The University of South Florida College of Public Health’s Dr. Russell Kirby, distinguished university health professor, has been elected president-elect of the American College of Epidemiology (ACE).
Dr. Kirby, who is also a Marrell Endowed Chair in the department of community and family health, joined the ACE in 1993 as a member and was promoted to Fellow in 1996.
The ACE, established in 1979, is an organization of epidemiologists established to support the interests of the profession.
“My service in this leadership role comes at a time of transition and change for ACE,” Dr. Kirby said. “As with many professional organizations, we need to re-envision our role in terms of the services and products we offer our members.”
Many professionals, Dr. Kirby said, joined ACE and similar organizations to receive academic journals or reduced registrations to conferences and meetings.
“That is no longer enough in an era of instant communications and web connectivity,” he said. “I hope to co-lead and participate in a broad and transformative strategic planning process that helps ACE to meet member needs and maintain relevance in the years to come.”
Dr. Kirby has more than 30 years of experience in public health practice, academic medicine and health statistics in maternal and child health.
He also serves as principal investigator on several contracts through the Florida Department of Public Health for birth defects surveillance and prevention, and collaborates in national and international networks on birth defects and developmental disabilities epidemiology, perinatal outcomes of women receiving assisted reproductive technology, and international migration and pregnancy outcomes.
He said ACE is an opportunity for growth among epidemiologist who are just starting out in the field.
“ACE is a professional organization, but differs from other epidemiology societies in that applicants are formally reviewed by an admissions committee that recommends admission and the level of membership for each applicant,” he said. “There is a prestige involved in being accorded the title of ‘Fellow’ in ACE.”
He also strongly supports the efforts of the ACE to advocate for and promote the science and practice of epidemiology.
“Public health practitioners with a focus on epidemiology should consider joining ACE if they are interested in ensuring the future and vitality of epidemiology as a discipline, translation of epidemiologic findings into clinical and public health practice, and give a political voice to expression of scientific freedom and the funding of epidemiologic research and training programs,” he said.
For more information about ACE, visit their website.