MCHD takes part in special public health program with CDC, Harvard

January 11, 2023

MCHD takes part in special public health program with CDC, Harvard

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Surveillance & Control team has been selected for a unique learning and experiential opportunity for students and public health programs. MCHD was one of 12 health departments chosen nationally out of more than 200 applicants.

Master’s degree students from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) are currently in Mobile, participating in the program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HSPH students have been matched with MCHD to develop a comprehensive evaluation plan to improve STD outcomes.

“This a great opportunity for our health department to be involved in the training of future public health professionals,” said Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County. “This external review will provide us necessary feedback on our STD programs.”

The program began last week when MCHD’s Cherrite Peterson and Vanessa Cochran traveled to Atlanta to participate in evaluation training with the STD program staff from the CDC, along with HSPH faculty and graduate students.

This week, the HSPH students are in Mobile for the evaluation plan development. A CDC staff member will remotely provide technical assistance. The students will meet with stakeholders to gain additional insights and to further develop the program’s evaluation plan.

Upon completion of the program, the HSPH students will submit the final evaluation plans to MCHD and receive credit hours for their Master of Public Health degree. MCHD will receive evaluation training and a detailed evaluation plan to implement.

“We’re very excited about this partnership and the evaluation plan that, we hope, will help us identify areas of improvement towards reducing syphilis rates in Mobile County,” said Dr. Rendi Murphree, an Epidemiologist who oversees MCHD’s Bureaus of Disease Surveillance and Control.