Public Health Heroes
Research!America and our national public health partners celebrate our public health heroes every year on the Monday before Thanksgiving. These public health heroes exemplify the work that Public Health Thank You Day was created to honor:
Dr. Jonna Mazet uses her expertise in veterinary medicine and wildlife epidemiology to protect us from the next emerging infectious disease threat. “Predicting where new diseases may emerge and detecting viruses and other pathogens before they spread among people, give us the best chance to prevent new pandemics,” says Mazet, professor of epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California (UC), Davis. She is executive director of the UC Davis-based One Health Institute, founded on the one health principle that the health of humans, animals, and the environment are intricately linked.
Dr. Thomas Hall is a leader in global health issues and has spent much of his life committed to improving the health of low-resource countries. Over the past 60 years, Hall has both provided medical care to these areas and has helped strengthen their health systems, applying best practices from around the world. “Many people in resource-rich areas think they know all they need to know and resist considering or adopting practices used in other countries…but we can learn as much from them as much as they can learn from us."
Jessica Jolly uses her passion for public health to create partnerships in the New Orleans community as a Clinical Operations Manager for the Internal Medicine and Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology departments at the Ochsner Health System. She works with underserved patients to help give them better care, and also helps community health workers become more involved with the New Orleans community and with minority groups. She has also taught a course on public health program management to over 40 employees, helping to make public health efforts more effective, and also visible. “Many people don’t see public health,” she says. “Many people don’t understand what public health is.”
Dr. Patrick Sullivan, professor of epidemiology at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health has spent nearly 20 years investigating HIV/AIDS, much of it at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is also co-director of the Prevention Sciences Core at Emory’s Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). Sullivan brings his unique perspective of training in clinical veterinary medicine and basic research science to tackle HIV health disparities in African Americans and minority groups. “For me, it is the highest calling of public health to help better the health of groups with health disparities.”