MPH Alumni Connect During CDC Deployment

The information below is taken from the original PHHP Alumni post here, written by Katarina Fiorentino, BHS Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Gator Nation is everywhere – including the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement Emergency Intake Site in El Paso, Texas, which was created in response to unaccompanied minors crossing the US-Mexico border. MPH Alumni Alexis Caplan and Johanzynn Gatewood were deployed last summer as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Global Rapid Response Team, a highly trained workforce of public health experts across the agency who are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

Caplan is a public health analyst at CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the World Trade Center Health Program. Gatewood is a public health advisor at CDC’s Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Sciences (CSELS) in the Division of Laboratory Systems.

Prior to deploying to the same team at Fort Bliss, Caplan and Gatewood did not know one another but soon discovered they shared a tie to the Gator Nation. That Gator connection helped them adjust to the demands of their deployment, while also providing ample opportunities for trading Gainesville memories. Both Caplan and Gatewood credit their deployment with the formation of a new friendship.

During their time at the refugee emergency intake site, Caplan and Gatewood assisted with infection control and epidemiological surveillance, focusing on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 among children and staff.