Public health experts available to discuss coronavirus

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The coronavirus outbreak is now a “public health emergency of international concern,” says the World Health Organization. Public health experts at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health (USF COPH) are poised to educate the public about the virus, answering questions on everything from preparedness to prevention to public policy.

Marissa Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Dr. Levine is a professor and director of the Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice at the USF College of Public Health. She is the former state health commissioner of Virginia and can speak about community preparation and prevention efforts.

Abraham Salinas-Miranda, MD, PhD, MPH

Dr. Salinas-Miranda is the director of the Harrell Center for the Study of Family Violence and associate director of the USF Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Education, Science and Practice. He is a USF College of Public Health alum who focuses on maternal and child health. His publications have focused on multiple aspects of maternal-child health areas including community health, pre-conceptual care, care of the newborn, families, and the training of health providers.  Dr. Salinas-Miranda can speak about the unintended consequences of social isolation for survivors of intimate partner abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elizabeth A. Dunn, MPH, CPH

Elizabeth Dunn is an Instructor in disaster management at the USF College of Public Health. Her specialties relate to public health preparedness, hurricane shelters, planning for emergencies, community resilience and mitigation strategies for reducing risk for vulnerable populations. Ms. Dunn is conducting research on hurricane sheltering that takes COVID-19 into consideration, and research around agri-food supply chain disruptions and food insecurity due to the pandemic.

Katherine Drabiak, JD

Katherine Drabiak, JD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health and College of Medicine. She is also co-director of the Law and Medicine Scholarly Concentration Program at USF’s Morsani College of Medicine.  Drabiak’s teaching and research have focused on health law, public health and medical ethics. She can speak about these topics and how they relate to the coronavirus.

Robert J. Novak, PhD, MS

Dr. Novak is a professor of global health, with a particular discipline in infectious disease ecology and medical entomology. He was appointed by the Chinese Academy of Science to be a member of the Review and Research Assessment Committee for the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He was also part of the CDC team working on the dengue epidemic while stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Jill Roberts, PhD

Dr. Roberts is a professor of environmental health who specializes in emerging diseases. She is frequently sought out by the media to speak on a variety of public health topics, including disease preparedness and prevention.

Jay Wolfson, DrPH, JD

Dr. Wolfson is a distinguished service professor of public health, medicine and pharmacy. He is also the associate vice president of health law, policy and safety and a senior associate dean of health policy and practice at USF’s Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Wolfson, a media veteran who conducts research and writes about health care law, ethics, policy, technology, safety and finance and regularly provides research-based policy analyses to legislative, judicial and executive branches of state and federal governments. He is available to discuss policy and institutional capacity/responsiveness issues.

Lynn “Marty” Martin, PhD

Dr. Lynn B. “Marty” Martin is a professor at the USF College of Public Health where he conducts research in disease ecology. Currently, his research focuses on the ecology and evolution of homeostatic systems, how natural and anthropogenic stressors affect vertebrate immune defenses and disease cycles, and how physiological and behavioral traits mediate species’ invasiveness. Dr. Martin, who is also the co-host of the podcast Big Biology, can speak about the coronavirus and the nature of zoonoses.

Chighaf Bakour, MD, PhD, CPH

Dr. Bakour is an assistant visiting professor at the USF College of Public Health. She specializes in maternal and child health, sleep epidemiology and asthma. She can speak on the epidemiology of COVID-19.

Michelle Nash, PhD, MPH, CPH

Dr. Nash is a visiting assistant professor of epidemiology at the USF College of Public Health. Her specialties are military medicine, mental health and maternal and child health. Dr. Nash has served as an epidemiologist in several capacities in the Volusia County Health Department. She was the influenza epidemiologist for that county during the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 and can speak about the coronavirus from that perspective.

Jason L. Salemi, PhD, MPH

Dr. Salemi is an associate professor of epidemiology at the USF College of Public Health. He is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist who has developed a comprehensive statewide dashboard for COVID-19 in Florida. He is frequently sought out by the media to discuss issues related to accessing and interpreting data on cases, testing, positivity rates, hospitalizations and mortality. He is also available to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting our pediatric population.

We strive to be as accessible as possible to news media.  If you have any questions, please contact a media representative at USF, USF Health or the College of Public Health anytime:

USF Health—Sarah Worth, associate director of news and communications, or 813-974-3304

USF— Althea Paul, media relations manager, or 813-974-1665

USF COPH—Natalie Preston, director of engagement and constituent relations, or 813-974-7714