CITC Newsletter - Summer 2024

An electronic newsletter from the Curry International Tuberculosis Center (CITC)

Highlights from UCSF World TB Day Symposium and CITC 30th anniversary celebration

On March 22, 2024, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) presented the annual World TB Day Symposium co-hosted by the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis and CITC. The day-long event also marked the 30th anniversary of the founding of CITC.

The symposium’s theme, Lessons from the Past and the Way Forward – Perspectives from Early-Stage Investigators (ESIs), Patients, and Communities, featured presentations and panel discussions by TB Research Advancement Center's ESIs, patient advocates, and leaders in TB research, policy, clinical and programmatic practice, and advocacy.

CITC’s 30-year history as a center of excellence for TB training, education, and medical consultation was also a major focal point for the event. In her opening remarks, CITC Principal Investigator Lisa Chen, MD, said the Center’s “secret for success” is rooted in the founders’ dedication to “the marriage of academia and public health, working hand in hand to help augment, grow, and optimize regional expertise in TB care and prevention.”

Two illustrious keynote speakers took a retrospective view. CITC co-founder Phil Hopewell, MD, spoke about the legacy of the Center’s namesake, Dr. Francis Curry [1911-1996] and several decades of TB research performed in San Francisco. Kenneth Castro, MD, Emory University professor and former director of the CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, noted “the past is prologue” as he traced TB trends in the U.S. since 1985.

Drs. Hopewell and Castro joined CITC co-founder Gisela Schechter, MD, MPH, and UCSF professor George Rutherford, MD, MA, to recreate a photo taken in June 1994 when CITC first opened its doors.

Grand opening of the Curry Center, June 1994. Seated [l to r]: Gisela Schecter, Francis J. Curry, Kenneth Castro. Standing [l to r]: George Rutherford, Phil Hopewell. [Photo: CITC archive]

Grand opening of the Curry Center, June 1994. Seated [l to r]: Gisela Schecter, Francis J. Curry, Kenneth Castro. Standing [l to r]: George Rutherford, Phil Hopewell. [Photo: CITC archive]

CITC 30th anniversary celebration, 2024

CITC 30th anniversary celebration, 2024


Over 200 people watched the symposium online. Among the nearly 100 participants who attended in person (at the UCSF Mission Bay campus in San Francisco) were many faculty and staff affiliated with CITC during its 30-year history. 

Faculty, staff, and colleagues – past and present – celebrate CITC’s 30th anniversary.>
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Faculty, staff, and colleagues – past and present – celebrate CITC’s 30th anniversary.

View the archived recording of the symposium.

National TB conference convenes TB community 

The 2024 National TB Conference, jointly sponsored by the National TB Coalition of America (NTCA) and The Union-North American Region (NAR), was held on April 16-19 in Baltimore, Maryland. The event was an opportunity to share innovations, network with professional peers, and honor outstanding colleagues. CITC’s Dr. Lisa Chen, President of The Union-NAR, welcomed over 400 TB advocates, survivors, scientists, clinicians, and program managers from throughout North America and the Pacific Islands. The conference agenda was dedicated to clinician, nursing, and epidemiology tracks, a TB survivor workshop, symposia focused on Stop TB US and Canada, TB prevention, advances in TB diagnosis and treatment, contact investigations, isolation guidelines, post-TB sequalae, and approaches to reduce TB among native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. 

Julie Higashi, NTCA “TB Controller of the Year”The NTCA and NAR awards ceremony on April 17 was a highlight of the conference. CITC congratulates all award recipients, and spotlights awardees from CITC’s western region. NTCA named Julie Higashi, MD, PhD as “TB Controller of the Year.” Dr. Higashi, a longtime CITC faculty associate, directs the Los Angeles County TB Control Program.  
Julie Higashi, NTCA “TB Controller of the Year” 
The NTCA Carol Pozsik TB Nursing Award went to Teresa Manalo, RN with the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services. Richard Brostrom, MD, MSPH was awarded the NTCA Dixie Snyder Award, that recognizes a CDC employee who has provided outstanding support to a state or local TB community. Dr. Brostrom supports TB care and prevention efforts in Hawaii and the USAPIs.  NTCA awardees Richard Brostrom (l) and Teresa Manalo (2nd from right) stand with NTCA Executive Director Donna Wegener and Guam TB Program Manager Chima Mbakwem. [photo courtesy of C. Mbakwem]
 NTCA awardees Richard Brostrom (l) and Teresa Manalo (2nd from right) stand with NTCA Executive Director Donna Wegener and Guam TB Program Manager Chima Mbakwem. [photo courtesy of C. Mbakwem] 
Barbara Seaworth [photo courtesy of HNTC]CITC applauds Barbara Seaworth, MD, FIDSA for receiving the NAR Lifetime Achievement Award. A longtime partner and colleague of CITC, Dr. Seaworth is Co-Medical Director of the Heartland National TB Center in San Antonio, Texas, expert consultant for the state of Texas and for the U.S/Mexico Binational Project, and a clinician for the San Antonio Metro TB Clinic.
Barbara Seaworth [photo courtesy of HNTC] 

CITC staff transitions

CITC welcomes a new senior nurse consultant and two new Warmline faculty members, and bids farewell to a longtime program manager.

Lisa True

Lisa True

In January, CITC welcomed Lisa True, RN, MS as the new Senior Nurse Consultant, filling the vacancy created when Ann Raftery joined the staff at the California Department of Public Health TB Control Branch (CDPH-TBCB). Ms. True brings a wealth of experience in TB nursing, clinical education, and global health to her role. For 16 years she served as MDR-TB Nurse at CDPH-TBCB, collaborating with a team of physicians and nurses to provide clinical and case management consultation for hundreds of MDR-TB cases in California. Ms. True joined the CITC training faculty in 2009 and co-authored (with Ms. Raftery) the “Monitoring and Case Management” chapter of Drug-Resistant TB: A Survival Guide for Clinicians, 3rd edition (a joint publication of CITC and CDPH). She was also a member of the CITC team that provided global drug-resistant TB technical assistance for the national programs of Tanzania and Indonesia. In her role as senior nurse consultant, Ms. True will coordinate content for CITC courses and advise the medical consultation team.
CITC’s Warmline TB medical consultation service welcomes two new faculty to its corps of over 30 volunteer consultants: Allison (Ally) Phillips, DNP, NP-C and John Szumowski, MD, MPH. Both expert clinicians are based in San Francisco: Ms. Phillips is a nurse practitioner at the San Francisco Department of Public Health TB Prevention and Control program, and Dr. Szumowski is Associate Professor of Medicine at the UCSF/Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.Ally Phillips [photo courtesy of SFDPH]John Szumowski [photo courtesy of UCSF]
Ally Phillips [photo courtesy of SFDPH]John Szumowski [photo courtesy of UCSF]


On June 27, 2024, longtime CITC team member Kay Wallis, MPH will retire from her position as program manager/Warmline administrator. Former CITC deputy director James Sederberg worked with Kay for 22 of her 28 years and they recently sat down to look back on her career at CITC/UCSF. 

 Kay Wallis
James Sederberg Kay Wallis

Kay, how and when did you join the Center staff?

In July 1996 the Center was 2 years old, and I was hired fresh out of grad school for a 6-month assignment as "distance learning coordinator" to produce a national course via satellite uplink. How archaic does that sound? Somehow, the gig evolved and stretched out 28 years.

What’s been the best thing about working at the Curry Center?

The best thing is the joy of working within the network of extraordinary professionals from public health and academic medicine who are affiliated with the Center. They bring such diverse skills and expertise to the mix, but they all embody the spirit of Francis J. Curry – excellence, dedication, humility, and grace. 
The core team of CITC staff is also phenomenal – smart, supportive, and fun. Not a stinker in the bunch.

Please tell me what drew you to the world of public health.

I came to public health not from an interest in medicine or science, but from a background in community social services. After college I worked at an agency serving survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and promoting child abuse prevention. A colleague encouraged me to check out the UC Berkeley School of Public Health – it offered an MPH program in community health education that was rooted in social justice theory. I applied and by some fluke was accepted. One of the best decisions I ever made was to commit 2 years of my life to that educational experience at Cal.

Who has been the biggest influence on your professional life? 

