Global Health Chronicles

Dr. Karen Wong

David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Global Health Chronicles


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00:00:48 - Early life through college

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Partial Transcript: Can you tell me where and when you were born?

Keywords: A. Schweitzer; autobiography; books; career; college; dreams; education; jobs; learning; media; medical science; music; parents; physics; pre-med; reading; research; singing; university; writing; youth

Subjects: Texas; Yale University

00:11:08 - Medical school, public health school, and residency

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about going to Columbia.

Keywords: care; communication; data; doctor-patient relationships; environmental health; epidemiology; flu; global health; international; lung disease; master of public health (MPH); occupational health; respiratory health; surveillance; training; travel; treatment; triage

Subjects: 9/11 Terrorists Attacks, 2001; Africa, East; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). Epidemic Intelligence Service; Columbia University. College of Physicians and Surgeons; Influenza; Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health; Kenya; New York (N.Y.); Sarcoidosis; University of California, San Francisco

00:22:34 - Epidemic Intelligence Service and first few years at CDC

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Partial Transcript: Tell me what happens after residency.

Keywords: D. Hamilton; Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ); K. Winslet; L. Finelli; S. Jain; epidemiology; flu; mentors; mentorship; outbreaks; response; zoonotic

Subjects: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). Epidemic Intelligence Service; Contagion (Motion picture : 2011); Influenza; National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (U.S.). Influenza Division; Pennsylvania; United States. Public Health Service. Commissioned Corps

00:27:45 - Modeling work on CDC’s Ebola response/Notification of potential deployment

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Partial Transcript: This is all—it’s just a bit of a blur because I was with DGMQ, and I had taken a position with

Keywords: Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ); M. Jhung; M. Meltzer; Modeling Task Force; PHS; Team One; USPHS; anxiety; data; deployments; e-mail; fear; fiancé; modeling; models; news media; prediction; projections; statistics; trepidation

Subjects: Guinea; United States. Public Health Service

00:36:15 - Training for work in the Monrovia Medical Unit

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about what happens as far as training.

Keywords: Doctors without Borders; Ebola treatment units (ETUs); G. Raczniak; MSF; air conditioning; climate; heat; infection prevention and control (IPC); low-resource settings; personal protective equipment (PPE)

Subjects: Anniston (Ala.); Emory University Hospital; Médecins sans frontières (Association)

00:42:53 - Arrival in Monrovia and orientation to Monrovia Medical Unit

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Partial Transcript: A week. Okay, and then what happens?

Keywords: A. Marrero; Ebola treatment units (ETUs); accidents; airplane; beds; climate; commuting; construction; contingencies; cots; design; drills; fear; flight; hospital; living quarters; logistics; mosquito nets; personal protective equipment (PPE); planning; preparation; safety; schedule; security; sleep; temperature; touch; training; weather

Subjects: United States. Department of Defense; United States. Marine Corps

00:52:20 - Training at International Medical Corps ETU in Bong County

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Partial Transcript: Pretty early, I don’t know if it was my first or second week or something like that, I got to go to the ETU in Bong.

Keywords: Ebola treatment units (ETUs); IMC; S. Hatch; children; cross-cultural; culture; doctor-patient relationships; food; hand print wall; meals ready to eat (MREs); observation; partners; patients; survivors; training; trauma

Subjects: Bong County (Liberia); International Medical Corps

00:59:15 - The first patient in the Monrovia Medical Unit

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Partial Transcript: And then you come back to Monrovia?

Keywords: admissions; briefing; communication; creativity; culture; debriefs; dehydration; doctor-patient relationships; doffing; drinking; hotwash; hydration; infection prevention and control (IPC); interviews; medical history; monitoring and evaluation (M&E); oral rehydration solution (ORS); patients; personal protective equipment (PPE); protocols; recaps; routines; teamwork

Subjects: Emory University Hospital

01:11:30 - Conversing with patients

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Partial Transcript: I know that obviously the main problem was Ebola, but were there mental health assessments going on, or treatments of any kind?

Keywords: conversations; doctor-patient relationships; humanity; language; mental health; personal protective equipment (PPE)

01:16:42 - Scaling up activities at MMU/Altering procedures

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Partial Transcript: Getting back to the timeline, you had the first patient, you started getting more and more. What further developments take place?

Keywords: Doctors without Borders; Ebola treatment units (ETUs); Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA); MSF; dehydration; diagnostics; electronics; equipment; hydration; machines; numbers; protocols; safety; treatments

Subjects: Anniston (Ala.); Médecins sans frontières (Association)

01:23:00 - The nurse who had a needle stick exposure

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Partial Transcript: Any other interactions with patients that come to mind?

Keywords: Ebola treatment units (ETUs); IV; brother; choir; death; deterioration; doctor-patient relationships; exposures; family; healthcare workers; intravenous line; needle sticks; nurses; singing; sister; viral load; witness

01:33:12 - Honoring the dead/Keeping morale up

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Partial Transcript: I know that doing services for everyone who died in the MMU was probably therapeutic, to some degree, for you guys who were in there.

Keywords: S. Peng; camaraderie; friendships; hand print wall; mental health; paint; resilience; singing; soldiers; survivors; teamwork; war

01:38:21 - Designing a safe Ebola ward/Forging friendships with colleagues

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Partial Transcript: I wanted to go back to, when you were talking about training—or not training, I’m sorry. Well, yeah, partially training.

Keywords: C. Perdue; G. Raczniak; S. Peng; day shift; design; engineering; minimalism; night shift; personal protective equipment (PPE); safety; staffing

01:44:21 - Caring for patients in a nonmedical sense

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Partial Transcript: Coming around again to the medical and nonmedical things that you’re keeping in mind, it seems

Keywords: care; communication; connection; doctor-patient relationships; empathy; families; humanity; limitations; listening; loneliness; sympathy

01:47:58 - Training the next team/Writing up protocols

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about any developments as you’re wrapping up your service.

Keywords: Team One; Team Two; food; meals ready to eat (MREs); nutrition; teaching; techniques; training

01:50:28 - Returning to the United States/Final reflections

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Partial Transcript: What was it like coming home?

Keywords: 21 days; EOC; M. Jhung; PHS; Team Four; Team One; Team Three; Team Two; adjusting; airplane; data; fear; flu; food; grief; grieving; infection prevention and control (IPC); intermediaries; lessons learned; numbers; people; psychology; statistics; touch; translation; travel; twenty-one days

Subjects: Anniston (Ala.); CDC Emergency Operations Center; Influenza; United States. Public Health Service