Friday, November 15, 2013

New Faces on the Disease Intervention Specialist Team

The Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV section here at the Department has recently brought on five new Disease Intervention Specialists(DIS) to help with Partner Services. The new team, having started in July, has gone through months of training and brings in a wealth of experience and talent. We would like to take the next few posts here to introduce them.

Lisa

Lisa is a native of Colorado, born in Denver, and was 18 when she entered public health as a clerk for the Tuberculosis Clinic at Denver Health. There she was trained to draw blood and perform skin tests. She was quickly promoted to a Senior Clinical Care Associate at Denver Health’s Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic, a position she held for 7 years, screening, diagnosing and counseling for STDs. During her time at Denver Health she worked closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Disease Intervention Specialists. When a DIS position opened up she knew it would be a good career step for her.

In her role as DIS, Lisa hopes to add case management to her skill set while continuing to work directly with HIV positive and at-risk populations. “I love the population that we work with,” she says. At home she enjoys her time with her son and daughter, and playing sports of all kinds, especially volleyball and indoor soccer. So far, she loves the DIS team she is working with and is taking the future as it comes. She has no set career goals on the horizon, but is very happy with the direction she is headed.

Jessica

Jessica is also coming to the DIS team having been a Medical Assistant with the STD Clinic at Denver Health, where she worked for over 6 years. For her first few years in the health field Jessica worked part time for a family practice while training and working for Denver Health’s STD Clinic before moving to full time there. At the family practice, she worked with teens and developed an appreciation for sexual health advising and counseling. STI/HIV intervention was not a career path she chose so much as fell into, and she is happy she did.

In her time outside of work she is the mother of two boys who prove to be a handful. She was raised in Mexico, spent time in Texas and has lived in Colorado for 12 years. She is looking forward to having a chance to settle into her new position and develop her skills in intervention. The biggest change she is facing so far is the fear her clients sometimes have for being contacted by the CDPHE. “Being a DIS is really challenging and it’s a great direction for me,” she says. “It’s similar to what I’ve done, but it is a different perspective.”

Check back next week to see what Jesse, Lindsay and Theo are bringing to the team. Thanks for reading!

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