2014 ISDS Conference Plenary Speakers – International Society for Disease Surveillance


sjnm_passport_photo-2479285Prior to joining the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) and serving the 2-year EIS residency in New Orleans, LA, Dr. McNabb worked for 13 years at the Oklahoma State Health Department. Since 1993, most of his professional efforts have focused on supporting those in underdeveloped, underserved global settings. Before retirement from CDC in 2010, he served as Associate Director for Science; Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office; Office for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services. From 2006 – 2008, he directed the Division of Integrated Surveillance Systems and Services, National Center for Public Health Informatics, CDC. He is Research Professor and Director of the King Abdullah Fellowship Program at Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health. Teaching two classes, GH 504 Effective Oral Presentations for Public Health Professionals and GH 592 Successful Scientific Writing forPublic Health Professionals, he also teaches in a short-course format: Successful Scientific Writing and Effective Oral Communications and in the University of Michigan Graduate Summer Session. Having mentored 19 students through their M.P.H. or Ph.D., plus 14 fellows through the CDC Public Health Prevention Specialists program, he is jointly appointed in the Hubert Department of Global Health and Department of Epidemiology. He holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. McNabb serves on the Editorial Board, Epidemiology and Global Health and in private practice as a Board Member of Ascel Bio, LLC; Senior Consultant and Managing Partner, Public Health Practice, LLC; and Senior Consultant, Global Strategies, LLC.

Wednesday Plenary Speakers

Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, CEP and Co-Founder, Aledade, inc. 


Dr. Farzad Mostashari is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he is focusing on payment reform and delivery system transformation. He served from 2011-2013 as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology where he coordinated US efforts to build a health information technology infrastructure for healthcare reform and consumer empowerment. During his tenure at the Office of the National Coordinator, including his two years as Principal Deputy, he led the implementation of the Health IT for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. He also collaborated with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the design and implementation of the “Meaningful Use” Incentive Program, in addition to programs for health information exchange, health IT workforce, research, and privacy and security. Previously, Dr. Mostashari served at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Assistant Commissioner for the Primary Care Information Project, where he co-led agile development of population health management functionality within a commercial EHR. Dr. Mostashari also led the NYC Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded project focused on quality measurement at the point of care.  

He conducted graduate training at the Harvard School of Public Health and Yale Medical School, served his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service program. He was a lead investigator in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus, and anthrax in New York City, and among the first developers of real-time nationwide electronic disease surveillance systems. 

Kari Yacisin, MD, MSc, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Kari Yacisin is a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Officer assigned to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University and received a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She completed Internal Medicine residency at the University of Utah and an Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of New Mexico. This summer, she travelled to Guinea to assist CDC with the Ebola outbreak response.


Don Weiss, MD, MPH, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


Don Weiss is a medical epidemiologist with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). He is the Director of Surveillance for the Bureau of Communicable Disease including overseeing the Syndromic Surveillance Unit.

Don received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, completed a residency in pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center and received a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from St. Louis University School of Public Health. He was a urban pediatrician for seven years before switching careers to public health. Prior to  joining DOHMH he taught infectious disease epidemiology at St. Louis University School of Public Health. Don has authored and contributed to several scientific articles and book chapters. he is also the author of two public health mystery novels. 

Closing Keynote

Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health: Cook County Health & Hospital System

murray-pic-2860649Dr. Murray has spent her career serving the medically underserved. She has worked in a variety of settings including practicing Occupational Medicine at a Workers Clinic in Canada, Residency Director for Occupational Medicine at Meharry Medical College, and Bureau Chief for the Chicago Department of Health under Mayor Harold Washington. Dr. Murray served as Medical Director of the federally funded health center, Winfield Moody, serving Cabrini Green Public Housing Project in Chicago. Dr. Murray has been an active member of a wide range of local and national organizations including serving as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Board of Directors of Trinity Health (a large Catholic Health system). She serves on the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety & Health (NACOSH).In 1997, Dr. Murray returned to the Cook County Health System where she served as Chief Medical Officer -Primary Care for the twenty-three primary care and community health centers comprising the Ambulatory & Community Health Network of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services. The Cook County Bureau of Health is one of the nation’s largest public system of medical care and operates three hospitals, the public health department for suburban Cook County, health services a County Jail and the network of health centers (ACHN) operated by the County. Today she serves as the Chief Medical Officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health of the Cook County Health & Hospital System, the state certified public health agency for suburban Cook County. She practices as a general internist at Woodlawn Health Center, is an attending physician in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Cook County Hospital and an adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health (Occupational & Environmental Health and the Health Policy & Administration Departments). She plays a leadership role in many organizations including NACCHO’s (National Association of City & County Health Officers) Health Equity & Social Justice Team, the national executive board of American Public Health Association and serves on the board of the Chicago based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group. She remains passionate about increasing the number of Black and Latino health professionals and serves as the co-chair for the Urban Health Program Community Advisory Committee at the University of Illinois.

In November 2010, Dr. Murray became President of the American Public Health Association. She has been a voice for social justice and health care as a basic human right for over forty years.