CDC Emergency Responder kicks off Voices from the Vanguard Series

Voices from the Vanguard, presented by the Grady College Health and Medical Journalism program and the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, opens Feb. 25 with a presentation by Joanne Cono, acting director of the Office of Science Quality for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Cono will share stories from the front lines of global public health at 5:30 p.m. in the UGA Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Physician and researcher Joanne Cono, MD, ScD, FAAP, has been responding to public health emergencies in the United States and around the world through the CDC for 14 years. When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, killing 230,000 people and displacing nearly two million more, Cono was the chief health officer for the CDC team that rushed to the island.

In her talk, “Public Health's World Wide Web: CDC Responds to Global Emergencies,” Cono will illustrate the CDC's role in global emergencies with personal stories showing public health in action. With more than 300 staff members stationed in 60 countries, the CDC is positioned to team up with international Ministries of Health and the World Health Organization when disease outbreaks or disasters strike. This is in addition to the CDC's more familiar role as a first responder when the health of US citizens is threatened.

In her current position as acting director for science quality at the Atlanta-based agency, Dr. Cono seeks to make CDC's research more useful to the global public health community.

“Dr. Cono has been on the front lines of emergencies around the world, and she sees the big picture as a science administrator,” said Patricia Thomas, co-organizer of the series and Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism at Grady College. “She'll bring us stories behind the headlines and tell them with a lot of passion.”

Cono is a board-certified pediatrician who also holds a Master of Science degree in vaccine science and international health from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. She also has advanced training in facilitation, negotiation, global diplomacy and public engagement.

This marks the ninth year for the global disease lecture series sponsored by the Grady College Health and Medical Journalism program and UGA's Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. Daniel G. Colley, professor of microbiology and director of CTEGD, shares the organizing with Thomas. This talk is the first of three and all are included in UGA's Freshman Odyssey Seminar calendar. The other speakers are

· March 18 – Mary Galinski, Ph.D.; Emory University, Emory Vaccine Center, Yerkes Primate Center; 5:30 p.m., UGA Chapel

· April 22 – Nancy Gore Saravia, Ph.D.; Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Medicas, Cali, Colombia; 5:30 p.m., UGA Chapel

Each talk will be followed by a free public reception in Demosthenian Hall.

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Date: January 31, 2014
Author:  Pat Thomas
Contact:  Patricia Thomas,,