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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


Stephen Benoit, MD, has accepted a position in the National Center for Public Health Informatics, where he will be part of an analytics/epidemiology team. After finishing his Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) training in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Stephen joined the International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB) in July 2006. He worked primarily in Latin America, helping with the planning for the Mexico drug-resistance survey as well as the establishment of a Center for Excellence. He worked closely with Paul Jensen, conducting TB infection control trainings in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru. In addition, he conducted an analysis of TB among the foreign born using data from the National TB Surveillance System. His last official day in DTBE was October 12, 2007.

Nick DeLuca, PhD, is departing DTBE for a position as a Behavioral Scientist with the Global AIDS Program (GAP) in Windhoek, Namibia. Nick has been with DTBE since 1997, first starting as an Association of Schools of Public Health fellow in what was then the Communications and Education Branch. He was later hired in a permanent position as a Health Education Specialist, and continued on to the senior staff position of Education, Training, and Behavioral Studies Team Leader in the current Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB). During his time with DTBE, Nick has developed patient and provider education and training materials; developed and implemented education and behavioral studies; conducted training courses; provided technical assistance and guidance to local, state, national, and international partners; and provided leadership and guidance to the Centers of Excellence (COE).  Nick will be greatly missed by the TB community, and we hope he will continue to be involved in HIV/TB in his new position. His start date with GAP is effective November 12, with the goal of moving to Namibia in January 2008.

Ilana Dickman, a fellow in DTBE’s Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch (CHSRB), has accepted a job in the Washington, DC, area, where she will be working as a health care analyst on a cultural competency project for HHS’s Office of Minority Health. Her last day with CDC was October 4. Ilana joined CHSRB as an Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) Fellow 1 year ago. She devoted the majority of her time to developing the ethnographic guide for TB programs providing services to persons from China and to finalizing all five guides in the series. This effort involved completing in-depth reviews of the literature, gathering a wide range of health statistics, and doing a substantial amount of organizing and writing. Her well-received Brown Bag talk presented to the Division in August nicely reflected the fine quality of her work. Ilana was also very instrumental in helping plan and carry out the very successful TB Walk this year. All of us who had the opportunity to know and work with Ilana will miss her very much, and we wish her well in her new job. 

Teresa Goss returned to DTBE on August 20. She has joined the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) as a Training Specialist.  In this position, she will provide technical and administrative support for TB training, education, and public awareness activities.  Prior to her move back to DTBE, Teresa served as a Management and Program Analyst on the Center’s Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Personnel Team.

Susan Lippold, MD, MPH, TB Controller for the city of Chicago, left CDC/DTBE on October 31, 2007, having accepted a position with the Global AIDS program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In her new role, she will direct CDC and PEPFAR activities in this area, including HIV/TB activities. Susan joined the DTBE Field Services and Evaluation Branch on January 2, 2002. During her tenure as Director of the TB Control Program and the City of Chicago’s TB Control Officer, Chicago's TB cases decreased from 378 in 2001 to 292 in 2006. She instituted quarterly cohort reviews, and restructured the program so that field sites were consolidated and merged with clinic sites, and three public health nurses were invested with supervisory authority over both clinic and field functions. Three new supervising communicable disease investigator positions were created. In addition, six field nurses report directly to the TB program. In addition to serving as Director, she also served as supervising physician and also as Program Manager for more than 1 year when needed due to vacancy. This entailed individually reviewing all active and suspect cases followed in the health department and the private sector. She directly handled all personnel, contracts, and budgetary matters for the program and brought all contracts up to date and developed scopes of service, something that had been remiss for years. During her tenure, performance measures increased including completion of therapy and knowledge of HIV status. She oversaw the 4-year CDC-funded project to address disparities seen in the African-American population. This successful project involved numerous activities including focus groups and educational messages culminating in a TB video. She served as Co-Principal Investigator (PI) in TBTC studies #26 and #28 and Co-PI in TBESC studies #9 and #15. In addition to seeing TB patients, Susan kept her Internal Medicine continuity clinic for more than 7 years at Cook County. In addition to all this, she had a solo art show! Susan considered this a very rewarding position, but not an easy one, with difficult decisions to make such as temporarily closing clinics, shuffling staff, stopping certain activities, and either establishing or changing policies -- all depending on resources and operations. Susan stated, "The TB control program in Chicago is something I'm proud to have been a part of."

