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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Florida Epidemic Intelligence Service

Contact the Florida Department of Health

  •  850-245-4401

    Mailing Address

    Florida Department of Health 

    4052 Bald Cypress Way 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399 

Mission: To prepare epidemiologists for public health leadership positions in Florida.

Head-quartered at the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee, Florida, the Florida Epidemic Intelligence Service (FL EIS) is a unique two-year, post-graduate program of service and on-the-job training for health professionals interested in the field of epidemiology. The program was founded in 2001 for health professionals who have a degree or experience in a field related to public health. Fellows are assigned to a county health department for two years and have opportunities to respond to various public health concerns throughout the state.

  • Goals and Opportunities
  • The Application Process
  • Current EIS Fellows
  • EIS Alumni
  • Florida EIS Accomplishments


  • Provide experience in epidemiology and public health practice during placements with county health departments
  • Assist local health departments in emergency outbreak and other field epidemiologic investigation
  • Produce well trained public health epidemiologists for positions in Florida health departments


Each fellow is assigned to a preceptor who is a practising epidemiologist within a local health department. At the beginning of the year, the preceptor and fellow jointly develop a specific list of goals and objectives. Fellows will:

  • Perform descriptive and analytic epidemiology
  • Evaluate programs to determine their effectiveness
  • Investigate clusters of disease
  • Publish findings in peer-reviewed journals and present at professional meetings.
  • Respond to inquiries from the public, media, government officials, or other health professionals.

The application process for the Florida EIS fellowship is currently closed. The next application period will be in the spring of 2020.


Health professionals who meet one of the following qualifications below, have taken at least one course in epidemiology and one course in statistics (biostatistics preferred, but other statistics courses will be considered) during graduate/professional school, and have a strong interest in applied epidemiology are eligible to apply to the Florida EIS:

  • Persons with a master's in a health-related field (e.g. MPH, MSPH, or equivalent).
  • Physicians (MDs, DOs) with at least one year of clinical training and public health experience.
  • Doctoral-degree recipients (PhDs, DrPHs, or equivalent) in health-related fields such as epidemiology, biostatistics, and the social behavioral and nutritional sciences.
  • Nurses, dentists, and PharmDs, with a Master of Public Health (MPH) or equivalent degree.
  • Veterinarians with a MPH or equivalent degree or demonstrated public health experience or course work.

Foreign Education: Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the education requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States.

If you have any questions about the fellowship requirements, please email

Lexie Bell

Nushrat Alam

Hometown: Fort Meyers, Florida

Graduate Degree: George Washington University, MPH (Epidemiology)

Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida, BS (Health Science Pre-Clinical)

Assigned to: Florida Department of Health in Lee County

Mentors: Jennifer Roth, MSPH and Angela Smith, BS, MHA

“The Florida EIS Program will equip me with the experience and tools needed to conduct quality, impactful research and investigations to improve public health as an epidemiologist. Of the many aspects of public health, my main interests are in surveillance and utilizing a One Health approach to prevent and control diseases.”

Hannah Cranford

Ellen Dugan

Hometown: North Carolina

Graduate Degree: Johns Hopkins University, MPH (Social and Behavioral Sciences)

Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, BS (Dental Hygiene)

Assigned to: Florida Department of Health in Orange County

Mentors: Alvina K. Chu, MHS and Jennifer Jackson, MPH, CIC

“I am dedicated to the pursuit of such a valuable opportunity at the Florida Department of Health to contribute to and support the goals of the Florida EIS Program. I plan to become an active proponent of these goals by devoting myself to training with and working alongside experienced state epidemiologists in the application of epidemiologic methods, assistance in emergency outbreak investigations and disease surveillance.”

Bernie Kloppenburg

Ashley Joseph

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Graduate Degree: University of South Florida, MPH (Epidemiology and Global Communicable Diseases)

Undergraduate Degree: Florida State University, BS (Cell and Molecular Biology)

Assigned to: Florida Department of Health in Polk County

Mentors: Gregory Danyluk, PhD, MPH, MS and Cynthia Goldstein, MPH, REHS

“The Florida EIS fellowship will provide me with state-of-the-art training and mentorship in applied epidemiology that will allow me to transition the knowledge I have gained from my MPH into practice. My interest is working on the front lines serving as an advocate for vulnerable populations while conducting research in disease surveillance that will aid in the early detection, treatment, and prevention of future disease outbreaks.”

