School of Public Health

Current Field Assignments

Measles Outbreak Line List Reconciliation

Agency: Washington State Department of Health (DOH)

A SEAL student helped reconcile data between online and offline data systems for the recent Washington state measles outbreak. The student worked directly with DOH staff who were responsible for measles response support to Clark County, Washington. The assigned SEAL gained an increased understanding of outbreak investigations and the importance of good data for case counting and classification. 

Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) Data Tables

Agency: Washington State Department of Health

SEAL students consolidated historical data for vaccine preventable conditions in Washington State. SEALs used real, historical data for Washington state to create data tables and views for incidence and death rates of VPDs over time. 

Disease Investigation Form Enhancement

Agency: Washington State Department of Health

A SEAL student gained insight into Communicable Disease investigations by working to improve reportable disease investigation forms.  They interfaced with DOH epidemiologists and subject matter experts who oversee surveillance of 60 of the notifiable conditions for the Washington DOH (e.g., vaccine preventable diseases, zoonotic diseases, foodborne/waterborne/enteric diseases, influenza, and legionella).

Outbreak Line List Tool

Agency: Washington State Department of Health

A SEAL student developed an Excel spreadsheet to be used as a tool to develop line lists and epidemic curves during an outbreak. The student worked closely with a DOH epidemiologist to incorporate components of standard disease and outbreak investigations. Revising the spreadsheet is a real-world example of the need to test the functionality of a surveillance tool before it is used.

Meningitis Antibiotic Sensitivity Laboratory Entry

Agency: Washington State Department of Health

In June 2018, the Washington State Department of Health transitioned to a new disease reporting system called the Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS).  As part of WDRS, the DOH is now able to electronically capture lab testing for antibiotic sensitivity.  SEALs entered antibiotic sensitivity testing information for Neisseria meningitis into WDRS for cases occurring from 2015-2017.  Before WDRS, this information was captured in a free-form notes field, making it hard to analyze and report on historic trends.  Putting these data into the lab test portion of WDRS will allow the vaccine preventable disease epidemiologists to analyze the data from 2015 to present by pulling data from WDRS. 

Vibrio Case Investigation Data Entry

Agency: Washington State Department of Health

SEALs worked with the DOH Communicable Disease Epidemiology team to complete case entry for Vibrio events into the state’s notifiable conditions system. This exercise improves the quality of the data used by DOH epidemiologists to track Vibrio events over time and inform public health interventions.

Measles Outbreak Incident Management Team (IMT) Shadowing

Agency: Washington Department of Health

The Washington DOH IMT is currently activated for a measles outbreak.  Two groups of SEALs shadowed the IMT during this activation. Students had the opportunity to see the applications of epidemiology and incident management through the lens of a real-world example.