The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) works to advance public health policy and epidemiologic capacity. CSTE is an organization of member states and territories representing public health epidemiology, referenced as the “Council”. In addition, CSTE has a separate role as the professional home for applied public health epidemiologists representing multiple levels of public health practice with nearly 2000 individual members. CSTE provides technical advice and assistance to partner organizations and to federal public health agencies such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CSTE members have surveillance and epidemiology expertise in a broad range of areas including infectious diseases, environmental health, chronic diseases, occupational health, injury, maternal and child health, and more. CSTE supports effective public health surveillance and sound epidemiologic practice through training, capacity development, and peer consultation.
- Promote effective use of epidemiologic data to guide public health practice and improve health
- Support effective public health surveillance and epidemiologic practice through training, capacity development, and peer consultation
- Develop standards for practice
- Advocate for resources and scientifically based policy
Using the power of epidemiology to improve the public’s health
2021 NEWLY ELECTED EXECUTIVE BOARD OFFICERS
Ruth Lynfield, MD
State Epidemiologist and Medical Director (Minnesota)
Dr. Lynfield has worked for over two decades at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), with a focus on issues such as smallpox vaccine preparedness and response, unexplained death due to probable infectious etiologies, risk factors for community MRSA, and the responses to both e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and COVID-19. She has also been involved in the CDC Emerging Infections Program (EIP) throughout her career and has served as the co-chair of the EIP Steering Committee since 2008. Dr. Lynfield participated in various infectious disease CSTE subcommittees prior to her term as President-Elect, and co-chaired the CSTE Vaping Task Force in Fall 2019.
State Epidemiologist (Utah)
I am currently the State Epidemiologist for the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) where I work across the Department to identify and address health concerns of Utahns. This summer, I will be transitioning to local public health serving as the Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer for the Salt Lake County Health Department in Utah. I am excited to get closer to the communities which I serve, and bring an even stronger local public health perspective to the CSTE organization.
One of the best parts of my public health work is the opportunity to interact with multidisciplinary teams focusing on primary prevention, health equity/equality, chronic disease surveillance, and communicable disease outbreak response. I co-chaired the CSTE Chronic Disease subcommittee in 2018, and then was elected to the CSTE Executive Board in 2019 as the chair of the Chronic Disease, Maternal Child Health, and Oral Health committee. In my roles as subcommittee and committee chair, we focused on standardizing social determinants of health data collection and using novel data sources for non-infectious disease surveillance.
My objective in all of my public health roles has been to bridge the gap between infectious and non-infectious applied epidemiology in order to: 1) Create a more effective space to address social determinants of health across conditions, and 2) Use a broader set of data sources to understand the health concerns of populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has put public health in the spotlight and given us a unique opportunity to make huge advances. If elected CSTE President, I will help us work effectively with our traditional public health partners and establish new cross-sector partnerships to achieve public health goals. We will strive to make quantifiable progress in addressing health disparities and continue to pursue the Data Modernization Initiative with vigor.
I came to UDOH as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and was involved in several infectious disease outbreak response and control efforts both in Utah and abroad. I am boarded in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and completed my residency training at the University of California San Diego. Prior to joining the CDC, I worked as a primary care and public health physician in San Diego, focusing on women’s health, sexually transmitted diseases, refugee health, and tuberculosis. I also engaged in health systems research and interventions aimed at improving health care delivery within the military health system and federally-qualified health care clinics.
Sherri L. Davidson, PhD, MPH
State Epidemiologist (Alabama)
Dr. Davidson earned her PhD and MPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health and has worked at the Alabama Department of Public Health since 2002. During her tenure, she has worked on a wide range of public health activities including smallpox vaccine distribution, influenza pandemic response, travelers with potential exposure to Ebola virus, cancer clusters, the opioid epidemic, and various methods for improving efficiencies for investigating and reporting emerging conditions and diseases. Dr. Davidson has co-authored several case definition position statements over the years.
Kathryn Turner, PhD, MPH
Deputy State Epidemiologist and Chief, Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention (Idaho)
Dr. Turner has been Idaho’s Chief of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention since 2010, overseeing the State Epidemiology, Food Protection, Immunization, Healthcare-Associated Infections, Surveillance, and Refugee Health Screening Programs. Dr. Turner previously served on the CSTE Executive Board from 2015–2018 as Chair of the Surveillance/Informatics Committee. During her term, she focused on the implementation of electronic case reporting (eCR) for reportable conditions and the use of the Reportable Conditions Knowledge Management System as part of eCR infrastructure. She still serves as the CSTE liaison to the Governance Body of the Digital Bridge.
