Athens, Ga. – Voices from the Vanguard, presented by the University of Georgia’s Health and Medical Journalism program and the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, opens Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the UGA Chapel with a presentation by Joanne Cono, acting director of the Office of Science Quality for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cono will share stories from the front lines of global public health during the program. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Cono, a physician and researcher, has been responding to public health emergencies in the U.S. and around the world for 14 years. When an 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 organizations including the 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 U.S. citizens is threatened.
In her current position as acting director for science quality at the Atlanta-based agency, Cono seeks to make CDC’s research more useful to the global public health community. Prior to her current position, Cono served as both the senior adviser for global health and the senior adviser for science to the CDC deputy director of infectious diseases.
“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 UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “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 for graduate students and UGA’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. Daniel G. Colley, professor of microbiology and director of the center, coordinates the series with Thomas. This lecture is the first of three and all are included in UGA’s Freshman Odyssey Seminar calendar. Speakers for the rest of the series include:
• March 18, 5:30 p.m., UGA Chapel, Mary Galinski, Emory University, Emory Vaccine Center, Yerkes Primate Center;
• April 22, 5:30 p.m., UGA Chapel, Nancy Gore Saravia, Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Medicas, Cali, Colombia.
Each talk will be followed by a free, public reception in Demosthenian Hall.
For additional information, see www.grady.uga.edu/medicaljournalism/events.