A great experience to join the excellent world-class program CDC Public Health Emergency Management Fellowship Training Program, Cohort 16
I would like to share my experience with the Public Health Emergency Management Fellowship Training Program (PHEM). Let me introduce myself first; my name is Paninee Panyakarn.
I am an alumna of the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) in Batch 40, which focused on COVID-19, in Thailand. Batch 40 holds a special meaning for me as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Thailand FETP's collaboration with the US CDC, under the concept of "40 years 2 Nations 2 gether 4 Health." This batch has provided me with valuable insights into the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why I refer to it as Batch COVID-19.
After FETP, I took on the role of a medical epidemiologist at the hospital located at the border site. My vision is centered around preparing for and effectively responding to public health emergency events. As we all know, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on various aspects worldwide, including public areas, the economy areas, etc. Initially, we had limited knowledge about the disease, but its effects became widespread. The term “Public Health Emergency” refer to an abnormal situation that arises either naturally or due to human activities, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDC established PHEM fellowship program in 2013. The goal of PHEM program was to provide fellows with comprehensive training in public health emergency management frameworks, functions, staff, and program elements. Additionally, the program aimed to offer detailed exposure to the functioning of a Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC). As a fellow, one becomes a key driver of public health emergency response efforts.
From the PHEM program, I am gaining experience both hard skills and soft skills. In terms of hard skills, I am learning the principles of “Public Health Emergency Management” and actively applying the theory to the current situation in my country. In regard to soft skills, I am immersing myself in different cultures and languages. I have had the pleasure of meeting friends from three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. Our cohort consists of 21 individuals from 14 countries, and we regularly share our experiences, feelings, and motivations with each other, including the PHEM staff. One thing we all have in common is a shared goal: to work together as a multidisciplinary team and promptly address public health emergency issues.
After graduating from this program, I will return to my workplace and focus on conducting the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for vector-borne diseases such as malaria, and dengue fever at the sub-national level.
The next step for me is to maintain communication with my cohort members and expand our knowledge in public health emergency management, passing it on to the next generation of public health professionals. Friendship has no boundaries, Friendship knows no boundaries
Course: PHEM Fellowship
Time: March 20–May 26, 2023
Place: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Person: Paninee Panyakarn, MD, MPH
1Strategy and planning Division of Ministry of Public Health. MOPH-TUC Co-Unit [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 10]; Available from: http://tuc-counit.moph.go.th/.
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Health Emergency Management Fellowship [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Jun 10]; Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/orr/eoc/EmergencyManagementFellowship.htm.