RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced funding for expanding public health staff at state health departments to focus on COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. This is a critical step forward in managing future COVID-19 curves, according to Pia MacDonald, PhD, an epidemiologist and senior research director of public health at RTI International
Using real data and on-the-ground experience from the epicenter of past pandemics such as the Ebola outbreaks, Dr. MacDonald can comment on the importance of applying the public health model approach – which includes testing and contact tracing – and scaling the public health workforce to the COVID-19 pandemic at the state and local level as soon as possible in order to reduce the spread and save lives.
In her current role, Dr. MacDonald’s work is focused on strengthening countries’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks in order to become compliant with the International Health Regulations. Prior to working at RTI, she was on faculty at The University of North Carolina (UNC) Gillings School of Global Public Health for 10 years and has led projects funded by the CDC, Pan American Health Organization, National Association of Country and City Health Officials, and the North Carolina Division of Public Health.
Dr. MacDonald’s work on COVID-19 includes:
- An opinion piece in The Washington Post discussing the importance of collecting data and using that data to inform COVID-19 public health strategies moving forward.
- A recorded Q&A on COVID-19 with iHeartRadio.
- Designed and implemented RTI’s recent survey on the public’s understanding and perceptions of COVID-19.
- Recently published blog on COVID-19 and what we need to know based on science.
To request an interview, contact the RTI Newsroom at email@example.com.