Despite innovations in vaccinations, sanitation methods, and education, infectious diseases still largely pose a threat to patient’s health and are among the most common reasons for hospitalization. The field of infectious disease is dynamic and constantly evolving with new challenges emerging every day. As health care systems are prompted to change the development and implementation of clinical guidelines and pathways, frontline providers who may have limited time and resources must stay upto-date on current practice. The purpose of this interactive continuing professional development (CPD) activity is to offer timely, evidence-based information, case presentations, and in-depth discussion in effort to increase knowledge and improve patient outcomes. We will explore past, present, and future highlights and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evelyn Cook, RN, CIC, is the Associate Director of Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology (SPICE) at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is a principle lecturer at all SPICE infection control courses and provides consultation to all healthcare facilities on issues related to infection prevention and control.
Evelyn served previously as Nurse Clinician and Nurse Liaison with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) for the Department of Medicine and PDC, PLLC at Duke University Medical Center, providing support and consultation for a network of community hospitals.
For twenty-nine years, Evelyn has had the opportunity to advocate for positive patient outcomes in various roles responsible for infection prevention, quality, and patient safety.
During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic SPICE has partnered with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to provide numerous educational sessions and resources to a variety of settings. Evelyn is named as Primary Investigator (PI) on several CDC funded grants, geared to address COVID-19 related issues in healthcare settings.
Cameron Wolfe, MBBS, (Hons), MPH, FIDSA, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease and Transplant Medicine at Duke University. In addition to his role as a specialist in infections occurring in the immunocompromised patient population, he is also the Director of Clinical COVID Research at Duke, as well as the Co-Chair of the COVID Vaccination Taskforce.
Lessons Learned Panel
David Tillman, PhD, MEd, MA, CPH, has worked with health departments, school systems, universities, hospital systems, and nonprofits on a variety of projects – including needs assessment, strategic planning, and program evaluation – for almost two decades. As a practitioner-researcher, he has published and lectured nationally about the use of data for decision-making.
Before joining the faculty of Campbell University, Dr. Tillman worked as a Leadership Development & Strategic Planning Consultant in state government, helping school systems throughout the state to improve systems and outcomes for students with disabilities. Dr. Tillman also spent a decade working in local school systems focused on designing multi-tiered systems of supports and adapting public health intervention theory for implementation in public schools.
Since August 2015, Dr. Tillman has served as Chair of the Department of Public Health at Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Under his leadership, the rural health program at Campbell University has earned full accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and attained full membership status in the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). The unique program at Campbell University focuses on developing public health leaders for rural and underserved communities. In an effort to achieve health equity in these areas, David helped design and execute a number of dual degrees—including combining graduate degrees in public health with professional degree programs in law, business, physician assistant practice, and pharmacy. Additionally, Dr. Tillman has presented nationally on health science education through innovations in interprofessional education, the use of patient narratives, and the use of service learning.
Dr. Tillman teaches courses in rural health, community health assessment, and the ethics of public health, as well as leading study abroad in Guatemala & Haiti.
Alongside his work at Campbell, Dr. Tillman consults with health care systems, local health departments, and state governments regarding strategies for improving health—especially in rural contexts. In our state, he serves as a member of several statewide committees—including the North Carolina Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Committee (OPDAAC), North Carolina Rural Health Leadership Alliance, and North Carolina Committee on Dental Health. In his local community, Dr. Tillman chairs the Healthy Harnett Coalition and serves on the advisory boards for United Way, Special Olympics, Teens as Parents, and ECU Dental School’s Community Service Learning Center in Lillington.
Dr. Tillman holds several degrees: (BA – Campbell University), (MEd – Campbell University), (MA – University of North Carolina at Greensboro), (PhD – North Carolina State University).
Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, MD, MPH, serves North Carolina as the State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she promotes public health and prevention activities, as well as provides guidance and oversight on a variety of cross-Departmental issues including the Opioid Epidemic, Early Childhood, Medicaid ransformation and Healthy Opportunities. Most recently, her work has largely focused on fighting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dr. Tilson received her BA in biology from Dartmouth College, earned her Medical Degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She completed a Pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a General Preventive Medicine/Public Health Residency at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and is board certified in both fields. Prior roles include serving as the Medical Director of Community Care of Wake and Johnston Counties, Chief Network Medical Director for Community Care of North Carolina, Assistant Consulting Professor and Cancer Control Specialist with Duke University Medical Center, and a Clinical Pediatric Fellow at UNC Chapel Hill. She practiced primary care pediatrics for 26 years, primarily at her local health department – Wake County Human Services Child Health Clinic. She has been active and has served in leadership roles in many local, state, and national pediatric, public health and preventive medicine organizations.
Serina Tart, PharmD, is the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Pharmacist at Cape Fear Valley Health. She earned her PharmD degree from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and completed a pharmacy practice residency at Southeastern Regional Medical Center. Dr. Tart enjoys precepting pharmacy students and residents. Areas of interest for research and publications include antibiotic use and quality improvement.
Aprel Ventura, PhD, RN, CNE, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at Fayetteville State University. She has extensive nursing practice experience in home health care. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in Nursing Education from Duke University, and a PhD in Nursing from East Carolina University. Dr. Ventura has nursing education experience teaching generic BSN and RN to BSN, as well as MSN students. She holds certification as a Certified Nurse Educator and currently serves as the RN to BSN program coordinator in the School of Nursing at Fayetteville State University. Dr. Ventura's areas of research interest include community health, cardiovascular disease and communication.
Patrick Fullerton, DO, MHCM, is dedicated to providing quality care as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He focuses on family medicine and emergency medicine and has additional clinical interest in healthcare innovation. He seeks to improve access to efficient and quality-based care.
Dr. Fullerton earned his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Central Florida and attended medical school at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He completed his residency in family practice at the Broward General Medical Center and Level 1 Trauma Center. Dr. Fullerton also obtained his master’s degree in healthcare management (MHCM) from Harvard University.
Dr. Fullerton is a member of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP), the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA). Dr. Fullerton is an army enlisted and officer veteran and a naval officer veteran.
In his free time, Dr. Fullerton competes in IRONMAN triathlons.