Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, USF College of Public Health graduate, Lentz Dorcely, immigrated to the United States to Miami, Fla. when he was six.
Dorcely became introduced to public health while he for studying for biology during his undergraduate sophomore year at the University of South Florida.
“I came across a book about disease detectives which introduced me to the field of epidemiology. I loved it so much I switched majors the next semester and began studying public health!” he said.
Graduating with his BSPH in 2014, Dorcely continued his education with the COPH and began his MPH program with an interest in infection control in the Department of Global Health.
During his time as a graduate student, Dorcely showed his commitment to public health and worked full-time in the pathology lab at Tampa General Hospital where he accessioned specimens from surgeries and helped perform autopsies.
Dorcely said that as a student he was inspired by his advisor, Dr. Donna Haiduven, associate professor in the Department of Global Health.
“My advisor, Dr. Haiduven, always challenged me and motivated me to do more. Whenever I needed guidance or felt lost academically, Dr. Haiduven was always there to get me back on track. She was someone at USF who inspired me to do my best because I never wanted to let her down,” he said. “She made me feel, as a student, that she had confidence and trust in me which gave me a sense of accountability to hold up to.”
Prior to graduation, Dorcely secured a job as an infection preventionist at Tampa General Hospital. His responsibilities include screening, isolating and monitoring patients for infectious agents in order to reduce disease transmission within the hospital. He reviews microbiology reports to perform surveillance, identify hospital associated infections, and investigate outbreaks.
He also serves as a liaison to Tampa General’s interdisciplinary departments and committees for consults and expertise on topics of infection prevention concern and conducts audits on the environment and clinical practices to ensure standards are being met.
“Everything that I have learned from my time at the COPH is translating over into my professional career. I apply my coursework every day in my professional practice through the work that I do in preventing disease,” Dorcely said. “I gained invaluable experience through excellent academics with such a large group of professionals from various backgrounds. The COPH prepared me for real world application of academic material.”
Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health