DPH Epidemiologists Excel 14/14 abstracts accepted for presentation at conference

September 5, 2013

Originally published April 8, 2013

Congratulations are in order for staff from the Georgia Department of Public Health's (DPH) Epidemiology Section. All of the 14 abstracts submitted for presentation at the national Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists' (CSTE) annual conference were accepted for either oral or poster presentations. In fact, one of the poster presentations by Laura Edison, D.V.M., Ph.D, has already been nominated as a poster awards finalist.


"This is a tremendous accomplishment and strongly supports our mission to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge and to support, guide and inform public health actions by disseminating data and analyses," said Cherie Drenzek, D.V.M.,state epidemiologist for DPH.


CSTE is a professional organization for epidemiologists and works to advance public health policy and epidemiologic capacity. It provides information, education and developmental support for practicing epidemiologists in a wide range of areas as well as expertise for program and surveillance efforts. It also provides technical advice and assistance to partner organizations and to federal public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


"This national organization drives epidemiology policy in the country. They develop position statements and determine diseases to be reported," Drenzek said.


Epidemiologist Audrey Martyn, a CSTE fellow and graduate of Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, had three abstracts -- one oral and two poster presentations -- accepted for presentation at the CSTE annual conference. Her oral presentation focuses on chlamydia reinfection among young women in Georgia and her posters are about mycoplasma pneumoniae outbreak among university students in Georgia and the demographic and socioeconomic differences in the use of arthritis self-management interventions among adults in Georgia. 


Martyn said she was excited for the opportunity to present at the conference.


"People from all over the U.S. will have posters at the conference. It is a good way to expose work from Georgia as well as learn from others who give helpful critiques. It also is a good way to grow in your work and get great experience," she said.


Martyn's two-year CSTE fellowship ends July 2013, but she said she'd like to remain at DPH as an employee. 


Other staff members whose abstracts were selected by CSTE  include Francis Annor, Matt Crist, Victoria Davis, Antionette Lavender, Ashley Moore, Viani Ramirez-Irizarry, Ebony Thomas, Jessica Tuttle, Madhavi Vajani and Rebecca Willis.


Patrick O'Neal, M.D., DPH's director of health protection, praised the accomplishments earned by these staff members.


"Outstanding! But not surprising! I know of no state with a stronger epidemiology staff," said Pat O'Neal, M.D.

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