Current ISDS Board of Directors – International Society for Disease Surveillance


Amy Ising, MS


Term: 2013-2018

Amy Ising is the Program Director for North Carolina’s statewide syndromic surveillance system, NC DETECT. NC DETECT is managed at the Carolina Center for Health Informatics in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) under contract to and in close collaboration with the North Carolina Division of Public Health. 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-CH Gillings School of Global Public Health, where she teaches introductory graduate-level courses on public health informatics. She received a B.A. with Distinction from the University of Virginia, and a M.S. in Information Science and Certificate in Field Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ising has been an active participant in ISDS since 2004 and is looking forward to attending her ninth ISDS conference this December. She has served on three conference organizing committees and is 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.

Vivek Singh, MPH, MBBS


Term: 2014-2016

Dr. Singh is a public health specialist working as an Associate Professor at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)’s Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) at Hyderabad. He received his MBBS degree from Government Medical College in Nagpur, MH, India and his MPH degree from Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA. He is also affiliated as a research scholar at the department of International Health, CAPHRI School of Public Health of Maastricht University in Netherlands.Dr. Singh has worked as a medical officer for surveillance with the National Polio Surveillance Program of World Health Organization (WHO), providing leadership and technical support to the health system in various states in India. He has also worked as a consultant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta’s ‘STOP’ program, and the WHO country office in Kenya providing technical support to Kenya’s polio eradication program.At PHFI, Dr. Singh is involved in academics; research; practice and consulting. He is engaged in the development and delivery of public health training programs using competency based approaches. He leads the training programs on field epidemiology; public health surveillance; public health emergency preparedness; and public health program management at the institute.

As a member of the ISDS, Dr. Singh has played a critical role in increasing the global outreach of the Society. He has been a member of the Scientific Program Committee for annual conferences and the co-chair for the public health surveillance practice track since 2012. He was instrumental in forging partnerships between PHFI and ISDS and in contributing to the Society’s membership in the WHO’s Global Health Workforce Alliance. He is also a steering committee member of the Asia Alliance on Global Health (AAGH), an alliance with a vision for better health in Asia through global interactions.

Sheri Lewis, MPH


Term: 2016-2018

P. Joseph Gibson, MPH, Ph.D.

Term: 2016-2018

John Berezowski, DVM

Term: 2015-2016

Bryant Thomas Karras, MD

Term 2014-2016

Dr. Karras is the Chief Public Health Informatics Officer/Meaningful Use Coordinator and Senior Epidemiologist at State of Washington Department of Health. He is a Physician, an Engineer and Public Health Informatician. He has a technical, business process, and problem-solving approach with a background in Internal Medicine (University of Wisconsin), Biomedical Engineering (University of California San Diego), and Medical Informatics (Yale). In 2000 the University of Washington formed the Biomedical & Health Informatics program, and recruited Dr. Karras to develop the UW Center for Public Health Informatics with funding from the UW, CDC, NLM and RWJF. He was the lead of the CDC sponsored competencies PH Informaticians, as well as developing curricula and many continuing education courses. In 2007 the Public Health Laboratories asked for his part time help on a project. Enjoying ‘real” Public Health practice so much, he joined the Department of Health full time from the University of Washington in 2008. He still guest teaches and now mentors CSTE/ASTHO/CDC Applied PHI Fellows. As Informatics Officer he leads the DOH cross divisional efforts to prepare public health for meaningful use and changes to public health practice that statewide Health Information Exchange will bring. Dr. Karras is passionate about improving public health’s use of Health Information Technology in Washington state, but also consults up-to one day a week to help public health agencies elsewhere with informatics issues for example the RWJF / PHII Common Ground project.  Nationally He serves on the CDC Tiger Team for Meaningful Use, the PHI2014 Planning Committee, the ASTHO eHealth Committee. Dr. Karras has been participating with ISDS since the beginning (pre 9-11) before it was called ISDS. He served on both the interim and current Biosense 2.0 governance groups, currently as a State representative.

Wayne Loschen, MS

Term: 2014-2016

Loschen has been involved in the disease surveillance domain as the technical lead for the ESSENCE system at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) since 1999. Additionally, he has worked on numerous research initiatives with a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds including epidemiology, mathematics, statistics, computer science, and others.

Loschen joined the society in 2005 when he attended his first conference in Seattle, Washington, and had since then been involved beyond just presenting at the conference. Starting with the Website Committee, Wayne has been periodically active in other committees and have helped support major ISDS project initiatives. While working with many jurisdictions Wayne has provided technical support for the Distribute project and contributed some technical expertise to the Meaningful Use working group. Additionally, he has presented at the conference close to 20 times since 2005, co-chaired the Informatics track of the scientific program committee for the 2012 conference, and was the chair for the 2013 scientific program committee.

Dr. Judy Akkina, MPH, Ph.D.

