UIC COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Epidemiology Program
During the summer of 2020, UIC moved forward with a hybrid reopening plan for the fall semester. While the majority of students would not return for in-person learning, about one-third would physically touch the campus for in-person class. In addition to social distancing, mask-wearing, and disinfecting, UIC also decided to implement a campus surveillance testing program in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among UIC’s community members.
This surveillance testing program utilizes a saliva PCR test. Testing is open to all faculty, staff, and students who can test up to once a week. There are several groups that are required to test weekly: students in campus housing, athletics, and performing arts. This campus testing program is linked with a contact tracing program housed in the School of Public Health’s Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, to leverage the expert knowledge of the division. The program is staffed by UIC graduate and undergraduate students, many from the UIC School of Public Health. In September, its first month of operation, CCTEP identified and contained four small case clusters on campus. Three of these involved small student social gatherings and another arose among employees in an outpatient clinical area.
COVID-19 testing and contact tracing quick links
|Sunday||01:00pm – 06:00pm|
|Monday||10:00am – 09:00pm|
|Tuesday||10:00am – 09:00pm|
|Wednesday||10:00am – 09:00pm|
|Thursday||10:00am – 09:00pm|
|Friday||10:00am – 09:00pm|
|Saturday||10:00am – 09:00pm|
Meet the Contact Tracers
Daniel Antonio is a BA in Public Health student at the UIC School of Public Health with interests in chronic disease epidemiology and health disparities among marginalized populations, specifically how community and individual characteristics can produce unequal health outcomes. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a master’s degree in epidemiology and continue working within the public health workforce as a contact tracer or research assistant.
Chloe Edminston is an MPH in Epidemiology student at the UIC School of Public Health. Her interests in public health lie in the intersection between infectious diseases and health disparities in the US, especially the study of neglected infectious diseases among underserved and marginalized populations. After finishing her MPH, she plans to attend medical school and use her public health expertise to better understand the unique circumstances which patients and communities she will serve live, work and learn in.
Miriam Hoffmann is an MS in Occupational Therapy student at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences. As a future occupational therapist, she seeks to promote the health and holistic wellbeing of her communities. As a member of the UIC community, she strive to put forth efforts on campus navigating the safest pathways to handling the challenges of the present. In her professional future, she is considering devoting her practice to working with older adults, though she is truly interested in all of the many settings and patient populations she has been introduced to.
Dr. Sayena Jabbehdari is an MPH in Epidemiology student at the UIC School of Public Health. Her interests lie in preventive disease epidemiology and learning about different health inequities and disparities. She became interested in public health as a medical doctor since she has had exposure to a diverse patient population. She is so excited to be a part of the School of Public Health community by contributing in public health in Chicago.
Lizzy Jang is an MS in Occupational Therapy student at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences. Her interests lie in precision medicine and personalizing treatment to each individual’s health history, lifestyle, and environment. As a future occupational therapist, she seeks to pursue a holistic approach in helping individuals live meaningful lives within their unique contexts. She is interested in immersing herself in a wide variety of settings to provide culturally conscious, patient-centered care.
Emily Jimenez is an MPH student in Epidemiology at the UIC School of Public Health. She worked as an optician for over five years. As an optician, she strived to make sure all community members had equal access to care which sparked her interest in public health. After graduating, she hopes to work as a data scientist and use statistical methods to show the impacts of social and structural determinants of health.
Kara Nitti is a PhD in Epidemiology student at the UIC School of Public Health. Her research interests lie in global health and infectious disease. Domestically, she manages a multi-site randomized controlled trial assessing the efficacy of a mobile health application on medication adherence among African-American men who have sex with men and individuals living with HIV. Internationally, she has field experience in Honduras and Mexico and was recently awarded a global health scholarship to help support HIV research in India. She plans to use her skill set to improve health outcomes as an infectious disease epidemiologist.
Hope Orsi is a BS in Public Health student at the UIC School of Public Health. Her interests lie in infectious disease epidemiology and disparities among marginalized populations. She is passionate about building upon the work that makes good health, both mental and physical, attainable for all communities. Upon graduation, she aims to enter an MD/MPH program and to eventually work as an infectious disease specialist.
Sarah Rappe is an MPH in Epidemiology student at the UIC School of Public Health. She is currently working at the research communications center at the Breathe Chicago Center collecting outcomes data for an ACTIV-4 clinical trial evaluating anti-thrombotics and their use for COVID-related complications. Her main focus area is the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in prisons, health surveillance systems and care for people who are incarcerated. Upon graduation, she hope to use statistical methods to measure the impact of policing on mental and physical health.
Lesley Sahagun is an MS in Occupational Therapy student at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences. She is interested in addressing the health disparities that individuals across the lifespan face and collaborating with marginalized populations through client-centered care. As a future occupational therapist, she aims to explore pediatrics but would love to diversify her experiences by connecting with various patient populations.
Neslihan Sen is a PhD in Anthropology student at the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She conducted her dissertation fieldwork in Turkey with women who are diagnosed with a specific sexual disorder, vaginismus, which is the inability to engage in penile-vaginal intercourse. In her dissertation, she explores the relationships between sexuality, women’s bodies, biomedical authority and political processes in contemporary Turkey. She critically analyzes biomedical interventions in women’s lives and the ways in which women negotiate this authority. She is very excited to be a part of the contact tracing team and to put her qualitative data collection skills to use.
Natalie Siegel is an MPH in Epidemiology student at the UIC School of Public Health. Her interests lie in infectious disease epidemiology and the structural determinants of health. She is passionate about how and why health and social justice intersect and hopes to build a career around answering those questions. She is thrilled to be a part of the School of Public Health community and to have opportunities to contribute to local public health efforts in Chicago.
Liliana Tirado Lopez is a BS in Neuroscience and pre-medicine student at the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She aims to pursue a career as a physician in the neurology, surgical or oncology fields. She is extremely passionate about innovation in healthcare and finding ways to merge technology and medicine together to create new pathways and possibilities. She advocates for underrepresented groups in STEM and healthcare and for affordable, more accessible high quality healthcare that is comprehensive and holistic.
Morgan Turner is an MPH in Epidemiology student at the UIC School of Public Health. She became interested in public health as an undergraduate when she began shadowing a health educator at her local health center. She remains interested in learning about different health inequities and disparities different communities face. Her goal is to finish her master’s and start working in the healthcare field, researching ways to fill these gaps in the healthcare system that impact different communities.
Hoang Vo is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing student at the UIC College of Nursing. During the pandemic, he has worked as an emergency medical technician for Medex Ambulance, providing care for those who need to be transported for testing or brought home from treatment. His main interest is becoming a registered nurse in the emergency department, focusing on patient advocacy and patient centered care.
Jacy Wasoski is an MPH in Epidemiology student at the UIC School of Public Health. Her interests lie in in infectious disease epidemiology. Throughout the pandemic, she has worked at the Illinois Department of Public Health state lab to help with testing and with the Skokie Health Department to help with surveillance of COVID-19 in nursing homes. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in communicable disease surveillance at a local or state health department.
Elliot Weiss is an MPH in Epidemiology student at the UIC School of Public Health. Before pursuing his MPH, Elliot worked as an EMT for MedEx Ambulance, where he provided care and transport to patients between healthcare facilities. During the pandemic, Elliot has interned with the Skokie Health Department, where he performed contact tracing and assisted with data analytics. His interests lie in infectious disease epidemiology, and upon graduation, he hopes to work in public health data analytics.