What is one word you would use to sum up 2022? For the PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship Program, our word is growth.
2022 marked a 43% growth in the number of fellows supporting CDC. The program supported 118 fellows, of which 40 were new fellows. In January 2022, 10 new fellows focused on global health security- a newly introduced track in the program. Responding to the call for greater diversity of representation in global health, recruitment in the latest cycle of 30 fellows focused on recent graduates from underrepresented backgrounds, who began the fellowship in March 2022.
Fellows left a tangible impact on global health, and in turn, felt its impact. By proactively sourcing and connecting CDC with talented, well-educated early career professionals, PHI/CDC supports CDC’s role in responding to rapidly emerging public health needs and challenges globally by ensuring a continued pipeline of disease detectives and next generation global public health leaders. One impact on CDC from fellows in 2022 included fellow contributions to 11 manuscripts or publications (view links to publications below).
Sample Fellow Publications from 2022:
Presence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies among Vietnamese Healthcare Workers by Dosing Interval for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Vaccine. Clinical Infectious Diseases. Published: 20 Jun, 2022. Contributing Fellow: Allison Olmstead MPH.
Progress towards the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets among persons aged 50 and older living with HIV in 13 African countries. Journal of the International AIDS Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International AIDS Society. Published: Sept 2022. Contributing Fellow: *Ayayi Ayite MPH MBA.
Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the Mozambican population: a cross-sectional serologic study in three cities, July-Aug 2020. Clinical Infectious Diseases. Published: 24 Jun, 2022. Contributing Fellow: * Tiffany Tran MPH.
Geospatial Transmission Hotspots of Recent HIV Infection – Malawi, October 2019-March 2020. CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Published: 4 Mar, 2022. Contributing Fellow: * Zaena Tessema, MPH.
Thinking Outside the “Circle” to Improve Early Infant Detection of HIV. CDC Global Health Website. Posted: 3 January, 2022. Contributing Fellow: Jessica Hawk MPH.
*These fellows are currently alumni. The list above is not exhaustive of fellow 2022 publications.
Expanding the Global Health Workforce:
The data shows the impact. When surveyed in August 2022, 99% of fellows reported they plan to continue in global health after their fellowship. In addition, 94% of fellows reported they received on-the-job experience during their fellowship in their primary domain (one or more of the following: global health security, epidemiology, HIV prevention, monitoring and evaluation, strategic information, program management, and surveillance). Examples of this on-the-job experience include laboratory training, mentorships, and CDC site visits in the field. This is significant, as fellows began traveling again for trainings and field visits in March 2022, which was a welcome learning opportunity for many who had started the fellowship remotely.
Alumni numbers grew as well. The program now has a network of 88 alumni as of fall 2022. The top three post-fellowship career paths for alumni include: 1) CDC 2) further academic training (PhD, MD) and 3) state public health departments. Additionally, publications came out that alumni had worked on as fellows (see below).
Sample Alumni Publications from 2022*:
Comparison of COVID-19 Pandemic Waves in 10 Countries in Southern Africa, 2020–2021.CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Published: December, 2022. Contributing Alumni: Josh Smith-Sreen, MPH; Bridget Miller, MPH
A Nationally Representative Survey of COVID-19 in Pakistan, 2021–2022. CDChttps://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/28/13/22-0728_article Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Published: December, 2022. Contributing Alumni: Sarah Aheron, MPH MBA
*This list is not exhaustive.
Our podcast received recognition from the German Global Health Hub, who included us on their list of Top 12 Global Health Podcasts 2022. For the second year in a row, the podcast blog, Feedspot, listed us on their list of 25 Best Global Health Podcasts. Our most listened to podcast episode of 2022 was Supporting CDC in Malawi with Tigest Mekonnen MPH, followed Perspectives from the Field with CDC in Malawi with Dr. Alinune Kabaghe.
Internally, staff added virtual platforms and activities in 2022 to strengthen engagement with fellows, with initiatives such as pairing fellows together as buddies to form remote connections, hosting optional monthly meetings to create networking opportunities, and setting up office hours with program staff to allow time for questions.
So what does 2023 hold in store for the program? Currently, the program is in an extended sixth year of the five year cooperative agreement with CDC. Stay tuned for fellow and program news from 2023 by following us on LinkedIn, joining our mailing list, contacting staff with questions or following our podcast.
The program would like to thank Felicia Warren, Mike Waldmiller, April Vance, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, and Public Health Institute central staff for all their contributions behind the scenes that made the program a success.