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TB Notes 4, 2007
Director's Letter
Highlights from State and Local Programs
  Delaware’s Lang TB Clinic Team Selected as Finalist for 2006 Team Excellence Award
New Tools Available to Help With Program Evaluation
TB Education and Training Network Updates
  Member Highlight
  Seventh Annual Conference Highlights
  TB ETN Cultural Competency Workgroup Update
  Second Annual Focal Points Meeting
Data Management and Statistics Branch Update
  Public Health Information Network (PHIN) Conference Held in August 2007
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch Updates
  11th Semiannual Meeting of the TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium
  CDC Team Teaches TB/HIV Operational Research Course in Kiev, Ukraine
  2006 Annual Surveillance Report
New CDC Publications
Personnel Notes
Calendar of Events
 
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TB Notes Newsletter

No. 4, 2007

HIGHLIGHTS FROM STATE AND LOCAL PROGRAMS

Delaware’s Lang TB Clinic Team Selected as Finalist for the Governor’s 2006 Team Excellence Award

In an average year, the Lang TB Clinic at the Hudson State Service Center in Newark, Delaware, will conduct 16 to 18 contact investigations, provide directly observed therapy (DOT) for all TB patients, and each month will provide preventive treatment for another 250–300 Delawareans with latent TB infection (LTBI). Most of their clients are among the most underserved and vulnerable in the state: low income, non-English speaking Hispanics, blacks, foreign-born persons, and undocumented immigrants. The Lang Clinic team, composed of three nurses, an outreach worker, and support staff, handle this workload with great aplomb.

In 2006, Jeannie Rodman, MSN, RN, program nurse consultant, decided to submit a nomination for the second annual Delaware Governor’s Team Excellence Award based on their efforts during a contact investigation.

Governor's Team Excellence AwardThe Delaware Governor’s Team Excellence Award honors the efforts of teams of 6 or more individuals from the state’s workforce of approximately 12,000 full-time employees. Of the 26 teams entered, five finalists received special honors. The Lang Clinic Team was recognized as a finalist, at a ceremony held on July 21, 2007, in Dover, Delaware.

“The Delaware Governor’s Team Excellence Award criteria are very specific, with a definite slant toward the sort of effort that can be showcased with lots of charts and graphs,” said Ms. Rodman. “I knew we would be up against some very sophisticated efforts, and wondered if we had a chance against that sort of razzle-dazzle. What we do is not glamorous, but it is the essence of public service, and we had some amazing results. This particular effort was complicated by the need to incorporate two important newer roles in Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) – that of the Medical Director and the Office of Health Risk Communication, in response to media attention.”

This particular team effort centered around a challenging contact investigation that began in June 2006, when a kitchen worker in a popular Wilmington-area restaurant was diagnosed with active TB. The worker, a non-English speaking Hispanic male, had been ill for many months. Close contacts, including co-workers, family, and friends, numbered more than 100. Within 3 weeks, in spite of language and potential trust barriers, all contacts had been screened, including chest x-rays for those at highest risk. High-risk contacts were placed on preventive therapy, and the source patient was on his way to recovery. Thanks to a quick and effective response of the team, no disease transmission is known to have occurred.

Lang TB Clinic TeamLang TB Clinic Team (left to right): Jacqueline Holland, RN, BSN; Katherine Deitcher, RN, BSN;   Marie O’Leary, RN, BSN, Nursing Supervisor; Nila Boone, Social Services Specialist; Nilda Martinez, Social Service Technician; and Susan Keegan, RN, BSN, Clinic Manager. Not pictured are Marcia Brinker, RN, BSN, and John Chabalko, MD, pulmonary consultant.

The investigation was complicated when a family member of the restaurant employee called the local newspaper, igniting a storm of media attention. The clinic’s response to this challenge involved dozens of e-mails and last-minute conference calls with DPH leadership and the Office of Health Risk Communications (OHRC), wedged between the usual business of the clinic and the extraordinary effort involved in the investigation. The team emerged from the crisis having helped develop a decision tree regarding lines of communication and responsibility within the DPH leadership, which in turn led to an updated communications policy. 

This cohesive and talented team serves as a testament to the leadership of Nursing Supervisor Marie O’Leary, RN, and Clinic Manager Susan Keegan, RN. New Castle County Public Health competes for nurses with the large health care systems of the Wilmington and Philadelphia area, yet the Lang TB Clinic manages to maintain a savvy, well-educated, and energized team of professionals. Ms. O’Leary accomplishes this by fostering an atmosphere of trust and by engaging team members with her passion and fascination for the complexities of the disease and a devotion to excellence.

—Submitted by Jeannie Rodman, MSN, RN
Tuberculosis Nurse Consultant

Delaware
Division of Public Health

 


Released October 2008
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