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ASPPH Staff Visit with National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases’ Staff in Atlanta

On January 28, Mr. Tony Mazzaschi, ASPPH senior director for policy and research, and Mr. Mark Mioduski, Cornerstone Government Relations, visited with key officials at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) in Atlanta, GA. They discussed legislative, regulatory, scientific, and operational challenges faced by the Center. In addition, Mr. Mazzaschi and Mr. Mioduski, presented a lecture to CDC staff on “Policy, Advocacy and the Missions of Academic Public Health.” The lecture also was broadcast to CDC regional and field offices.

During the full day of meetings on the CDC’s Roybal Campus, Mr. Mazzaschi and Mr. Mioduski met with the director of the Center, Dr. Beth Bell.  They also met with leaders of the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion; the Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology; the Office of Public Health Scientific Services; the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases; the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine; the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections; and the Office of Advanced Molecular Detection.

Of special interest were the Center’s initiatives related to antimicrobial resistance and the education and workforce challenges facing the Center’s various units. Like many of ASPPH’s member institutions, hiring and retaining bioinformatics professionals is an on-going challenge. There also is concern that many clinicians no longer have practical microbiology training, which is compromising the critical role that physicians play in identifying emerging and on-going public health threats. There may be opportunities for academic public health to address this growing gap through interprofessional education initiatives.

Mr. Mazzaschi and Mr. Mioduski were impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the NCEZID’s staff. It appears that the opportunities for ASPPH members to engage with NCEZID to advance the Center’s mission will only increase in the years ahead.