Change is like a river (a clean one!)
Yesterday I celebrated my official two-year Atlantaversary, and I’m getting ready to say my final goodbye to the Presidential Management Fellows Program this month. Luckily I’m not going too far…or, to be precise, I’m not going anywhere.
I began a new CDC adventure in June, one that I’m happy to be continuing as I transition out of a fellow role (which never really felt like a fellow role). For the foreseeable future, I’ll be breathing, sleeping, and, most importantly, drinking WATER.
In my less-than-a-month of leading health promotion and communication activities for CDC’s Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch, I’ve learned a ton and am more excited about water than I ever thought possible. Our teams don’t just look at how drinking water can get contaminated; we also cover the safe treatment and storage of water, water-related emergencies, outbreaks, recreational water use (e.g., swimming), handwashing and other hygiene measures, and agricultural, industrial, and medical uses of water. We also get up close and personal with a number of specific waterborne parasites, like Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and some free-living amebae, like Naegleria (yes, the brain-eating one). Oh, and that’s not just in the U.S. We do it all, all over the world.
As you can imagine, this leads to quite the interesting work day. It might go something like this:
8am: Respond to public inquiries
9am: Meet a scientist in the CDC TV studio to shoot a video about diarrheal diseases in Kenya
10am: Review web ads about Acanthamoeba keratitis with graphic designer
11am: Edit web content on drinking water and work with web developer to send it live
12pm: Read studies on the integration of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions with antenatal care globally
1pm: Finalize signage for dirty diaper bins at public swimming pools
2pm: Meet with scientists about adding information on Giardia and pets to website
3pm: Search for laboratory photos of Naegleria that will help medial professionals with diagnoses
4pm: Review podcast script on healthy swimming tips
Or it could be completely different–precisely what I love about it. More updates to come as I learn how to do my job!