(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Shaun Fernando, M.P.H., an alumnus of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, has received the newly created Association of Schools of Public Health/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Preparedness Fellowship.

Mr. Fernando will be housed in the CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response in Division of State and Local Readiness, which was developed following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and anthrax mailings the following month.

At the HSC-SRPH, Mr. Fernando received education in preparedness training from Barbara Quiram, Ph.D., a leader in emergency preparedness education and training. Besides her teaching duties, Dr. Quiram is director of The USA Center for Rural Public Health Preparedness, a CDC Center for Public Health Preparedness (CPHP).

Mr. Fernando also performed his practicum/internship with the City of Austin Office of Emergency Management. These special qualifications helped lead to his selection as the first fellow for this preparedness fellowship.

“I am excited about this opportunity to put my formal public health training and practical knowledge of emergency response to good use, and I am particularly excited about the opportunity to work with the national CPHP program through this fellowship,” Mr. Fernando said.

Mr. Fernando will be responsible for many projects, including drafting a technical assistance document that incorporates subject matter experts; developing plans for providing training and technical assistance for public health community preparedness; working collaboratively with the National Association of City and County Health Officials and Association of State and Territorial Health Officers to promote the links among the CDC’s CPHPs and state and local public health agencies to better prepare those agencies for public health emergencies; and assisting in developing performance measures for the CPHP program.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its six components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, and the School of Rural Public Health.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell