Ising receives Rick Heffernan Award for Public Health Practice

The International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) has selected Amy Ising, program director for NC DETECT and faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, as the 2017-2018 recipient of the Rick Heffernan Award for Public Health Practice.

Ising receives Rick Heffernan Award for Public Health Practice click to enlarge Amy Ising, MS

Amy Ising is the Program Director for North Carolina's statewide syndromic surveillance system, NC DETECT, managed at the Carolina Center for Health Informatics in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UNC. Ising has contributed to the design, development, implementation and maintenance of NC DETECT and its precursor NCEDD since 2000. She has been a co- investigator on several health informatics and biosurveillance-related research projects. Ising is adjunct faculty in the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, where she teaches introductory graduate-level courses on public health informatics.

Ising's "sustained and outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of biosurveillance" were cited as key reasons for the award. In nominating Ising, her colleagues highlighted her for her leadership and excellence in translational work between researchers, program developers, data users, and public health practitioners. Additionally, Ising is known to take initiative in fulfilling the needs for the advancement of public health practice by expanding public health surveillance efforts to new groups of practitioners.

Ising has been an active participant in ISDS since 2004 and has been on the ISDS Board of Directors since 2013, including serving as President from 2015 - 2016. She has served on three conference organizing committees and was the 2012 Scientific Program Chair. Ising also served on the first ISDS Meaningful Use Workgroup that produced the ISDS Emergency Department and Urgent Care Recommendations. She is looking forward to attending her ninth ISDS conference in January. 

The Rick Heffernan Award for Public Health Practice was established to honor Rick Heffernan, an early leader in the field of biosurveillance and a founding member of ISDS. Built with over 600 members representing diverse fields of public health, clinical practice, health informatics, and health policy, the mission of ISDS is to coordinate disease prevention and response through building surveillance capacity, strengthening surveillance infrastructure, and supporting the needs of  the global surveillance community by encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations and fostering innovations. 

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