MCHD staff work together to produce research paper on mpox 04.12.2023

April 12, 2023

MCHD staff work together to produce research paper on mpox

MOBILE, Ala. — Dr. Sandra Henley, who works in MCHD’s Vaccine Preventable Disease Program under the Communicable Disease Surveillance Division, recently co-wrote a paper and researched mpox with Dr. Stephanie Woods-Crawford, the Executive Director of Prevention & Wellness, who served as Henley’s preceptor for the 2022 Fall Semester at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

“Basically, as a student enrolled in the UAB’s Master of Public Health program, during my internship this past fall, Dr. Woods-Crawford, my preceptor, connected me with the Health Equity Department,” Henley said. “One of my internship projects was writing a review paper comparing the two U.S. mpox outbreaks in 2003 and 2022.”

“The paper was submitted for publication to the Journal of Advances in Infectious Diseases (AID) and was accepted for publication. With the assistance of the Health Equity Department, we developed and conducted a mpox survey at community outreaches, and I am currently finalizing a manuscript about the results of the survey.”

The paper is titled “Differences in the US Mpox Outbreaks of 2003 and 2022: A Review,” which can be found at this link —

The published conclusion of the report stated, “Major differences in the mpox outbreaks in the U.S. include the number, location of lesions, and transmission type. We recommend further research to increase awareness of the human-to-human transmission of mpox via sexual contact to assist healthcare professionals and public health leaders in providing prevention and wellness in U.S. communities.”

This is just the latest academic degree for which Henley has pursued. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1999 and a Master of Science in Nursing in 2002, both from the University of Mobile and her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2010. She is scheduled to graduate from UAB with her Master of Public Health in May 2024.

Henley is constantly in motion. In addition to her Monday through Friday position at MCHD, she works every weekend as a psych intake nurse in the emergency room at the Mobile Infirmary Medical Center.

Dr. Woods-Crawford earned her Doctorate in Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University, holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Mobile. She has over 25 years of experience working in the healthcare field. Since starting at MCHD in the early 2000s, Dr. Woods-Crawford has held numerous positions as Public Information Officer, Public Health Administrator, and Public Health Bureau Director. In her current role as Executive Director of Prevention and Wellness, she oversees all Public Health Programs for the agency.

She is, as she states, “always eager to serve as a preceptor for students. It allows me to train the next generation of Public Health leaders and educate them on the importance of improving the health of our communities. Serving as a preceptor is rewarding and, at times, can be challenging. It adds additional work to their busy schedule to ensure that the student receives the experience and knowledge needed to prepare them for their future. Even though I used a lot of my personal time for this preceptorship, it was rewarding to assist Ms. Henley with her education, achieving her goals, and working on a project that benefited the community.”