My husband, Juan Reardon, MD, MPH, has devoted his entire adult life to political, social, and community activism and organizing. Juan's a leftist from Latin America, and when it comes to subverting the dominant paradigm, those folks aren't kidding around. Over the years he made our dining room a hub for grassroots campaigns – everything from environmental justice and immigrant rights to electing progressive candidates to the city council. To me, these activities are the epitome of true public health.

You’ve coordinated courses, written and edited Curry publications (including this newsletter), served as faculty (focusing on cultural humility and patient-centered care) and overseen the TB Warmline consultation service — what are you most proud of?

It's been so gratifying to develop (with the amazing Stephanie Spencer at CDPH TB Control Branch) a new training course on health equity and collaborative care. The course expands on the concept of cultural humility and challenges learners to recognize the systemic, structural barriers to health faced by patients and communities. And how these barriers also impact health workers' ability to effectively collaborate with their patients. The day-to-day demands of curing and preventing TB can be so all-consuming – leaving us no room to name and confront the root causes of health inequities: poverty, systemic racism, and misaligned political priorities.

I'm also proud to have coordinated three editions of Drug-Resistant TB: A Survival Guide for Clinicians.

What was your most challenging assignment/ project? How did it go?

Remember in the late 1990s when Internet bandwidth was so narrow? Computer-based educational products with video content were delivered via CD-ROM. I was tasked with coordinating the production of an interactive CD-ROM based on the CDC's core curriculum. It involved working with multimedia programmers and video producers – I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Chuck Daley was the content expert, and he interrupted my crying jags with funny stories. Miraculously, that CD-ROM won an award.

What parts of your job do you enjoy the most? 

Well, health educators are all about process, so I like planning a program, product, or course from soup to nuts. Is there anything worse than an ill-conceived or badly executed project? One thing might be worse – sitting through a meeting with weak facilitation. I get a kick from facilitating groups that want to accomplish important things. It's also fun speaking with learners (in person) about meaningful topics. And I enjoy coaching colleagues to become better presenters.

What part of (semi) retirement are you most looking forward to?

Reviving my yoga practice. Advocating for the unhoused. Repainting the bathroom. Protesting the war machine. Meditate, agitate, repeat. You know, the usual.

[Note: James Sederberg retired from CITC/UCSF in 2019. In the fall of 2024, Kay Wallis will return part-time to the Curry Center to work on special projects.]

News and notes

CITC highlights three newsworthy items: NTCA releases new community isolation guidelines; the TB Education and Training Network (ETN) and TB Program Evaluation Network (PEN) Conference returns in September; CITC reprints Nursing Guide for Managing Side Effects to Drug-resistant TB Treatment; and Dr. Payam Nahid now leads the UCSF Institute for Global Health Studies.

NTCA releases community isolation guidelines

In April NTCA released Guidelines for Respiratory Isolation and Restrictions to Reduce Transmission of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Community Settings. These guidelines intend to fulfill the need for national guidance regarding respiratory isolation for community (i.e., non-healthcare and non-congregate) settings. In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the impact on individuals who are placed under strict respiratory isolation for prolonged durations, separated from their friends and families and being restricted from attending school, work or other activities. According to NTCA leadership, the guidelines were informed by a balanced representation of TB survivors and advocates, TB clinicians, TB public health practitioners, TB nurses, TB epidemiologists, researchers, and bioethicists.

TB Education and Training Network (ETN) and TB Program Evaluation Network (PEN) Conference returns, September 17-19, in Atlanta

The 2024 TB ETN and TB PEN Conference will take place September 17–19, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia, after a hiatus of several years. The conference is a unique opportunity for TB program staff to expand their understanding of TB education, training, and program evaluation, and to facilitate networking opportunities amongst conference attendees. In addition, the PEN Roundtable Session with CDC Program Evaluation Consultants will take place on September 17, and the ETN Focal Point meeting will be held September 18. Abstract submissions are due June 28, 2024. More information.

Print copies of Nursing Guide for Managing Side Effects to Drug-resistant TB Treatment now available

First released in 2018 in print and online, the guide is a collaborative project between CITC and the International Council of Nurses (ICN), developed by nurses with experience in the clinical care and programmatic management of TB and drug-resistant TB in both high- and low-resource settings. The original inventories of this popular product were quickly depleted and CITC is now accepting orders for the reprinted edition. The online version features translations in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French, Portuguese, and Bahasa Indonesia. 

