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APHL joins Research!America and our many other public health partners in saying THANK YOU on this Public Health Thank You Day!  Below are a few of the things that APHL staff are thankful for this year.  What are you thankful for?


APHL loves public health

I am thankful that, even if the face of budget and programmatic pressures, the staff at public health laboratories still go to work each day and provide services that improve the public’s health and are not delivered by any other means. Peter Kyriacopoulos, Senior Director of Public Policy

I am thankful for having the opportunity to move to Maryland from Rhode Island and be blessed with a new career in public health. – Natalya Rocha, Associate Specialist, Contracts

I am thankful for EMTs and ER nurses. Ben Moyer, Specialist, Marketing

I am thankful that the Affordable Care Act is moving forward toward full implementation following the re-election of President Obama. Yes, there will be challenges in rolling out the program, but once it’s in place, we will have a more equitable and effective health care system and a healthier nation. This certainly merits an extra piece of pumpkin pie with real whip cream. – Jody DeVoll, Director of Strategic Communications

I’m thankful for the dedicated, passionate, intelligent people committed to making our world a better place through choosing a career in public health. – Megan Latshaw, Director of Environmental Health Programs

I’m thankful to have recently learned that CDC is working closely with key food industry representatives to improve the safety of our food supply.  Developing such partnerships has been avoided by both sides in the past.  Only good things can come from such discussions. – Shari Shea, Director of Food Safety

I’m thankful that federal funding of the National Institutes of Health has made it possible for my daughter to beat the odds and survive a rare disease. – Lisa Kingsley, Controller

I am thankful for vaccines!  Such a simple step that saves millions of lives. – Kara MacKeil, Senior Technician, Public Health Preparedness and Response

I am thankful for the health of my family, the giggles, smiles and laughs of my daughters, energetic and creative colleagues, the best members in any association, and time off to contemplate how lucky and thankful I am. – Scott Becker, APHL Executive Director

Having a family member with a chronic illness, I am especially thankful for the passing of the Affordable Care Act, knowing that he can no longer be denied coverage for having a “pre-existing condition.” Healthcare is a necessity and I am grateful to be working in a field that understands and promotes this. Hayley Radin, Associate Specialist, Course Logistics

I am thankful for all of those working to promote the health of the public. We don’t often see what they do to keep us safe and healthy. Thank you! – Pat Dostert, Manager, Continuing Education and Training

I am thankful that hurricane Sandy did not wipe out my beach house in Delaware. Just a few miles up the coast there is devastation. I am thankful for the help the people there are giving each other and receiving from federal agencies and volunteers. – Jane Getchell, Senior Director, Public Health Programs

I am thankful for all the epidemiologists that work to track outbreaks to their source; without them we would not know where illnesses and deaths come from or be able to better understand and work to preserve health in the future. – Caprice Retterer, Associate Specialist, Communications

I’m thankful for vaccines because they are arguably the greatest public health intervention. – Chris Chadwick, Specialist, Public Health Preparedness and Response

I am thankful for the possibility of early and accurate disease detection.  I grew up in a developing country and spent most of my adult life there as well.  Each time I call back home I get updates of people I knew that have passed on due to various illnesses.  In most of the cases, it is due to illnesses that if detected early could have been prevented with proper diagnosis. Part of the problem exists also due to the lack of information and education within the small communities, lack of income to support the costs related with getting the right attention as well as lack of easily accessible and adequate public health services.  I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be in this country and have access to a great public health system! – Esther Gathinji, Specialist, Global Health

I am thankful for the unbelievably talented and generous Public Health Community that work so hard to protect this nation with little recognition and even less funding. – Patina Zarcone-Gagne, Director, Informatics and Institutional Research

I am thankful that my baby received newborn screening and potentially life-saving vaccinations. – Elizabeth Jones, Senior Specialist, Newborn Screening and Genetics

I’m thankful for clean drinking water. – Michelle Forman, Senior Specialist, Media

This year I celebrated 10 years with APHL!  It seems like a long time, especially in the Washington, DC metro area where my peers have changed jobs multiple times.  As I reflect on the past 10 years, I’m thankful for the following: Excellent working relationships across the globe – many of which have become personal friendships; Broad and ever growing knowledge of public health laboratories and the important role they play in protecting the public’s health; And a greater sense of appreciation for public health – to have sound public health practices and policies is the greatest indicator of a country’s investment in its population. Thank you to all of the wonderful people across the globe who work to protect their nations from terrorism, natural disasters, emerging infectious diseases and other threats. These hard working public health experts ensure their countries have clean water, clean air, safe food and healthy people (think newborn screening and vaccinations)! – Chris Mangal, Director of Public Health Preparedness and Response

I’m thankful for all the dedicated Public health laboratory staff who work behind the scenes in keeping the public safe and healthy! – Karen Breckenridge, Director of Quality Systems

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