School of Public Health

Past Field Assignments

UW Mumps Outbreak

Agency: University of Washington, Environmental Health & Safety Department 

The assigned SEAL helped managed data from Public Health - Seattle and King County (PHSKC) on cases in the UW mumps outbreak. This included streamlining the Excel database used to track cases on campus and conducting basic descriptive epidemiology (e.g. epidemic curves) on a weekly basis. The SEAL participated in weekly phone calls with UW staff and communicated with also with PHSKC.  

Waterborne Disease Outbreaks in Washington State

Agency: Washington State Department of Health

The SEAL worked on illustrating the descriptive epidemiology of two-to-three decades of waterborne outbreak data, covering around 25 outbreaks in Washington. 

Foodborne Complaint Reporting

Agency: Washington State Department of Health    

SEALs interviewed key stakeholders at other state health departments about their centralized reporting systems for foodborne complaints. SEALs then compiled this information into a presentation for the Washington Department of Health to support the development of a potential system in Washington. Finally, SEALs developed a survey for local health jurisdictions in Washington to gauge interest in and readiness for a centralized foodborne complaint system in the state.

Foodborne Illness Communications

Agency: Washington State Department of Health 

The assigned SEAL was responsible for working with the communications staff/Public Information Officer to develop a summarizing document addressing common media questions related to the epidemiology of specific foodborne diseases and outbreaks. 

Zika Virus

Agency: Washington State Department of Health 

SEALs worked with the the Washington Department of Health Zoonotic Epidemiologist to develop a database for Zika testing data. Once completed, SEALs also entered data into the database. The possibility remains for SEALs to analyze a portion of this data as well.  

Zika Virus Response: Health Care Provider Calls

Agency: Public Health - Seattle & King County    

SEALs received training about Zika virus, current screening criteria, and the procedures at Public Health- Seattle and King County. The group then provided daily support to public health nurses and other staff to approve government-run Zika testing, answer health care provider questions, and manage paperwork related to testing requests and results, including completing incomplete intake forms to facilitate interpretation at the department.

Case Report Forms for Electronic Disease Surveillance

Agency: Washington State Department of Health

The SEALs revised two case report forms to match the new electronic disease surveillance database as a pilot project to determine the value and feasibility of revising additional forms. The two forms selected for piloting were Salmonella and Pertussis, and have since been successfully used for data collection by local health jurisdictions. 

Prion Disease Surveillance

Agency: Washington State Department of Health

The SEAL created a quick reference sheet for human prion disease and researched information to support development of  detailed recommendations for funeral homes dealing with deceased cases. 

The Matador E. coli Outbreak

Agency: Washington Department of Health

The SEAL supported the Washington Department of Health during an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at a local restaurant, testing and revising a questionnaire for use with control individuals for a case-control study. 

Mumps Outbreak

Agency: Public Health - Seattle & King County    

The SEALs supported Public Health-Seattle and King County during response to a mumps outbreak in county schools. Public Health - Seattle and King County went into Incident Command, and SEALs helped with case interviews and communicating with providers about procotols and standards for laboratory testing at the state lab.

Washington Disease Reporting System

Agency: Washington State Department of Health     

The SEALs support the Washington Department of Health staff during a transition to a new case reporting system for the state. They developed case reporting forms, updated guidance, and reviewied content with subject matter experts.

Assessment of Sources of Lead Exposure Among Pediatric Refugee Arrivals with Elevated Blood Lead Levels

Agency: Washington State Department of Health   

The SEALs supported the Washington Department of Health Refugee Health Program to: 1) determine the completeness of reporting for elevated blood lead level (EBLL) cases among pediatric refugee arrivals in Washington State and 2) identify the potential sources of lead exposure among EBLL cases in order to inform targeted public health intervention and education and outreach activities.