 Nursing Guide co-authors (l to r): Ann Raftery, RN, PHN, MS; Carrie Tudor, PhD, MPH, RN; Catalina Navarro, BSN, RN; Lisa True, RN, MS 
 Nursing Guide co-authors (l to r): Ann Raftery, RN, PHN, MS; Carrie Tudor, PhD, MPH, RN; Catalina Navarro, BSN, RN; Lisa True, RN, MS 

Dr. Payam Nahid named executive director of the UCSF Institute for Global Health Studies

Payam Nahid [photo courtesy of UCSF]A highly regarded TB expert and UCSF community member for 20 years, Payam Nahid, MD, MPH is also a longtime CITC faculty member and Warmline consultant. He has made significant contributions to global TB care through NIH- and USAID-funded studies, along with his engagements with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He currently directs Clinical Trials Operations in the Office of Research, as well as the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis, and he oversees the Tuberculosis Research Advancement Center at UCSF and UC Berkeley, which supports TB investigators on both campuses.
Payam Nahid [photo courtesy of UCSF] 

Upcoming trainings

CITC’s schedule of upcoming trainings offers a variety of training opportunities for clinicians and public health providers.

Tuberculosis Nursing Workshop - Seattle
July 9, 2024
Seattle, Washington [in-person training]

Focus on LTBI - Seattle
July 10, 2024
Seattle, Washington [in-person training]

Tuberculosis Clinical Intensive - Seattle
July 11-12, 2024
Seattle, Washington [in-person training]

Fundamentals of Medical & Case Management of Drug-Susceptible TB
TB Case Management and Contact Investigation Core Training Module 3
July 17, 2024 [virtual training]

Bridges to Build: TB in the Pacific Islander Community within the Continental US
Summer 2024 [date TBA]

Focus on LTBI
October 7, 2024
Oakland, California [in-person training]

Tuberculosis Clinical Intensive
October 8-10, 2024
Oakland, California [in-person training]

Achieving Treatment Completion for Drug-Susceptible TB
TB Case Management and Contact Investigation Core Training Module 4
Fall 2024 [virtual training]

Toward Equity: Tools for Collaborative TB Case Management and Contact Investigation
TB Case Management and Contact Investigation Core Training Module 5
November 2024 [date TBA] [virtual training]

TB Case Management and Contact Investigation Intensive: Advanced Topics
TB Case Management and Contact Investigation Core Training Module 5
November 2024 [date TBA] [virtual training]

Toward Equity: Tools for Collaborative TB Case Management and Contact Investigation
Fall 2024 [date TBA]
San Francisco, California [in-person training]

For periodic updates on additional trainings, complete course descriptions, and application forms, visit the CITC training section.

About CITC

curry international tuberculosis center logo in aqua

CITC creates, enhances, and disseminates resources and models of excellence, and performs research to control and eliminate TB in the United States and internationally. The Curry Center opened in 1994 and is designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a TB Center of Excellence (TB COE) for the Western Region, serving Alaska, Arizona, California (including Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco), Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific Island Territories. Committed to the belief that everyone deserves the highest quality of care in a manner consistent with his or her culture, values and language, CITC develops and delivers highly versatile, culturally appropriate trainings, educational products, medical consultation, and technical assistance.

CITC staff

Principal Investigator / Medical Director: Lisa Chen, MD
Deputy Director: Kelly Musoke, MPH
Director of Education: Jeannie Fong
Senior Nurse Consultant: Lisa True, RN, MS
Nurse Educator: Colleen Hoehn, BSN, MPH
Program Manager: Amelia Alonis
Program Manager: Emily Mabry, MPH, CHES®
Program Assistant: Rewanshi Kumar
Web Developer: Mari Griffin, MS
Special Projects Manager/Newsletter Editor: Kay Wallis, MPH

Contact us

Curry International Tuberculosis Center
University of California, San Francisco
(510) 238-5100
Warmline TB Medical Consultation: 877-390-6682 (toll-free) or 415-502-4700
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