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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast


Episode #110 Interview with Dielda Robertson, MPH, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

Learn From Dielda’s 28 Year Career In Public Health

Today’s guest is Dielda J Robertson, who has 28 years experience in public health. We discuss her extensive background where she served in viral hepatitis prevention and coordination, women’s health, bioterrorism, emergency preparedness and response, as well as several years as a laboratory scientist.

About Dielda J. Robertson, Master of Public Health

Dielda J Robertson, MPH , is a Public Health Account Manager for OraSure Technologies, Inc. with 8 states in her territory (LA, MS, AR, MO, IL, KS, IA & NE). She previously worked for the LA Office of Public Health (OPH), Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IDE) Section as an Epidemiologist Specialist and The Louisiana (LA) Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator (AVHPC). Ms. Robertson has 28 years of experience in public health which includes 13 years in Viral Hepatitis prevention and coordination; 5 years in Women’s Health and Prevention; 5 years in Bioterrorism Emergency Preparedness and Response and several years as a Laboratory Scientist.

She has served as a subject matter expert, community stakeholder liaison and epidemiologist specialist for the Viral Hepatitis Program within OPH/IDE. She provided the technical expertise necessary for the management, coordination and integration of activities directed toward the prevention of viral hepatitis infections. Her expertise includes the integration of HCV clinics within Federally Qualified Health Centers, as well as HIV/AIDS clinical based organizations. Ms. Robertson also worked to identify HCV resources, developed and implemented HCV training programs, provided technical assistance to providers, and supported stakeholder engagement.

She has served as a member and Vice Chair of New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council (NORAPC) and was a member of the LA Community Planning Group. She secured one of eight competitive grants from ASTHO (Association of State and Territorial Health Officers) to develop an HCV Epidemiological Pro le for Louisiana. She has served as an expert hepatitis trainer and consultant with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide the trainer programs for peer inmates and currently works with the Re-Entry staff and inmates at Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) to provide HCV training. She has served on several Steering Committees for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), planning committees and been a national speaker at several HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and Correctional conferences.

Ms. Robertson also: 1) served on The White House Drug Policy Workgroup to understand and reduce opioid mortality; 2) served on the LA State Epidemiology Workgroup tasked with bringing data on substance use, misuse and related behavioral problems to the forefront of the prevention planning process and 3) serves as Co-chair of the Louisiana Hepatitis Coalition. Prior to her position as the AVHPC, she served as Coroner Surveillance Epidemiologist for the Louisiana Bioterrorism Program where she developed, implemented and maintained Louisiana’s Syndromic Surveillance System for unexplained illnesses and deaths. Her subject areas of expertise include HCV (including HCV/HIV coinfected populations), bioterrorism preparedness and women’s health.

Dielda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry with minors in Biology and Mathematics from Southern University in New Orleans, and received her MPH from Walden University in Minneapolis.

Bored In Biochemistry Lab to An Impactful Career In Public Health

Dielda’s journey into public health began after becoming bored in a Biochemistry Lab. Feeling she was not reaching her potential, she became interested in public health. Her desire to make a difference in marginalized population led her building the career she has now. Her lab skills from chemistry translated well because of her experience collecting samples, reading medical records, and lab results when working on outbreaks. Dielda’s background in biology helped with disease etiology, transmission, signs/symptoms and how the body reacts under certain conditions.

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Advice From 28 Years Of Experience in Public Health

For students:

  • Be passionate

  • Internet or capstone to gain experience.

  • Learn career options.

  • Network hard, always!

For graduates:

  • Network, network, network!

  • Consider relocating for career opportunities.

  • Internet or capstone.

Connect with Dielda Jackson Robertson, MPH

Tweet her at @djrob318

Find her on Instagram: @djrob318


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