Sundari Mase, MD, MPH, has been selected as the new Medical Team leader in the Field Services and Evaluation Branch. Sundari received her bachelor’s degree with honors in Neurobiology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1988 and subsequently received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, in 1993. After completing her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Sundari worked in an Internal Medicine group practice in the San Francisco Bay Area for 5 years serving as the primary care physician for 1200 patients. She was board certified in internal medicine in 1996 and was recently recertified in 2006. Sundari then chose to pursue a career in public health and obtained her MPH degree in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2003. She worked for the State of California TB Control Branch as a Public Health Medical Officer in the Surveillance and Epidemiology Section. During her 4 years in this position, Sundari played a lead role in establishing and implementing the State of California MDRTB Consultation Service, providing expert consultation for the state’s most complex and drug-resistant TB cases and contacts. She was also the state’s lead in writing the latest California TB treatment guidelines and contributed substantially to the writing of the California Treatment of Latent TB Infection guidelines. She also served as Outbreak Response Officer, leading numerous outbreak investigations, several involving MDRTB. Sundari joined the Francis J. Curry National TB Center in July 2005 as the Western Region MDRTB consultant. She has given many TB presentations and has published several articles, most notably a systematic review of the literature evaluating the incremental yield of the third AFB sputum specimen in the evaluation of TB suspects. Based on the findings from this review and other data, WHO has adopted the policy of reducing the number of specimens to be examined for screening TB cases from three to two in places where workload is very high and human resources are limited. In 2006, Sundari started in her role as the TB Controller/Deputy Health Officer of Santa Clara County, a high TB incidence jurisdiction in California (228 cases reported in 2006). In this role, she provided oversight for the care and management of TB cases and their contacts, including all contact investigations, by working closely with community physicians and public health nurses. She has also been involved with writing and updating all of the TB control policies and procedures for Santa Clara County. In collaboration with the Stanford Medical Center, Sundari is the Principal Investigator for a research project evaluating the cost-effectiveness of universal TB screening in schools, as Santa Clara County has a school mandate for universal TB screening. She has also been involved with outbreak investigations. She has continued to serve as a Warmline consultant for the Francis J. Curry National TB Center and has served as the MDRTB consultant for the Puentes de Esperanza Project, a USAID- funded binational program led by Dr. Kathleen Moser aimed at providing treatment and management of 15 MDRTB patients residing in Baja California. In May 2007, Sundari served as a program consultant to CDC for the evaluation of the overseas TB screening program in U.S- bound Burmese refugees using the new Technical Instructions for TB screening. The results and conclusions of this evaluation have informed the latest changes to the TB technical instructions for overseas screening of refugee and immigrant populations. We welcome Sundari to DTBE. She will be reporting to her new position in early January 2008.

Karyn Mitchell has joined DTBE as the newest addition to our DTBE support staff team. Similar to other of our support staff, she is administratively and organizationally a part of the Management Analysis and Services Office (MASO) but has been assigned to work in DTBE with the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch (CHSRB). Karyn has been with CDC since December 2006, starting out with CCID’s National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED) as an Office Automation Clerk. Karyn was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She has held several positions in New York City, including working in the Mayor's office in New York City as well as in various clerical support and customer service positions. In Dec. 2000 she started working for the NYC Board of Education as an office clerk aide and teacher’s aide. She moved to Georgia in July 2003, and worked for the Georgia Department of Corrections as a corrections officer before coming to CDC. She looks forward to working with DTBE. Welcome, Karyn!

Dr. Young-Kil Park, Chief of the Molecular Biology Section at the Korean Institute of Tuberculosis (KIT) in Seoul, South Korea, has joined the Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch (MLB). As Chief of the Molecular Biology Section at KIT, he oversees the drug susceptibility testing and genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and identification of nontuberculosis mycobacteria. His major research experience while at KIT was to develop and evaluate molecular tests for detection of mutations in the genes associated with resistance to TB drugs and to establish and build an M. tuberculosis clinical isolate banking system for use in molecular epidemiological studies based on RFLP analysis.  During his time with MLB he would like to learn more about laboratory systems and quality assurance.  He will also be assisting Tracy Dalton, his primary advisor, with the laboratory aspects of the PETTS project. Dr. Park will be training and working with MLB until September 2008.

