985, and earned his MD degree from the same institution in 1989. He completed an internal medicine internship and residency at the University of California–San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine, also at UCSD. In 1995 Phil became a faculty member with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UCSD, appointed first as Clinical Instructor and then as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine. During his time in UCSD, Phil served as Principal Investigator for the QuantiFERON Study 1 and Co-investigator for the TB Trials Consortium (TBTC) USPHS Study 22. In September 1999 he was selected as medical epidemiologist for the TB Control Program in San Diego County, working for the Division's Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB). In this assignment, his primary responsibilities were to assist the local TB program with epidemiologic data collection, analysis, and reporting; provide clinical consultation; and oversee clinical and epidemiologic studies. While assigned to the San Diego County TB program, Phil served on numerous local, state, and national committees and workgroups, including the National TB Controllers Association/CDC contact investigation recommendations, California Department of Health Services Tuberculosis Indicators Project Advisory Committee, CDC's efforts to revise the Report of Verified Case of Tuberculosis (RVCT), and CDC's Tuberculosis Surveillance Program Area Module Steering Committee. While in San Diego, Phil also maintained his affiliation with UCSD, acting as medical director of the medical center’s Chest Clinic from 1997 through 2003. In February 2004, Phil transferred to DTBE headquarters in Atlanta to serve as team leader for the Medical Consultation Team in FSEB. His duties included providing medical and technical consultation to local and state TB programs in conjunction with FSEB program consultants, overseeing activities of DTBE’s field medical officers, and acting as technical advisor to DTBE’s four Regional Training and Medical Consultation Centers. He also contributed to several national TB guidelines including those covering correctional facilities, contact investigation, and QuantiFERON TB-Gold. An active member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS), Phil has also represented the Division in several joint projects between CDC and ATS, and is presently the lead point of contact for the planned update of TB diagnostic standards by ATS, CDC, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Allan Locke has been selected for the Public Health Advisor (PHA) position in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, TB program. He began this new assignment on October 15, 2006. Allan comes to DTBE with an extensive background in field work, starting in 1988 with an assignment as a PHA in Miami, Florida. He worked there as a Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) for 2.5 years performing sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV interviews; case management activities, including interviews; field investigations; and community screenings, including performing phlebotomy activities in the field and in various corrections settings. He was then assigned to the City of New Orleans STD program, where he worked for 2 years before being transferred to the City of Houston, Texas. He served there in a supervisory role for the next 5.5 years. As a supervisor, he routinely conducted performance audits and trained a continuously revolving group of PHAs in disease intervention skills. He also worked on CDC’s pilot version of the Sexually Transmitted Disease Management Information System (STD*MIS), which has evolved from a basic morbidity reporting system to an expanded system that includes multiple features ranging from a client registration system to a medical records database. In 1998, he transferred to Madison, Wisconsin, to work as the STD surveillance coordinator. Beginning in early 2000 he performed the duties of a database manager, supporting five remote sites and the central database, located in Madison, Wisconsin. He routinely performed ad hoc training, IT support, and data cleaning; produced routine and ad hoc reports; reconciled case counts; and ensured completeness and timeliness of data reporting.

Allison Maiuri, MPH, has joined the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) as an Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) fellow. She completed her BS degree in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has an MPH degree in behavioral sciences and health education from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. Prior to entering Rollins, Allison worked as a consultant for the Public Health Foundation on workforce development. During her time at Rollins, she worked with Emory researchers on issues related to adolescent health and Internet exposure. While she is with CEBSB, she will be working with the Education, Training, and Behavioral Studies team in planning, developing, revising, implementing, and evaluating education materials.

Brandii Mayes, MPH, has completed her second CIO fellowship assignment in the Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) program, which she served in DTBE. During her 6-month assignment here, Brandii worked with staff of the Field Services and Evaluation Branch and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch to develop a systematic process for evaluating the effectiveness of outbreak response activities. Brandii received her undergraduate degree in biology from Clark Atlanta University and her masters degree in public health from the University of Texas - Houston School of Public Health with a concentration in community health practice. On October 9, 2006, Brandii will be starting her 2-year field placement at the City of St. Louis Department of Health under the supervision of Pamela Rice Walker, BS, MPA, Bureau Chief of CDC Prevention and Bioterrorism Preparedness. There she will coordinate implementation of the Comprehensive Community STD strategic goals and plan; develop action plans for areas of concern such as youth, Hepatitis C, and HIV; and develop an evaluation tool of programmatic success.