Emily Kostek

Briana O'Sullivan

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Graduate Degree: Penn State University, MPH (Epidemiology and Biostatistics)

Undergraduate Degree: Slippery Rock University, BS (Public Health)

Assigned to: Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County

Mentors: Michelle Peaslee, MPH and Kim Kossler, MPH, RN, CPH

“The Florida EIS fellowship will provide me the opportunity to apply all of the knowledge and skills that I have gained throughout my graduate program to real world situations. I will learn how to properly handle different issues within the field and enhance my skills, which could not be fully learned in a classroom setting. This fellowship will help guide my future career path in epidemiology by introducing me to field epidemiology and surveillance.”

Virginia Warren

Danielle Rankin

Hometown: Menard, TX

Graduate Degree: University of Colorado, MPH (Leadership and Public Health Practice)

Undergraduate Degree: Duke University, BA (Cultural Anthropology)

Assigned to: Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County

Mentors: Michael Wiese, MPH, CPH and Leslene E. Gordon, PhD, RD, LD/N

“Serving as a Florida EIS fellow will help me fulfill my goal of becoming a capable epidemiologist. The mentorship, training, and learning opportunities available through the program will allow me to progress at a much quicker rate than I would have otherwise. I am thankful for the investment that has been made in my professional development by my colleagues in Hillsborough County and at the Bureau of Epidemiology. My intention, every day, will be to channel my gratitude into my efforts to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida.”

Class of 2018: Nushrat Alam, Ellen Dugan, Ashley Joseph, Briana O’Sullivan and Danielle Rankin

Class of 2015: Erika Cathey, Charlie Clark, Diana Connor, Eboni Crawford, Toni Hudson and Meri Phillips

Class of 2013: Alazandria Cruze, Michelle George, Ben Klekamp, Jennifer Roth and Vincy Samuel

Class of 2011: Amber Barnes, Michael Drennon, Jessica Fung, Pamela Mann, Holly Montejano, Tara Richardson, JoAnne Tellado and Lea Wansbrough

Class of 2009: Taj Azarian, Paco Castellon, Catherine Kroll, Sericea Smith and Raquel Stephenson

Class of 2008: Karen Alelis, Leah Eisenstein, Kimberly Fraser, Rebecca Lazensky, Anita Lewis, Kateesha McConnell and Erin O'Connell

Class of 2007: Aaron Kite Powell, Nicole Basta, Sharlene Traynor, Sharlene Emmanuel and Patricia Ragan

Class of 2006: Andre Ourso, Aimee Pragle, Dawn Ginzl, Maria Bonafonte, Kelly Grainger, Rodlescia Sneed and Maria Donnelly

Class of 2005: Robyn Kay, Matthew Laider, Janet Hamilton, Jose Lojo and Kendra Johnson

Class of 2004: David Atrubin, Jerne Shapiro, Edhelene Rico, Meghan Weems, Carmela Mancini and Michael Lo


The American College of Preventive Medicine Position Statement on Hepatitis C Virus Infection. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2016: 50(3), 419-426. Authors: Allison, R.D., Hale, S.A., Harvey, B.J., Hudson, T.L.,

International Society for Disease Surveillance Annual Conference: December 2016 - Analysis of Daily Enhanced Syndromic Surveillance in Hillsborough County, Florida, 2015. Poster presenter: Charles Clark

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notes From the Field: Large Tuberculosis Contact Investigation Involving Two Hospitals — Okaloosa County, Florida, 2014. MMWR 2016; 65(47), 1349-1350. Authors: Cathey, EF, Matthias, J, et al.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notes From the Field: Pediatric Death from Meningococcal Disease in a Family of Romani Travelers — Sarasota, Florida, 2015. MMWR 2016; 65(37), 1017. Authors: Crawford, E, Drennon, M, & Winston, T.

Sustained Transmission of Pertussis in Vaccinated, 1–5-Year-Old Children in a Preschool, Florida, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases February 2016 22(2), 242-246. Authors: Matthias, J., Pritchard, P.S., Martin, S.W., Dusek, C., Cathey, E.,

Epi Update Issue 1 2016: Investigation of Pesticide Poisoning Among Farmworkers, Palm Beach County. Authors: Mulay, P., Tovar-Aguilar, A., & Connor, D.

