Worldwide Ebola Prevention
Courtney Searles completed her Practice Experience at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. She played an integral role throughout the internship analyzing data collected for 12 months from January 2015-December 2015. The unique aspect of the data she analyzed was that it helped facilitate Ebola Preparedness throughout the world. Through partnerships with The International Organization for Migration (IOM), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ministries of Health, an Ebola Preparedness Support Team in each country became equipped with the proper training and personal protective equipment (PPE) for future Ebola outbreaks. Simulation EVD cases were presented to test each country’s preparedness level. Based on Courtney’s data analysis, those with lower scores received higher priority for technical training. Each country participated in education on ongoing mandatory training models and standard operating procedures. This included technical deployments to countries, work plans and documenting achievements in order to prepare a final report and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions. Prevention and containment of future Ebola outbreaks represent the world-wide public health significance and long-term impact of this project.
Courtney hopes to manage future projects as significant to public health as the one she participated in for her practice experience. As a project manager, she hopes to gain further health management experience. Then, she plans to continue her education—likely in a clinical capacity. Courtney feels that the career counseling and mentorship she received at UNTHSC provided her access to her current job. She additionally appreciates the great leadership training, inter-professional skills, and research experience she obtained as a student.