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NACDD Commitment to Advance Applied Chronic Disease Epidemiology

Posted By Natasha M. McCoy, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

NACDD selected four newly-hired, junior-level chronic disease epidemiologists to receive one-on-one technical assistance and professional development from senior chronic disease epidemiologists as part of its 2017 mentee class for the National Mentorship Program in Applied Chronic Disease Epidemiology. The Program was developed by the CDC Division of Population Health and NACDD to advance applied chronic disease epidemiology capacity in state health departments. Program oversight is provided by program chair, Khosrow Heidari, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control; Natasha McCoy, NACDD Senior Public Health Consultant for CDC Domain 1 (Epidemiology and Surveillance) and NACDD's executive leadership team. NACDD recruited mentors and coordinated the pairing process with mentees. The 2017 mentee class includes:

  • Asra Khalid, BS, MPH, Epidemiologist, Tennessee Department of Health
  • Nhan Nguyen, BS, MPH, Epidemiologist, Cook County Department of Public Health, Illinois
  • Ami Sedani, BS, MPH, Surveillance Coordinator, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
  • Allison Verbyla, BS, MPH, Public Health Analyst II, Vermont Department of Health, Division of Health Surveillance

The 2017 mentors are:

  • Dr. Agricola Odoi, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • Dr. Ann Pobutsky, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
  • Dr. Ghazala Perveen, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Dr. Ericka Welsh, formerly with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment

 Mentees are required to focus mentorship on developing capacity in one or more pre-identified competency areas through a project developed jointly by the mentee, mentee supervisor and mentor. During the seven year span of the program, NACDD worked with more than fifty mentor-mentee pairs representing state and local health departments, universities and medical facilities. Former mentees have become senior chronic disease epidemiologists and chronic disease directors. Recruitment activities for the 2018 cohort are expected to begin in October 2017. For more information, contact Natasha McCoy at

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