Florida Grand Rounds: March 2016 - Measles Response in St. Lucie County, April 2015. Presenter: Charles Clark

Florida Grand Rounds: February 2016 - Southwest Florida CRE Collaborative: Post-Collaborative Assessment & Data Review. Presenter: Eboni Crawford

NACCHO Annual 2016: July 2016 - Innovations in STD Client Notification. Presenter: Diana Connor

Health Professionals Division Research Day at NOVA Southeastern University: February 2016 - Private Reporting Option Through Coded Text Messages (PROTEXT). Presenter: Diana Connor

Florida Grand Rounds: January 2016 - PROTEXT: Private Reporting Option of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Laboratory Results Through Coded TEXT Messages. Presenter: Diana Connor

Florida Department of Health 2016 Statewide Epidemiology Training: June 2016 - Heroin-Related Morbidity Surveillance Using ESSENCE-FL Orange County, Florida 2010 – 2014. Presenter: Toni Hudson

CSTE Annual Conference: March 2016 - The Contribution of Local Public Health to Heroin Surveillance in Orange County, Florida. Presenters: Ben Klekamp, Toni Hudson, Sarah Matthews


Epi Update Issue 3 2015: Differences in Influenza-Like Illness Data Collection and Reporting Between County Health Departments in Florida. Authors: Cathey, E., Rendon, A., May, S., McCombs, K., Rubino, H., & Chapman, K.

Epi Update Issue 3 2015: Analysis of a Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak in Two Childcare Facilities in Hillsborough County, Florida, 2014. Author: Clark, C.R.

Epi Update Issue 2 2015: Respiratory Illness Outbreak in an Assisted Living Facility, Orange County, Florida. Author: Hudson, T.

Florida Grand Rounds: August 2015 - Legionellosis Outbreak at a Nursing Home, Orange County, Florida 2014. Presenter: Toni Hudson

Global Florida 2015 Epidemiology Training: June 2015 - Emerging Infectious Diseases. Panelists: Toni Hudson, German Gonzalez, Jon Teter, & Danielle Stanek

University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute Epi Research Day Conference: February 2015 - First Confirmed Case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Florida, Orange County, Florida, May 2014. Poster presenter: Toni Hudson

Epi Update Issue 3 2015: Quality Assurance Assessment of West Nile Virus Illness Reporting Gaps in Merlin Through the Examination of Cause of Death Data in Vital Statistics. Authors: Phillips, M. & Geib, K.

National Environmental Health Association Annual Education Conference and Exhibition: July 2015 - Comprehensive Review of Vibrio vulnificus infections in Florida, 2004 – 2013. Poster presenter: Erika Cathey

Global Florida 2015 Epidemiology Training: June 2015 - Public Health Investigations - Lessons Learned From the Field. Panelists: David Chmiel, Rehme, P., Crawford, E., Nicholson, G., Harder, T., & Harter, C.

CSTE Annual Conference: June 2015 - Emergence of Locally Acquired Chikungunya in Florida. Poster presenter: Diana Connor

Florida Department of Health Statewide Epidemiology Conference: May 2015 - Delayed Mortality Among Cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) Illness in Florida, 1999–2013. Poster presenter: Meri Phillips

Florida Grand Rounds: April 2015 - Delayed Mortality Among Cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) Illness in Florida, 1999–2012. Presenter: Meri Phillips

University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute Epi Research Day Conference: February 2015 - Quality Assurance Assessment of West Nile Virus Illness Reporting Gaps in Merlin Through the Examination of Cause of Death Data in Vital Statistics. Poster Presenter: Meri Phillips

International Society for Disease Surveillance Annual Conference: December 2015 - Analysis of ED and UCC Visits Related to Synthetic Marijuana in ESSENCE-FL, 2010-2015. Poster presenter: Michael Wiese & Charles Clark

Healthiest Weight: A Life Course Approach, Summer 2014 Toni Hudson, MSPH


Florida Grand Rounds: December 2014 - Managing Data Using Epi Info™ 7 for a Large Tuberculosis Contact Investigation. Presenter: Erika Cathey

University of Northwest Florida 7th Annual Mattie Kelly Environmental Symposium, October 2014 - Comprehensive Review of Vibrio vulnificus infections in Florida, 2004 - 2013. Poster presenter: Erika Cathey

South Florida GIS Expo, October 2014 - Tracking the Emergence of Locally Acquired Chikungunya Fever in Palm Beach County, Florida with GIS. Presenter: Diana Connor

Measles Outbreak in an Unvaccinated Family and a Possibly Associated International Traveler-Orange County, Florida, December 2012-January 2013. MMWR. September 12, 2014 / 63(36);781-784, Slade TA, Klekamp BG, et al.

