Alum, Jasie Logsdon Hearn, Leads Clinical Epidemiology Division at the Virginia Department of Health
University of Kentucky College of Public Health alum, Jasie Logsdon Hearn (MPH ’03), is the epitome of being a "health champion" in her current role as the Director, Division of Clinical Epidemiology (DCE) at the Virginia Department of Health in Richmond, Virginia.
The Division of Clinical Epidemiology consists of three programs, which are the Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance (HAI/AR), Newcomer Health, and Tuberculosis (TB). It is one of the newest division in the Office of Epidemiology and has been heavily involved in the response to COVID-19 as well as Operation Allies Welcome, which is the U.S. government’s operation to evacuate and resettle individuals from Afghanistan.
"The [DCE] is a unique division because it houses one of the oldest public health programs and one of the newest," says Jasie. "As the Division Director, I am responsible for setting the overall strategic direction and oversight for the division and the programs. I am an advocate for the division's programs, working to leverage resources and assets to enhance our programs and identify ways to collaborate to protect health and promote the well-being of all people in Virginia."
Jasie began her Master of Public Health (MPH) in the fall of 2001, shortly before the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.
“The events of 9/11 shaped the rest of my time at the University of Kentucky and subsequently shaped a significant portion of my career,” Jasie says. “I knew that I could positively impact the lives of others as an epidemiologist – quickly initiating investigations to identify the source of the illness, implementing controls to prevent the spread, and educating people about the illness and how to prevent it.”
Jasie says that one of her favorite things about public health is that there is always something new to learn and opportunities to grow throughout your career. Since graduating with her MPH degree in 2003, she has achieved several career milestones, which reflect her desire to infuse public health and crisis preparedness. Some of these accomplishments include:
- Working with Lake Cumberland District Health Department to respond to the H1N1 influenza pandemic through the coordination of community and school vaccination clinics across 10 Kentucky counties
- Establishing full-time Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator Positions at the Kentucky Department for Public Health to coordinate the state’s healthcare coalitions to prepare, respond, and recover from significant public health events;
- Completing a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School (Center for Homeland Defense and Security) to learn more about America’s vulnerability to the full range of homeland security threats and potential catastrophic events;
- Receiving awards and recognition from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, including the Proactive Approach Award for her division in 2018 and the Public Health Preparedness Branch Employee of the Year Award in 2019.
Reflecting on what it means to be a health champion, Jasie says, "Someone who is an inspiration, a leader, and inspires others to be healthier. They inspire others who are currently in the field to do more or be more. They are committed to the advancement of public health and those who work in the field, with the goal of leaving it better than they found it."
At the UK College of Public Health, the college builds health champions every day that improve the lives of everyone in Kentucky and beyond through robust research, transformative learning, and service. Learn more at cph.uky.edu.