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The Emory COVID-19 Response Collaborative: Podcast with “Pracademic” Dr. Allison Chamberlain

by Molly Gutilla, DrPH, MS


Public Health Pracademics explores the intersection between academia and practice with an eye toward recognizing those already bridging this gap and encouraging others to embrace efforts to link science and practice.

With all that we have to work on right now, from racism to COVID-19, and the intersection of these two, I can hardly think of a better time to talk about how pracademic work is essential to creating change in public health. I’m happy to be able to talk with Dr. Allison Chamberlain today, in our first pracademic podcast, about a new project she’s working on that sits right at the intersection of academia and public health practice. Dr. Chamberlain is leading a team that recently received funding at Emory University to work with the Georgia Department of Public Health and create the Emory COVID-19 Response Collaborative.

In a previous guest post, Dr. Chamberlain shared some of her life experiences as a pracademic, working as both a faculty member at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and as an epidemiology consultant to the Fulton County Board of Health in Atlanta. 

Our podcast conversation focuses on the importance of partnerships and how her existing working relationship between Emory and Georgia’s state health department facilitated the creation of this new collaborative. We also discuss the wonderful opportunity this initiative provides to students, as well as faculty; the power of data to drive decisions and action in public health practice; and more. Please listen to our full conversation below.

Related Research in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice:

Molly J. Gutilla, DrPH, MS, is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University, Colorado School of Public Health. She works to have her feet, head, and heart on the academic campus and immersed in public health practice. She has worked on campuses including The Ohio State University, Williams College and the University of Colorado. She also spends time in public health practice, working as a practitioner in both urban and rural local public health, with the state health department, and alongside the non-profit community in Colorado. LinkedIn

Allison Chamberlain, PhD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) in Atlanta, GA. An infectious disease epidemiologist, her research focuses on promotion of preventive health interventions like vaccines and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV. She has done extensive research in maternal vaccine promotion, and she also has a background in public health preparedness. She directs the Emory Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research, within which Emory’s new Emory Covid-19 Response Collaborative resides. Dr. Chamberlain teaches an elective course on Public Health Preparedness and Practice and serves as the faculty advisor for the Emory Student Outbreak Response Team [sortemory.wordpress.com] (SORT), a competitive student-led organization established to provide student members with hands-on training and research experiences in preparedness and outbreak response.

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