Term: 2015-2017

Dr. Judy Akkina has been engaged with ISDS since the very first conference in New York City in 2002. She attended 8 of the 12 annual conferences and gave many talks and presented posters at these conferences. She was a member of the Scientific Program committee in 2007 and for the past year has been the Chair of the Research Committee. She is a member of the One Health Surveillance workshop planning group which organized a session during the 2014 pre-conference workshops. Dr. Akkina is an epidemiologist with a diverse background including public health, environmental health and animal health. She received both a BS in Nursing and an MPH from UCLA, and a PhD in epidemiology from Colorado State University. She has worked for the past 19 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) in Fort Collins, CO in the areas of animal disease surveillance and risk identification and assessment. Currently at the USDA she is involved in developing and analyzing syndromic surveillance data streams for animal health monitoring in the U.S., such as livestock auction markets, slaughter facilities, veterinary laboratories and veterinary practitioners. Prior to working at the USDA, she conducted environmental health and genetic epidemiology research, and also worked as a nurse. 

Stacey Hoferka, MPH, MSIS

Term: 2015-2017

Hoferka has worked on public health surveillance activities for the previous twelve years in academic settings, as well as local and state health departments. She has been actively involved with ISDS since 2012. As the Surveillance and Informatics Epidemiologist at Illinois Department of Public Health, she is implementing syndromic surveillance to support Meaningful Use and utilize the BioSense application for many surveillance projects. As a state representative on the BioSense Governance Group, she collaborates with representatives from ISDS through our joint participation on this and the multiple BioSense User Group initiatives.

Her current position includes epidemiological and informatics support for the Illinois communicable disease reporting system, I-NEDSS, the outbreak management system, electronic case reporting, and the Illinois extensively drug-resistant organism (XDRO) registry. She is active on the Midwest BRACE, Building Resilience against Climate Effects collaborative and the Climate and Health Syndromic Surveillance Workgroup. These activities keep her in communication with providers, vendors, HIEs, and public health practitioners in emergency preparedness, environmental health, patient safety and chronic disease. Within the ISDS technical conventions committee, she is working on a use case to better characterize heat-related morbidity. As a board member, she will strive to promote ISDS’s mission among these various stakeholders to increase awareness and participation in the activities of the Society.

Dr. Ian Painter, MSc, PhD

Term: 2015-2017

Dr. Painter is a statistician by training, with a clinical faculty appointment in the Department of Health Services in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. He works primarily out of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. He has been involved with the ISDS since the Boston Conference in 2004, and he has attended every conference since then. He became more actively involved through the Distribute project, conducting an analysis of the data quality issues in the Distribute data. He also participates in the technical conventions committee, and he was co-chair of the scientific program committee for the 2014 conference.

His primary area of focus around surveillance is on methods for data quality analysis, monitoring and mitigation. He has also worked previously with MPH and PhD students doing research on various aspects of syndromic surveillance, including analysis of alerting algorithm performance and use of school absenteeism data. He is also involved in research in other areas of public health, in particular in the emergency medical services system and notifiable condition reporting. A common thread with all of these research areas is that they are driven by public health practice needs, and would not be possible without the close cooperation of public health practitioners.

Dr. Mika Shigematsu, MD, PHD, MSc

Term: 2015-2017

Dr. Shigematsu has been an ISDS member since from the 3rd annual meeting in Boston, when CDC was still running the National Syndromic Surveillance Conference. Since then she has attended several annual conferences. Most recently, she joined a group for “Social Media for Disease Surveillance Literature Review” activity and “CDC/ISDS ICD-10 Transition Project” to work together with ISDS members.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases manages national notification and sentinel reporting system, plays role as a technical advisory to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, provide detail diagnostics for infectious disease as the reference laboratory, and act as multiple WHO collaboration centres. She is stationed in the IDSC, which is surveillance center oversight national notification system. Starting from this ancient basic surveillance, her work expanded to indicator (symptom) based syndromic surveillance during the period of SARS and H5N1 avian influenza epidemic, then to event based cluster surveillance and internet/rumour surveillance for early detection and prevention. She currently serves as the Japanese expert for Global Health Security Initiative Action Group Project for Early Alerting and Response, working with multiple public health institute of G7 countries, Mexico, ECDC and Joint Research Centre for European Commission.

Folasade Osundina

Student Board Member

Dr Folasade Osundina is a postgraduate student of Public Health, currently undergoing residency training through the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP). She is engaged in many field assignments including surveillance and outbreak investigation. She was involved in Ebola response in Lagos State, Nigeria during the outbreak between July and September, 2014. She was a member of the Epidemiology Unit, specifically the contact tracing group.

Melody Maxwell, DVM

Student Board Member

Melody Maxwell is a veterinarian currently completing a Master’s of Public Health at The Ohio State University. She recently completed a Boren Fellowship in Brazil, which included a yearlong experience at PANAFTOSA, a veterinary public health center that is part of the Pan-American Health Association and the World Health Organization.