William Mac Kenzie, MD, has joined DTBE in the International Research and Programs Branch. Bill graduated from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1984. He completed a combined internal medicine and pediatric residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and is board certified in both specialties. After residency, he worked for a year as an ER physician and then completed a 2-year fellowship in infectious diseases at Stanford University. In 1991, Bill joined CDC as an EIS officer assigned to the Wisconsin Division of Health where he was involved in the Langmuir Prize–winning investigation of the 1993 Milwaukee waterborne outbreak of cryptosporidiosis. After EIS, Bill joined the Division of Field Epidemiology, EPO. While in that position, he supervised over 30 state-based EIS officers and was the recipient of the 1997 Brachman Award for his contributions to EIS officer education. In 1997, he moved to the Division of Parasitic Diseases where his major projects included the Cyclospora outbreaks associated with Guatemalan raspberries and a collaborative effort with EPA in calculating a national estimate of waterborne disease. In 1999, Bill left CDC to work as an epidemiology consultant with the International Rescue Committee in Kosovo assisting nationals and WHO in the rebuilding of their public health system. In 2000, Bill returned home to California, where he worked until 2005 as a clinical infectious disease consultant, a primary care internist, and a private epidemiology consultant. In 2005, he rejoined CDC as the Quarantine Medical Officer assigned to the CDC Quarantine Station in Los Angeles. In that position he made significant contributions to local and national plans for responding to pandemic influenza at ports of entry. Over the course of his public health career, Bill has worked in Russia, Armenia, Kosovo, and China. As an epidemiologist, his major interests are in study design and training.

Scott McNabb, PhD, left DTBE on July 21. A short write-up in the last TB Notes described Scott’s new position but did not touch on his DTBE accomplishments. We hope to make amends with this second attempt. In his 6 years with the Division, Scott made contributions to TB prevention and control that are likely to have a lasting impact. He initiated, implemented, and published scientific manuscripts for an impressive number of projects, both domestic and international. He conceived of and led the effort to establish the Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC). The consortium consists of 21 sites across the United States and Canada whose purpose is to conduct programmatically relevant research that will contribute to the control and ultimate elimination of TB in the United States. He was the Principal Investigator for a large multiyear, multisite study that developed a new TB surveillance and action evaluation tool that measures both the performance and cost of public health surveillance and action. This tool is critical for providing state and local TB programs with simple, user-friendly, and sustainable self-evaluation tools. As part of this work, Scott established strong collaborations with partners in local and state public health departments and academic institutions. Scott was also the Division’s scientific lead on the analysis of data from the National Genotyping and Surveillance Network (NTGSN) database, a 5-year, $10 million project. He formed and led the “Gene Team,” a group of experts in genotyping and statistical analysis, to study and develop national guidelines for interpreting TB genotyping data. This work contributes to our ambitious nationwide effort to build genotyping capacity at the state and local levels. Internationally, Scott will continue as the lead US scientist on a project in Armenia and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia that is funded by the Biotechnology Engagement Program (BTEP). The project establishes a surveillance system for Armenia and supports the development of key TB prevention and control activities countrywide. This information will be critical for improving TB prevention and control efforts in these two countries. Finally, his strong commitment to TB prevention and control and to the development of our future public health professionals is evident by the large number of students and fellows he has mentored and trained, including Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) fellows, local health department personnel, and a number of masters of public health (MPH) students from the Rollins School of Public Health. He now turns to a new, exciting public health challenge that builds on the work he has done in surveillance. He has been named the new Director, Division of Integrated Surveillance Systems and Services (DISSS), National Center for Public Health Informatics (NCPHI), Coordinating Center for Health Information and Service (CoCHIS). As Director of DISSS, he will lead CDC’s efforts to identify, assess, and pursue national and international solutions to integrated surveillance and response efforts. He will also lead CDC’s efforts to develop, implement, and maintain common platforms, agency-wide systems, and applications for integrated solutions, including those for integrated surveillance, lab reporting, and response. He will lead the existing NEDSS, NNDSS/NETSS/NNDSS-link, and Epi Info activities, as well as the LRN Real Time Laboratory Information Exchange, the Specimen Tracking and Results Reporting System (STARRS), and the Coordinating Systems for Managing Outbreaks ad Health Events (OMS). Since many of these efforts directly impact DTBE, we are happy to have someone who knows about tuberculosis in this leadership position. Please join us in wishing him the best of luck.