Frequency and erroneous usage of temporary medical exemptions and knowledge of immunization guidelines among some Miami-Dade County Florida providers, June 14, 2014. Cruze, A, Zhang, G, Thomas, L, Alonso, J, Sandoval

Sherin K, Klekamp B, Beal J, Martin N. What Is New in HIV Infection? American Family Physician, 2014; 89(4)


Florida Grand Rounds: March 2013 - Mystery Illness on the Savanna, Presenter: Ben KleKamp, MSP

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notes from the Field: Strongyloides Infection Among Patients at a Long-Term Care Facility- Florida, 2010-2012, MMWR 2013;62:844

Florida Grand Rounds: July 2013 - Shigella flexneri Associated with MSM & HIV, Presenter: Vincy Samuel, MPH

Florida Grand Rounds: September 2013 - Outbreak of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumona Infection in an Acute Care Hospital, Presenter: Jennifer Roth, MPH


Council for State and territorial Epidemioloigst Annual Conference, June 2012: Delayed Mortality among cases of Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile Virus illness in Florida, 1999-2011, Michelle George, MPH.

Gastrointestinal illness among correctional facility inmates, Lake City, Florida, May 2012 FEHA article, Ben Klekamp, MSPH.

Florida Grand Rounds: October 30, 2012 - Immunization Guideline Knowledge and Practice Amont Selected Health Care Providers in Miami-Dade County. Presenters: Alazandria Cruze, MPH, CPH and Lakisha Thomas, MPH.

Notes from the Field: Tuberculosis Cluster Associated with Homelessness-Duval County, Florida, 2004-2012

Epi Update Issue September 2012: Summary of Scabies Outbreak, Seminole County, August 2011 - July 2012, Michelle George, MPH.


Alert system to detect possible school-based outbreaks of influenza-like illness

Epi Update Issue November 2011: Investigation of a Cluster of Illnesses Initially Attributed to a Chemical Exposure, Seminole County, August 2011, Michelle George, MPH

Raccoon Roundworms in Pet Kinkajous --- Three States, 1999 and 2010, MMWR, March 2011


Babesia in Florida: How Travel and Transfusion Facilitate Infection
PowerPoint Version  - Microsoft Word Version

What Every Asian American Should Know About Chronic Hepatitis B - January 2010

Spotlight on Hepatitis Prevention Programs at the Orange County Health Department - February 2010

Hepatitis B Vaccine and Prevention of Chronic Hepatitis B - March 2010

Low Secondary Transmission of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) in Households Following an Outbreak at a Summer Camp: Relationship to Timing of Exposure

Brucellosis in Florida, EPI Notes - February 2010


2009 Epidemiology Annual Report: A Summary of Reportable Diseases in Seminole County


2007 Seminole County Health Department Annual Epidemiology Morbidity Report

Florida Injury Facts: Firearms

Importance of Bacterial Burden Among Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Carriers in a Long Term Care Facility

Infection control breakdown in a pain management facility: An outbreak of invasive S. aureus infections associated with misused single dose vials and other breaches in infection control (APHA, Oct 2008)

Miami Dade County Monthly Epi Report

Nasopharyngeal Tuberculosis: Characterization of Transmissibility in a College Classroom Setting (APHA, Oct 2008)

Acanthamoeba Keratitis -- Multiple States, 2005-2007

BioDefend™ Syndromic Surveillance System Influenza Activity Detection (Poster Presentation, ISDS Conference 2007)

Could Syndromic Surveillance Data Be Used Effectively with Other Data Sources? A Transposable Local View (Oral Presentation, ISDS Conference 2007)

Outbreak of Cutaneuous Larva Migrans at a Children's Camp - Miami, Florida 2006

Salmonellosis Trends in Miami-Dade County, 2000-2006


Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in Pregnant Women: Miami-Dade County, 2004-2005