Chair, Chronic Disease / Maternal and Child Health / Oral Health
I am an epidemiologist employed by the University of Southern Maine who works as part of an embedded Epidemiology Team at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. My work supports multiple chronic disease and maternal and child health programs. Current efforts include: collaborating with program managers, lead epidemiologists, and program staff to monitor chronic diseases in Maine; advancing health equity efforts by analyzing and presenting data by disparate populations and social determinants of health; and assisting in evaluating Maine’s Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. While my routine work centers around systematically analyzing key indicators and performance measures for state and federal programs, I love thinking about complex problems and determining ways to streamline efforts so there is actionable data to inform programmatic efforts to prevent or manage chronic disease.
I have served as CSTE Chronic Disease Subcommittee co-chair for 3 years. In that time, I have worked with other CSTE members to plan preconference workshops, review conference abstracts, and start a bimonthly BRFSS webinar series designed for chronic disease epidemiologists. I really look forward to discussions with CSTE members on how to improve surveillance processes, leverage opportunities for novel data collection, and determine best practices for analyzing or displaying data.
I have been passionate about public health for years and earned my BS in Public Health and MPH in Epidemiology from The George Washington University. I also obtained a Graduate Certificate in Applied GIS from the University of Southern Maine and am Certified in Public Health (CPH) by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE).
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH / OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH / INJURY CHAIR
Director, Public Health Research (Florida)
Melissa Jordan has worked at the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in the field of applied epidemiology since 2003. She spent the first seven years of her career in chronic disease epidemiology, before moving in 2010 to environmental epidemiology. In her current role as Director of Public Health Research, Melissa oversees FDOH’s biomedical research program, the Institutional Review Board, and numerous other registries and epidemiology programs. Ms. Jordan has been actively involved with CSTE for more than 13 years, including abstract review and subcommittee leadership before taking on her current role.
Chair, Infectious Disease
Catherine M. Brown, DVM, MSc, MPH
State Epidemiologist and State Public Health Veterinarian (Massachusetts)
Dr. Brown has served as Massachusetts’ State Public Health Veterinarian for well over a decade, and State Epidemiologist since 2018. Her areas of infectious disease expertise include rabies, vector-borne disease, and epidemic response. She is also a clinical assistant professor at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as lead author on several articles on rabies prevention in humans. Prior to her current term, Dr. Brown played an active role at CSTE, including work on the vector-borne disease subcommittee and Lyme Disease position statement. She is also a graduate of CSTE’s Applied Epidemiology Fellowship Program.
SURVEILLANCE / INFORMATICS CHAIR
Director, Surveillance Systems and Informatics Program (Tennessee)
Kate Goodin received her MPH from George Washington University, and her MS in Biomedical Informatics from Arizona State University. She has served in a professional capacity as a subject matter expert on epidemiology, data systems, surveillance, system integration, and interoperability. Prior to her current role at the Tennessee Department of Health, Kate was Epidemiology and Data Services Program Manager in Maricopa County (AZ). As a CSTE member, Kate has co-chaired several ELR and eCR-related subcommittees, served as NAPHSIS surveillance and informatics liaison, and was elected to the CSTE Executive Board in 2018.
Stephanie Ayers-Millsap, MPH
Disease Intervention Program Manager (Jefferson County, AL)
Ms. Ayers-Millsap has over 25 years of experience in applied epidemiology, and currently serves as the Program Manager for The Prevention and Epidemiology Program at the Jefferson County Department of Health (AL). Much of her focus is on notifiable diseases, such as outbreak investigation, flu surveillance, and emerging infectious disease. Stephanie began her career working with Tuberculosis patients, later transitioning to epidemiology. With CSTE, she has participated in several infectious disease-related subcommittees and now provides leadership to one of two “Cross-Cutting” portfolios.
Ken Komatsu, MPH
State Epidemiologist (Arizona)
With over 30 years of experience in public health, Ken started his career as a food microbiologist and later worked as an epidemiologist in Los Angeles, CA. He joined the Arizona Department of Health Services in 1987, where he has served as State Epidemiologist since 2006, overseeing the Office of Infectious Disease. Mr. Komatsu also joined the University of Arizona as adjunct faculty in 2010. As a longtime member of CSTE, Ken has co-authored six position statements, chaired the Border/International Health subcommittee, and is heavily involved in tribal epidemiology efforts. His current term on the Executive Board began in 2018, where he provides leadership to one of two “Cross-Cutting” portfolios.