Heather R. Morrow-Almeida, MPH, has joined DTBE for her first headquarters-based fellowship assignment in the Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) program. During her 6-month assignment with DTBE, Heather will be working with staff of the Field Services and Evaluation Branch and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch on the pilot of the National Tuberculosis Indicators Project, an evaluation of its usefulness for state partners, and other short-term projects as they arise. Heather received her undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies from Appalachian State University in North Carolina and an MPH degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Maternal and Child Health Department in May 2006. During and just after graduate school, Heather worked on a research team with the Carolina Population Center conducting a study of nutrition and physical activity among first-time African-American mothers in a five-county region of North Carolina. During her graduate degree program, Heather worked with the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program to assess, design, and implement a series of health education modules for farmworkers and their families. Prior to entering graduate school, Heather was employed as a health educator on topics varying from maternal and child health issues to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. While in North Carolina, Heather was involved with numerous volunteer engagements, including working as a doula (supporting women during labor and childbirth), volunteering with farmworker outreach, coordinating health education for SHAC (a student-run health clinic in Carrboro), and working with mothers and children in the local WIC program. She is currently looking for a volunteer engagement here, and is open to suggestions. She entered the PHPS program with an interest in learning and practicing evaluation skills, and is very pleased to have the opportunity to work with the evaluation team in DTBE.

Alan Schley, who provided superb administrative assistance to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB) for 4 years, has left DTBE. He accepted a position in the Office of the Director, Division of Integrated Surveillance Systems and Services, National Center for Public Health Informatics, Coordinating Center for Health Information and Service. He started there on September 3. Alan joined SEOIB in December 2002 after a successful and well-decorated career as an administrative specialist with the US Army. Alan earned his bachelor of science degree in Management from Park College in Missouri in 1997.

Susan Spieldenner, RN, BS, left DTBE’s Field Services and Evaluation Branch (FSEB) on October 15, 2006, to take a position as a Public Health Quarantine Officer with the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ). In her new position, Susan will be stationed at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. For the past year, Susan has been assigned to the California Department of Human Services Tuberculosis Control Branch, where she has worked in the Resource Management and Planning Section. During this time she was involved in California’s local assistance award process, provided budget planning support to the two counties most heavily impacted by the TB outbreak among recently arrived Hmong refugees. She also developed agreements providing for the care of TB patients under civil detention. Susan came to DTBE from the State of Michigan, where she had worked as the 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.

Phil Spradling, MD, left DTBE in May 2006 for a position with the Division of Viral Hepatitis of NCHHSTP. Phil joined DTBE in 1999 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch (SEOIB). During his 2 years as an EIS Officer, Phil provided excellent advice on the diagnosis and treatment of TB and on the management of several outbreaks. He headed the investigation of a large TB outbreak in a South Carolina prison, and in 2000 he traveled to Russia to conduct a survey of TB drug resistance. He played a key role in numerous other outbreak investigations. In 2002 he left DTBE for a position with CDC’s National Immunization Program, returning to the division in late 2002 to serve as a Medical Officer in the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch (CHSRB), TDS, and work with the TB Trials Consortium. During his second tenure at DTBE, Phil worked again with SEOIB on several important projects. He assisted with the writing and editing of Reported Tuberculosis in the United States, 2004, and also collaborated with the Surveillance Team in preparing a national TB surveillance data sharing policy as well as other documents. Lastly, Phil worked on reactivating the revision process on the RVCT (Report of Verified Case of Tuberculosis). We wish him the best of luck in his new position.

Zach Taylor, MD, MS, left DTBE in November 2006, having been selected for the position of Regional Health Administrator, HHS Region VIII. He currently holds the rank of Captain (0-6) in the Commissioned Corps, USPHS. This new position gives him the potential for promotion to Flag Rank (0-7). Zach served with outstanding leadership as chief of the Field Services and Evaluation Branch in DTBE over the past 6 years, and prior to that, as medical officer and Team Leader in the Prevention Effectiveness Unit, from 1993 until 2000. We will all miss his unwavering commitment and public health advocacy to secure the necessary infrastructure for TB services at local and state health departments throughout the country. Among his various contributions, Zach is responsible for initiating the evaluation unit to more consistently and systematically assess the outcomes of programmatic interventions in TB. At a time of continued flat funding for national TB programs, Zach had the vision and foresight to plan for the redistribution of resources in collaboration with national TB controllers, in a manner consistent with changes in the epidemiology in our country. Additionally, he saw the immense unmet needs in the Pacific region and developed a team to improve laboratory services, medical care, case management of patients, and surveillance of cases. We have witnessed remarkable improvements in all these areas by TB programs in American Samoa, the Federated Sates of Micronesia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Zach moved to Denver, Colorado, at the end of November 2006. We wish him the best of luck in his new position.

Carla Winston, PhD, joined DTBE in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch on August 21, 2006. Carla received her masters degree in medical anthropology from Stanford University and her PhD degree in epidemiology from Emory University. She has worked at CDC since 1999, and has published analyses of clinical trials, genetic polymorphisms, adult immunization surveillance, and racial/ethnic disparities in health. She teaches a course on data management and SAS at Emory University, and enjoys working with others to think through study design and analysis questions. Please join us in welcoming Carla!


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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