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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UNC Alumna Appointed Acting Director of CDC Influenza Coordination Unit

Dr. Lisa M. Koonin, alumna and adjunct assistant professor of health policy and management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been appointed acting director of the Influenza Coordination Unit (ICU) in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Infectious Diseases, effective January 25.

[Photo: Photo: Dr. Lisa Koonin]

Since 2007, Dr. Koonin has served as the ICU’s senior adviser for flu pandemic preparedness. She contributed to the development of the 2006 U.S. National Strategy for Pandemic Influence Implementation Plan and co-authored several CDC planning guidance documents. She developed and leads CDC’s innovative national “Flu on Call™” initiative to improve access to medical countermeasures and reduce surge on health-care facilities during a severe pandemic.

“[Dr. Koonin’s] extensive scientific and programmatic expertise and leadership experience, including serving as lead for CDC’s Pandemic Medical Care and Countermeasures Task Force, will be invaluable as she leads ICU to coordinate and synchronize CDC’s pandemic influenza-related activities,” said Dr. Rima Khabbaz, deputy director for infectious diseases and director of the Office of Infectious Diseases at the CDC.

Dr. Koonin has served in leadership roles as part of multiple CDC’s response efforts, including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, 2013 avian influenza A (H7N9) virus outbreak and, most recently, the ongoing Ebola response, where she served as deputy for the Medical Care Task Force.

She has published more than 60 peer-reviewed publications on a range of public health topics.

Prior to her joining the CDC in 1987, Dr. Koonin served for 10 years in several nurse practitioner, clinical and nursing faculty positions.

She earned Master of Nursing and Master of Public Health degrees from Emory University and a Doctor of Public Health in health policy and management from the Gillings School in 2013.