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For Public Health Thank You Day, APHL staff share their notes of thanks

Public Health Thank You Day logo

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, APHL joins Research!America and other leading public health organizations in taking time to recognize the public health workforce who labor tirelessly every day to protect us from disease, injury and other health threats. From the ordinary to the extraordinary, these heroes keep our drinking water clean, our communities healthy and our children safe. Join us in sharing appreciation for everyone working in public health by sharing your notes of thanks using the hashtag #PHTYD.

Below are messages from APHL staff who wanted to share why they are thankful for all who work in public health:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, public health laboratorians! You are truly unsung heroes during this pandemic. I wish more people knew how amazing you all are! Your passion, sacrifice and commitment to keeping us all safe and healthy is admirable! Thank you!”

  • Christin L. Hanigan, Sr. Specialist, Advanced Molecular Detection

“Grateful for all the work our public health colleagues have done to keep us safe and healthy! Thank you for all your efforts.”

  • Kristy Kubota, Manager, PulseNet

“A massive ‘Thank You!’ to those public health heroes in lab coats!  Your tireless dedication to quality public health laboratory science and practice, your can-do spirit to accomplish the unthinkable, and your ability to handle public health challenges of all types is so important for all Americans. Gracias, Merci, Mahalo, Thanks Y’all!”

  • Scott J. Becker, Chief Executive Officer

“Thankful for all public health workers. I’m humbled by your selfless acts that keep all Americans safe.”

  • Cindy Bluth, Executive Assistant to the CEO

“It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to be able to work in the Public Health Laboratory Community. The members of this Community are smart, strong, resourceful and compassionate, including the scientists who work at the bench and all the people who keep the lights on, make our labs safe and find us the supplies we need. These last two years have stretched you all to the limit, but still you keep going. Please be well and stay safe.”

  • Jill Taylor, Senior Advisor of Scientific Affairs

“To the public health professionals who have put your personal lives aside, and have stood in the storm of public opinion and defended your work amidst politicized disinformation, a simple thank you understandably may not resolve your feelings of grief and frustration. We see you and appreciate you. Your contributions to science, to public health and to the health and safety of your neighbors has saved lives and helped rebuild communities. Since early 2020, you have faced extreme and unforeseen circumstances. Today, we celebrate all that you are and all that you have done. We are grateful for your work, and we thank you.”

  • Shari Shea, Director, Food Safety

“Thank you to the state and local epidemiologists who take the information generated by public health laboratory scientists and use it to improve public health! Laboratory testing is critical to the foundation that is necessary for informed public health decision making. Thank you!”

  • Peter Kyriacopoulos, Chief Policy Officer

“I cannot adequately express my profound respect and admiration for our public health colleagues, especially the laboratorians, who have been on the front lines of this pandemic since it began in March 2020. Even with all media coverage of public health, those public health staff at the state and local levels remain the forgotten ones on the front lines. A simple ‘thank you’ seems wholly insufficient, but it is deeply felt and most sincerely meant from this writer.”

  • Eric Blank, Chief Program Officer

“Public health has had an indelible impact on all of us throughout our life course (shout out to newborn screening), but perhaps the most obvious benefit of public health services was revealed during the global pandemic. These two years have been extremely challenging and there are insufficient words to thank the public health workforce for all they do to protect the health of the public. Physical and mental well-being is at the very core of a healthy life and I am so appreciative on this Public Health Thank You Day, and every day. With enduring gratitude, Sikha”

  • Sikha Singh, Deputy Director, Newborn Screening and Genetics

“Heartfelt thanks to the public health scientists working on environmental health issues, particularly those of you in environmental health laboratories. In many places across the country, you quietly put environmental work to the side when you jumped in to help with pandemic response needs. Yet somehow you still managed to keep our children safe from environmental hazards, our water clean, and our food safe to eat! A heaping serving of gratitude to you all!”

  • Jennifer Liebreich, Manager, Environmental Health

“A heartfelt thanks to all public health and agricultural/environmental laboratorians who contribute to safe food and water, conduct surveillance and help detect outbreaks, conduct newborn screening and 1,001 other things to help keep us all safe on daily basis. You are all superheroes!”

  • Kirsten Larson, Manager, Food Safety Program

“I sometimes think about what the world would be like right now if you, our public health defenders and superheroes, hadn’t been there over the last two years. It doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to wonder if there would be a world left. You worked around the clock, through the fear, the uncertainty, the chaos, the noise, the backlash, the pain. Your work saved lives. As a citizen, I am forever grateful, and as a colleague, I am forever in awe. Thank you.”

  • Rachel Shepherd, Specialist, Informatics

“To everyone working in every area of public health: thank you! You continue to work so hard to keep my family and my community safe. While the pandemic has brought your work out into the public eye, I know you’ve always been there and will continue to be there. I appreciate each and every one of you!”

  • Michelle Forman, Manager, Media

“Thank you to all of the heroes across the globe who work tirelessly to protect the public’s health. The past two years have been challenging, but, as always, these unsung heroes step up and calmly use science to protect the public. A huge thank you to laboratorians who have conducted millions of COVID-19 tests or performed routine tests to keep our water and food supply safe, detect unique diseases such as Meloidosis and Brucellosis, and implement sequencing technologies to quickly identify the next threat. Public health is an exciting and rewarding career. Every day it’s an honor to work with brilliant people across the globe to protect our communities.”

  • Chris Mangal, Director, Public Health Preparedness and Response

“A sincere thank you to all public health workers and laboratorians. Your tireless commitment and advocacy of public health and safety during the pandemic and everyday will never be forgotten. You all are truly heroes and are deeply appreciated.”

  • Anonymous APHL staff member

“Dear public health laboratory staffs: Thank you for your commitment and efforts to protect the health  of our communities. In times of epidemics as in the COVID pandemic, you find the courage and strength to work above and beyond the crushing challenges that come every day. Your courage to continue and overcome is extraordinary. My heartfelt thanks to each of you.”

  • Ralph Timperi, Senior Advisor, Laboratory Practice & Management

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