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Committed YSPH Staff Recognized for Meritorious Service During Pandemic

November 23, 2021

The Connecticut Emerging Infections Program (EIP) at the Yale School of Public Health has been recognized by Yale University with the Linda Lorimer Award for its steadfast and impactful response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning in March 2020, staff members conducted several COVID-19 public health responses, including the launch of one of the earliest monitoring programs for COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. They subsequently implemented programs to monitor infections among health care providers, measure vaccine effectiveness and study vaccine breakthrough cases.

EIP staff also worked to establish and run a contact tracing program for the city of New Haven that eventually gave rise to Yale’s contact tracing program. All of this work required substantial pivoting of everyone’s effort while working under extraordinary circumstances to mount an immediate and effective response to COVID by conducting core public health functions and gathering and disseminating data about COVID-19 to be used for prevention, policy, and control.

Yale said that the team’s initiatives strengthened academic-community partnerships by working closely with state and local health departments. They helped to keep Yale’s campus open, and as safe as possible, allowing the university to carry out its mission. Additionally, they informed programs and policies to reduce COVID-19 transmission, at Yale and beyond.

The Linda Lorimer Award honors Yale staff for distinguished service. The recipients were announced Nov. 16 in a ceremony with Yale President Peter Salovey.

The nine EIP team members involved in the COVID-19 response include Monica Brackney, Paula Clogher, AmberJean Hansen, Kyle Higgins, James Meek, Sara Niesobecki, Danyel Olson, Tamara Rissman and Kimberly Yousey-Hindes. EIP is a partnership between the Yale School of Public Health and CT Department of Public Health. It has been funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1995.

“Their commitment to excellence in doing the critical work of the CT EIP during a pandemic is simply astounding. I am honored to know and work with all of the EIP staff, and YSPH is so fortunate to have them working in and for our community,” said Professor Linda Niccolai, Ph.D., director of EIP.

Dean Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., nominated EIP for the award.

Submitted by Colin Poitras on November 23, 2021