UNTHSC student noted on FEMA website


Published: September 7, 2010

Tabatha N. Offutt-Powell, MPH, epidemiology doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s School of Public Health, has been recognized on the Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA website under “Lessons Learned-Information Sharing.”

She was noted for conducting a first-year evaluation of the Southwest Center for Advanced Public Health Practice’s School Health Surveillance System, a web-based communications portal enabling Tarrant County, Texas, schools to share daily health data with Tarrant County Public Health epidemiologists.  The system detects and monitors influenza outbreaks to allow the implementation of timely public health prevention measures.

According to FEMA, Offutt-Powell’s evaluation showed that the surveillance system is a viable way to collect school health data in a rapid, automated manner and that the system meets the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation that schools consider developing a system to work with and alert the local health department.