Analysis of Florida Toddler Pool Drowning Deaths

Community-Acquired MRSA Infection: An Update

Comparison of ICD-9 Coded Chief Complaints and Diagnoses for Identifying Gastrointestinal Syndrome Using ESSENCE

Contact Dermatitis in Daycare Facilities

Florida Influenza Surveillance 

Grand Rounds on 2004-2005 Florida Hurricane Mortality

Grand Rounds Presentation on Influenza Surveillance

Melioidosis Case Investigation

"Mortality Associated with Hurricane Katrina - Florida and Alabama - August-October 2005"

Rapid Community Health and Needs Assessments Following Hurricane Wilma: Broward and Hendry Counties

Salmonella Meningitis: Possible Association with Turtle

Salmonellosis in Collier County: A Geographic Analysis of Rates

Legionella Outbreak Investigation Associated with Hotel

Leptospirosis Outbreak Among Participants of Adventure Race


Outbreaks of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Associated with Petting Zoos --- North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona, 2004 and 2005

MRSA in a Maternity and Delivery Ward at a Volusia County Hospital

Grand Rounds Presentation on Dengue Fever Investigation

Suspect Tularemia Case from Wild Rabbit in Pinellas County

Grand Round Presentation on Pertussis Outbreak During Hurricane Response

Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Three Florida Petting Zoos

Outbreak of Hepatitis B Among Patients Receiving Chelation Therapy in Miami-Dade County

Influenza-like Illness Outbreak at a Long-term Care Facility,Volusia County, Florida, February 2005: Guidelines for Prevention and Control

Outbreak of Norovirus Gastroenteritis

Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health

Norovirus Outbreak at a Miami-Dade County University

Florida Influenza Surveillance

Grand Rounds Presentation on MRSA

Home Sheltering During Hurricane Ivan: Risk Factors for Exposure to Probable Case of Meningococcal Disease

Fatal Rat Bite Fever -- Florida and Washington 2003


An Outbreak of Bacillus cereus Gastroenteritis in a Stockade Facility, West Palm Beach, Florida

Vibrio vulnificus infections in Florida

SARS and Avian Influenza Update

UV Exposure from Mercury Vapor Lamp

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Hurricane-Associated Use of Portable Generators --- Florida, 2004

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Morbidity and mortality from accidental falls in Collier County, Florida, 1997-2001

Preliminary Medical Examiner Reports of Mortality Associated with Hurricane Charley --- Florida, 2004

Grand Rounds Presentation on Drug-Resistant Salmonella

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Escambia County Jail

Multifocal Autochthonous Transmission of Malaria - Florida, 2003, MMWR. 53(19);412-413.

Grand Rounds Presentation on Hepatitis A Analysis

Chickenpox Diagnosed at Duval County Shelter

A Spatial Analysis of the Leading Causes of Childhood Morbidity in Florida

Polk County Experiences Outbreaks of Illness Associated With Exposure to Lake Water

Inspiratory stridor in female students at a high school in Tampa, Florida


Panhandle Beach Safety Study

Influenza Investigation at Sarasota Facility Finds Vaccination Rate an Issue

White Powder Investigation at Duval County Postal Facility Yields Training Opportunity

Outbreak of Scombroid/Histamine Poisoning From Consumption of Marlin Spoils Film Crew Visit

Grand Rounds Presentation on a Review of Adverse Events Related to Smallpox Vaccinations in Florida

An Investigation into a Salmonella Enterica serotype Typhimurium Outbreak in a BBQ Restaurant, Hillsborough County, June 18 - July 6, 2003

Locally Acquired Malaria "Probable" in Palm Beach County

Vibrio Outbreak Discovered in Duval County

Viral Meningitis Outbreak Investigated in Alachua County

Shigellosis Outbreak Hits South Florida Day Care Center

Investigation of Blood Transfusion-Associated West Nile Virus Infection

Summary of an investigation of a gastroenteritis outbreak at a volleyball tournament in Orange County

Chickenpox Outbreak in a Hillsborough County Elementary School

Hepatitis A Outbreak In An Elementary School


Community Acquired Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Associated With Skin Abscesses

Salmonella group C2 Outbreak in a Restaurant- Gainesville, Florida

Norwalk Virus Outbreak in a Hendry County Nursing Home, April 2002

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Outbreak Associated With Injections at a Podiatry Clinic

Knowledge and Attitudes About Bioterrorism and Smallpox

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