ISDS Current Board of Directors 2017
Wayne Loschen, MS
Mr. Loschen has been involved in the disease surveillance domain as the technical lead for the ESSENCE system at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) since 1999. Additionally, he has worked on numerous research initiatives with a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds including epidemiology, mathematics, statistics, computer science, and others.
Loschen joined the society in 2005 when he attended his first conference in Seattle, Washington, and had since then been involved beyond just presenting at the conference. Starting with the Website Committee, Wayne has been periodically active in other committees and have helped support major ISDS project initiatives. While working with many jurisdictions Wayne has provided technical support for the Distribute project and contributed some technical expertise to the Meaningful Use working group. Additionally, he has presented at the conference close to 20 times since 2005, co-chaired the Informatics track of the scientific program committee for the 2012 conference, and was the chair for the 2013 scientific program committee.
Judy Akkina, MPH, Ph.D.
Dr. Judy Akkina has been engaged with ISDS since the very first conference in New York City in 2002. She attended 8 of the 12 annual conferences and gave many talks and presented posters at these conferences. She was a member of the Scientific Program committee in 2007 and for the past year has been the Chair of the Research Committee. She is a member of the One Health Surveillance workshop planning group which organized a session during the 2014 pre-conference workshops. Dr. Akkina is an epidemiologist with a diverse background including public health, environmental health and animal health. She received both a BS in Nursing and an MPH from UCLA, and a PhD in epidemiology from Colorado State University. She has worked for the past 19 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) in Fort Collins, CO in the areas of animal disease surveillance and risk identification and assessment. Currently at the USDA she is involved in developing and analyzing syndromic surveillance data streams for animal health monitoring in the U.S., such as livestock auction markets, slaughter facilities, veterinary laboratories and veterinary practitioners. Prior to working at the USDA, she conducted environmental health and genetic epidemiology research, and also worked as a nurse.
Erin Austin, MPH
Ms. Austin is Enhanced Surveillance Coordinator, Division of Surveillance and Investigation at the Virginia Department of Health. Since 2011, she has worked as a public health practitioner at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) focusing on syndromic surveillance; first as a surveillance epidemiologist and now as the coordinator of the syndromic surveillance program. In this role she manages the operation of Virginia’s ESSENCE system, oversee the onboarding of syndromic surveillance data sources such as emergency department and urgent care center visits, coordinate VDH’s Meaningful Use activities, ensure quality, integrity and completeness of syndromic surveillance data, oversee the use of these data to identify emerging public health issues and monitor health trends as well as sharing data with public health partners for situational awareness and informed decision making. She has had the opportunity to contribute to recent national efforts focused on improving syndromic surveillance data, reporting, and tools such as leading Virginia’s participation in the piloting of ESSENCE as part of CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) as well as participating in the CDC Meaningful Use Public Health Reporting Taskforce subgroup focused on developing guidance materials for public health agencies on the registration and onboarding process in preparation for Stage 3 of Meaningful Use. Through her work she has built collaborations with other public health jurisdictions, most notably within the National Capital Region, to establish best practices for conducting syndromic surveillance, implement data sharing methods, and help expand surveillance capabilities in order to detect and monitor events of public health concern across the region.
David Blazes, MD, MPH
Dr. Blazes is Senior Program Office, Surveillance and Epidemiology, Vaccine Development, Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His career in the military involved experience living and working in developing settings, complemented by several years at the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance program. During this time, he served on the Global Outreach committee and gave a keynote address at the 2007 ISDS meeting. Over the years, his research group has presented numerous posters and presentations at the annual meetings. His group also taught outbreak management across Latin America, serving as a bridge to the gold-standard Field Epidemiology Laboratory Training Program (FELTP).
P. Joseph Gibson, MPH, Ph.D.
Dr. Gibson is the Director of Epidemiology at the Marion County Public Health Department, serving Indianapolis, Indiana. He chairs the informatics workgroup for the national association of local health agencies (NACCHO) and has been active in various national public health informatics efforts, including serving as the first Chair of the BioSense Governance Group, where he represented ISDS. He also works with the Regenstrief Institute to create public health informatics tools that leverage the clinical health information exchange.
He has a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health, and a doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Washington, with a focus on access and use of health services. Before starting work at the Marion County Public Health Department in 2003, he spent 8 years working for the pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly and Company, doing quality of life and cost research related to medications for schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses.
Amy Ising, MS
Amy Ising is the Program Director for North Carolina’s statewide syndromic surveillance system, NC DETECT. NC DETECT is managed at the Carolina Center for Health Informatics in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) under contract to and in close collaboration with the North Carolina Division of Public Health. Ising has contributed to the design, development, implementation and maintenance of NC DETECT and its precursor NCEDD since 2000. She has been a co- investigator on several health informatics and biosurveillance-related research projects. Ising is adjunct faculty in the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC-CH Gillings School of Global Public Health, where she teaches introductory graduate-level courses on public health informatics. She received a B.A. with Distinction from the University of Virginia, and a M.S. in Information Science and Certificate in Field Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ising has been an active participant in ISDS since 2004 and is looking forward to attending her ninth ISDS conference this December. She has served on three conference organizing committees and is the 2012 Scientific Program Chair. Ising also served on the first ISDS Meaningful Use Workgroup that produced the ISDS Emergency Department and Urgent Care Recommendations.
Stacey Hoferka, MPH, MSIS
Ms. Hoferka has worked on public health surveillance activities for the previous twelve years in academic settings, as well as local and state health departments. She has been actively involved with ISDS since 2012.
As the Surveillance and Informatics Epidemiologist at Illinois Department of Public Health, she is implementing syndromic surveillance to support Meaningful Use and utilize the BioSense application for many surveillance projects. As a state representative on the BioSense Governance Group, she collaborates with representatives from ISDS through our joint participation on this and the multiple BioSense User Group initiatives.
Her current position includes epidemiological and informatics support for the Illinois communicable disease reporting system, I-NEDSS, the outbreak management system, electronic case reporting, and the Illinois extensively drug-resistant organism (XDRO) registry. She is active on the Midwest BRACE, Building Resilience against Climate Effects collaborative and the Climate and Health Syndromic Surveillance Workgroup. These activities keep her in communication with providers, vendors, HIEs, and public health practitioners in emergency preparedness, environmental health, patient safety and chronic disease. Within the ISDS technical conventions committee, she is working on a use case to better characterize heat-related morbidity. As a board member, she will strive to promote ISDS’s mission among these various stakeholders to increase awareness and participation in the activities of the Society.
Elizabeth Lee, Georgetown University
Student Member (non-voting)
Sheri Lewis, MPH
Sheri Lewis leads the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s (JHU/APL) Health Surveillance Program which includes the ESSENCE and SAGES projects. In this capacity, she works closely with both the US and international public health communities on the development and implementation of electronic disease surveillance systems, mobile health applications, and the development of advanced analytics for the prediction and modeling of emerging infectious diseases.
Additionally, Ms. Lewis is a member of the JHU/APL Principal Professional Staff and is the Research and Applications Program Area Manager for the organization’s National Health Mission Area. In this role Ms. Lewis oversees technical aspects of a range of programs spanning a variety of health topics including health surveillance, systems biology, neurological health and human performance, and biomechanics.
Ms. Lewis has been an active member of ISDS since its inception.
Dr. Ian Painter, MSc, PhD
Dr. Painter is a statistician by training, with a clinical faculty appointment in the Department of Health Services in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. He works primarily out of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. He has been involved with the ISDS since the Boston Conference in 2004, and he has attended every conference since then. He became more actively involved through the Distribute project, conducting an analysis of the data quality issues in the Distribute data. He also participates in the technical conventions committee, and he was co-chair of the scientific program committee for the 2014 conference.
His primary area of focus around surveillance is on methods for data quality analysis, monitoring and mitigation. He has also worked previously with MPH and PhD students doing research on various aspects of syndromic surveillance, including analysis of alerting algorithm performance and use of school absenteeism data. He is also involved in research in other areas of public health, in particular in the emergency medical services system and notifiable condition reporting. A common thread with all of these research areas is that they are driven by public health practice needs, and would not be possible without the close cooperation of public health practitioners.
Vivek Singh, MPH, MBBS
Dr. Singh is a public health specialist working as an Associate Professor at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)'s Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) at Hyderabad. He received his MBBS degree from Government Medical College in Nagpur, MH, India and his MPH degree from Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA. He is also affiliated as a research scholar at the department of International Health, CAPHRI School of Public Health of Maastricht University in Netherlands.
Dr. Singh has worked as a medical officer for surveillance with the National Polio Surveillance Program of World Health Organization (WHO), providing leadership and technical support to the health system in various states in India. He has also worked as a consultant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta's 'STOP' program, and the WHO country office in Kenya providing technical support to Kenya's polio eradication program.
At PHFI, Dr. Singh is involved in academics; research; practice and consulting. He is engaged in the development and delivery of public health training programs using competency based approaches. He leads the training programs on field epidemiology; public health surveillance; public health emergency preparedness; and public health program management at the institute.
As a member of the ISDS, Dr. Singh has played a critical role in increasing the global outreach of the Society. He has been a member of the Scientific Program Committee for annual conferences and the co-chair for the public health surveillance practice track since 2012. He was instrumental in forging partnerships between PHFI and ISDS and in contributing to the Society's membership in the WHO's Global Health Workforce Alliance. He is also a steering committee member of the Asia Alliance on Global Health (AAGH), an alliance with a vision for better health in Asia through global interactions.
Rahel Struchen, Veterinary Public Health Institute, Switzerland
Student Member (non-voting)