This annual award was established to honor Rick Heffernan, an early leader in the field of biosurveillance, and founding member and constant supporter of ISDS, who passed away in February 2013. Recipients of the award are selected for their "sustained and outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of biosurveillance."
Past Recipients Organized by Year
The 2017 award was combined with the 2018 award to align with the new ISDS Annual Conference schedule.
Amy Ising is the NC DETECT Program Director and Associate Director of the Carolina Center for Health Informatics in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Amy has worked with NC DETECT and its precursor for over 15 years and has contributed to numerous publications and presentations related to biosurveillance. Amy was Co-Organizing Chair of the 2008 ISDS Conference in Raleigh, NC, Scientific Program Chair of the 2012 ISDS Conference in San Diego, CA, ISDS Board Member since 2013 and Board President from 2015-2106. She was also a participant on the first Meaningful Use Workgroup in 2011 – 2012 that worked to develop theCore Processes and EHR Requirements for Public Health Syndromic Surveillance.
Howard Burkom is a Principal Professional Staff Mathematician at JHU/APL, where serves as lead developer for analytic methods for the ESSENCE and SAGES systems in the disease surveillance program. He has worked exclusively in field of biosurveillance since 2000, adapting analytic methods from epidemiology, biostatistics, statistical process control, and other fields of applied science, for advanced disease monitoring systems. He has also worked with CDC since 2004, as consultant, then as grantee, and for 6 years as part-time employee through IPA arrangements. He was elected three times to the Board of Directors of the International Society of Disease Surveillance and currently chairs its Research Committee. Since 2003 he has reviewed technical articles on biosurveillance for numerous publications, authored or coauthored several articles per year along with four book chapters, and has given presentations and short courses at conferences on bioterrorism and health monitoring.
Julia Gunn has worked for the Boston Public Health Commission in the Communicable Disease Control Division for over 15 years, where she assumed the position of Director in 2008. During this time, Julia has contributed to dozens of publications and presentations enhancing the understanding of communicable disease surveillance and response, tuberculosis, food-borne illness, and other communicable illnesses. Her publications in syndromic surveillance publications include a cost study and consensus process for syndrome definitions. Julia played a key role in developing and integrating the enhanced surveillance systems in Boston including the EARS based syndromic surveillance system and patient tracking for mass casualty events. In 2009, the Boston syndromic surveillance system was awarded the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence. Julia sat on the executive board for the International Society for Disease Surveillance, serving as President in 2012. Julia has served on NACCHO's public health informatics workgroup and the BioSense technical panel.
See Julia in Action!
Joe Gibson is Director of Epidemiology at the Marion County Health Department in Indianapolis and an Affiliate Faculty member at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington. He has been named this year's awardee in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of biosurveillance. For over 20 years, he has worked in public health and has been a champion of the development and use of public health informatics and biosurveillance. As Chair of the BioSense Governance Group for two years, Joe has worked tirelessly to ensure that the voice of the surveillance community is included in decision making and that the development of the system continues to move forward to meet user needs.
ISDS is pleased to announce that the winner of the first annual Rick Heffernan Award for Public Health Practice is Don Olson. The award was established to honor Rick Heffernan, an early leader in the field of biosurveillance, and founding member and constant supporter of ISDS, who passed away in February 2013. Don has been named this year's awardee in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of biosurveillance. Don has continuously pursued an innovative research agenda that has directly contributed to improving the practice of public health surveillance. His leadership on the DiSTRIBuTE project solidified the ISDS "community of practice," and helped establish the value of a surveillance system that spans jurisdictions. Don has emulated Rick's support, energy, and enthusiasm for promoting the concept of, and the science behind, distributed surveillance.