APHL Staff Say Thank You

On this Monday before Thanksgiving — officially deemed “Public Health Thank You Day” — APHL’s staff says what they are thankful for…

I’m thankful for the unsung heroes of public health – the heroes in lab coats and PAPRS!  They are often the first to detect an outbreak, or influenza or other nasty bugs in our communities.  They keep ensure we can lead healthy productive lives!  I’m thankful for America’s public health laboratorians!

  • Scott Becker, MS, Executive Director

I am thankful that hand sanitizer has become so ubiquitous.  As a result, I am looking forward to no colds or flu this season.

  • Jane Getchell, DrPH, Senior Director, Public Health Programs

APHL Loves Public HealthI’m thankful first and foremost for our national public health infrastructure which is no doubt sustained in large part by virtue of the work of Public Health Laboratories.  All too often we take for granted our health, not realizing that from the moment one is born (maternal and child health initiatives, newborn screening, vaccination) through childhood and adulthood, we are conferred great benefits to both our individual health as well as to our national health indicators because of the very services provided by the infrastructure supported by public health laboratories!

  • Sikha Singh, MHS, Specialist, Laboratory Response Network

I’m thankful for vaccines and vaccine programs that keep my family safe from so many diseases that affected grandparents and great grandparents (or ancestors).  And thanks to all those unsung heroes who work behind the scenes in public health laboratories throughout the country responding to outbreaks, testing our newborns and always ready for the next public health emergency.

  • Karen Breckenridge, MBA, MT(ASCP), Director of Quality Systems

I’m thankful to be protected against emerging infectious diseases. Whether the latest threat is H1N1 in Mexico or Ebola in East Africa, I know that am protected by the vigilance of our nation’s public health laboratories.

  • Jody DeVoll, MAT, Director of Strategic Communications

There are many different career options for people who work in medicine and science.  I am thankful for the countless scientists, nurses and doctors who decided to dedicate their careers to the public health mission.

  • Jennifer Pierson, MPH, Senior Specialist, Environmental Health

I am thankful that data from American governmental laboratories informs policies on healthy food production, environmental quality, and vaccination, all of which protect our families from deadly diseases.

  • Shari Shea, MHS, MT(ASCP), Director, Food Safety Programs


  • Sherrie Staley, MPH, Specialist, Global Health

I’m thankful for knowing that my new granddaughter won’t get the flu from family members because we were all able to get the flu vaccine.

  • Lisa Kingsley, MBA, CPA, Controller

I’m thankful for the dedication of our laboratorians and their zeal to find answers fast.

  • Leigh Slayden, Director of Marketing & Member Services

I am thankful for public health tracing and eliminating hazards to the public’s health.

  • Pat Dostert, MA, MT(ASCP), Manager, Continuing Education and Training

Growing up in a developing country significantly impacted my expectations and outlook on governmental services. For instance, we did not always have a safe drinking water supply. Actually, we didn’t always have water. Many of us collected rain water and boiled it prior to consumption.  After 16 years of living in the United States, I am most thankful for clean drinking water, a service assured by federal laws and laboratories across the US.

I am also thankful for essential governmental services such as laboratory testing for threat agents, vaccinations, and educational information to change habits and prevent disease and protect the public’s health. A special thank you to all of the dedicated public health employees who work tirelessly to ensure a safe and healthy population.

  • Chris Mangal, MPH, Director, Public Health Preparedness and Response

I am thankful that our members are able to connect with and assist in the creation or enhancement of National Public Health Laboratories worldwide to ensure quality testing and provide accurate, timely results that save and improve lives each and every day. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that the work done both here and abroad is impacting so many people positively.

  • Anonymous

I’m thankful that I can go grocery shopping and out to dinner without wondering if the food is safe to eat and the water is safe to drink.  I’m thankful I can take deep breaths without fearing disease and, in the event of illness, I can likely find out what’s wrong with me.  I’m thankful that if disaster strikes, capable and dedicated individuals are equipped to deal with the problem efficiently and effectively.  And I’m thankful for those leaders of our country who recognize the importance of continuing to fund the activities that make all of this possible.

  • Annie Carlin, MPP, Senior Specialist, Public Policy

I’m thankful that there are more hand sanitizers available everywhere, i.e. grocery store, shopping malls, etc; that there are more sidewalks being built to prevent pedestrian/runner injuries; that there are public health laboratories who can investigate food borne illnesses and test babies; and that restaurants are offering healthy options and putting nutritional information on the menus (so you know how much you have to work out the day after if you didn’t choose a healthy option).

  • Anonymous



  • I am thankful that APHL has our (the public health lab community’s) back. Staff and managment share the commitment and enthusiasm of members. Their professionalism and expertise enhance the role and image of public health laboratories globally.

  • I am thankful for all of the teachers (elementary, high school, college, post-grad) who encourage and support our youth to consider laboratory science as a career.

    I am thankful for all of the young people who getting turned on by playing with science and love to investigate what makes our world the place that it is. I’m hopeful that their play turns into a life-long passion in the service of the public’s health.

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