Patrick Moonan receives distinguished alumni award for Ebola work

May 29, 2019

Moonan WebPatrick Moonan, DrPH, a 2005 graduate of the School of Public Health, is the recipient of the 2019 President’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Service in recognition of his work in combatting the Ebola virus in West Africa and other career achievements.

Dr. Moonan is a Senior Epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center for Global Health in Atlanta.

In fall 2014, Dr. Moonan, an accomplished scientist and public health practitioner with more than 20 years of experience driving innovation in epidemiology, traveled into the epicenter of the West Africa Ebola crisis.

As the CDC team lead in central Liberia, he worked diligently and selflessly despite challenges and limited resources, risking his own health and safety to save the lives of others.

In a 2016 story in Solutionsmagazine, Dr. Moonan described arriving at patients’ homes and finding the patient’s family members already ill and transmitting the virus to other relatives. With few other options for isolation, infected people were quarantined in a nearby former leper colony.

“It was very emotional,” Dr. Moonan said. “I’d see sick and dying children and try and stay grounded by checking in back home to see how many goals my son or daughter scored in their soccer games.”

Working with local health workers and health ministers, Dr. Moonan helped find people exposed to the virus, monitored them daily for any signs of symptoms and helped those who were sick get medical help immediately.

He continues to innovate in the fight against the spread of HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis in countries such as Liberia, Bhutan, Botswana, Republic of Georgia, India and Kyrgyzstan.

Dr. Moonan earned his Master of Public Health degree from UNTHSC in 2002 and received his Doctor in Public Health degree from the school in 2005. He immediately went to work for the CDC.

The Alumni Award for Distinguished Service is given at Commencement to a graduate who demonstrates his or her commitment to UNT Health Science Center’s Mission of creating solutions for a healthier community through outstanding personal and professional achievement.

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