Bonnie Plikaytis, MS, has accepted the position of Deputy Branch Chief for the Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch. Bonnie received a masters degree from Georgia State University and began her career at CDC in the Division of Bacterial Diseases working on developing diagnostic tests for use with Legionella pneumophila. For the past 19 years, Bonnie has been working in the various incarnations of the Mycobacteriology Laboratory Branch. Her research has concentrated on developing the scientific basis for new rapid molecular-based diagnostic tests for identifying mycobacteria, detecting M. tuberculosis, and assessing drug susceptibility. She has made important contributions to our understanding of the molecular basis of rifampin resistance, and more recently, to capreomycin and aminoglycoside resistance. Besides research, Bonnie has been a mentor to more than a dozen graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, many of whom have flourished under her mentorship.

Paul Regan has accepted the public health advisor position in Jackson, Mississippi; his report date was September 17, 2007.  His duties include acting as director of the Hinds County TB Clinic in Jackson, MS, and administration of TB control activities in Public Health Area V, which include several cities and counties in and around the Jackson area. Paul was previously assigned to the Florida Bureau of TB & Refugee Health in Tallahassee.  While there, he was responsible for coordinating statewide interjurisdictional transfers of TB patients, Area Management of Areas 1 & 2A, Area coordinator for Area 5, and COOP (Continuity of Operations Program) coordinator for the Bureau. Paul volunteered for several temporary duty assignment opportunities during his assignment in Florida, including New Orleans, LA; Fort Wayne, IN; and Kosciusko County, IN. Paul began his DTBE career in 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 he 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. While in Alabama, Paul assisted with an Epi-Aid in Bayou La Batre. Before Paul came to DTBE, he was in 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.

Kim Seechuk, MPH, has accepted the position of TB program manager in Washington, DC, and started on Oct. 28. She most recently served as the Deputy Chief, Program and Training Branch (PTB), Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP), CDC.  She started with the Division of STD Prevention in 1997 as a program consultant.  Prior to coming to CDC, she spent 17 years with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in various capacities in the STD, Outbreak Investigation, and Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Control Programs.  The positions in which she served included disease intervention specialist, program epidemiologist, health educator and, finally, manager of Maryland’s STD Prevention Program. She received her masters of public health degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1988.  Kim just completed a temporary duty assignment with the Global AIDS Program (GAP), serving as the Acting Deputy Director for GAP-Tanzania.

Susan Spieldenner, RN, BS, was selected for the senior PHA position in Richmond, California, effective September 2, 2007. Susan returned to DTBE after serving as a Public Health Quarantine Officer for the past year with the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. In that assignment, she initiated a research project for evaluating the effectiveness of providing a written referral to arriving immigrants with B1 or B2 TB classifications in completing US-based follow-up examinations. Susan had previously been assigned to the California Department of Human Services Tuberculosis Control Branch, where she worked in the Resource Management and Planning Section.  During that 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, and developed agreements providing for the care of TB patients under civil detention.  Susan originally 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.

Kelly Stinson, MPH, has accepted a position as a Senior Clinical Research Associate at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in Washington, DC. She will be part of a clinical trial team whose primary goal is to achieve FDA approval of a novel TB drug. Kelly joined DTBE's International Research and Programs Branch (IRPB) in 2004, after graduating from Emory University. During the past 3.5 years in DTBE, she has been involved in a variety of projects. She is the current TB/HIV technical lead for South Africa, where she supervises all DTBE TB/HIV projects occurring in-country as well as TB/HIV project staff. She is the project officer for the development of TB/HIV surveillance training materials for use in countries with high TB and HIV burdens. She has also served as an instructor for TB/HIV operations research courses in Latvia, Malawi, El Salvador, and Argentina. She has provided technical assistance on TB/HIV integration to CDC’s Global AIDS Program offices in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Central America. Kelly is also the CDC principal investigator for several projects related to TB/HIV surveillance, and is a member of the WHO Electronic Recording and Reporting Workgroup and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator TB/HIV Working Group. Her last official day in DTBE was Oct. 12, 2007.


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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