COVID-19 Community Engagement

Many of our Zilber School of Public Health faculty and students are providing their time, energy and expertise to help our communities address the COVID-19 epidemic.

Epidemiology and data analysis for the City of Milwaukee Health Department
Dr. Lorraine Halinka Malcoe is volunteering her expertise in epidemiology and data analysis to the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s efforts to address COVID-19.
North Shore Health Department contact tracing and data analysis
Amanda Her, an MPH student in the Epidemiology track, is working with the North Shore Health Department to assist with contact tracing and analyze death certificate data to assess increases in deaths due to other causes before and during the pandemic.
Milwaukee Health Department emergency response planning
Kyla Quigley, an MPH student in the Epidemiology track, is working with the Milwaukee Health Department as part of her field experience, and assisting in emergency response planning for COVID-19.
Epidemiology in an outbreak
Dr. Helen Meier presented “Epidemiology in an Outbreak” on May 6, 2020 at Data You Can Use’s Health Data User Groups quarterly meeting. Dr. Meier’s presentation covered the topic of using plain language to explain how the data, tools and methods of epidemiology are put to work to keep communities safe in a pandemic. You can view a video of the meeting here.
Milwaukee County Unified Emergency Operations Center Epidemiology Intelligence team
Dr. Amanda Simanek and Dr. Mustafa Hussein are members of the Epidemiology Intelligence team for the Milwaukee County Unified Emergency Operations Center (April 8th-present). This group consists of faculty and staff from Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) who were funded by Wisconsin American Health Education Care, Milwaukee County public health officials and selected Zilber School faculty. The group meets weekly to discuss data-related issues, a weekly report on COVID-19 for use by County health departments and other ad hoc reports drafted on topics such as County level projections, effects of in-person voting, and recent outbreaks that are produced by MCW staff.
UW System Plan Ahead Team, Public Health Subteam
Dr. Amanda Simanek was a member of the UW System Plan Ahead Team, and specifically the Public Health subteam (April 27th-May 31st 2020). This team was tasked with planning regarding how and when students, staff and faculty can return to campus and how to protect individuals while on campus and monitor trends.
Public health media expert
Dr. Amanda Simanek has served as a featured expert for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (May 20th-present) “Ask the Experts” column on COVID-19, by John Diedrich, in which she answers reader questions related to COVID-19. Dr. Simanek has also served as a featured media expert for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Division of University Relations & Communications, Media Services (March 13th-present). This has included responding to media inquiries related to topics such as public health strategies, managing the COVID-19 crisis, how COVID-19 is transmitted, preventative measures that people can take to protect themselves, the importance of social distancing and more.
Outside expert, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wisconsin
Dr. Amanda Simanek and Dr. Lorraine Halinka Malcoe served as outside experts for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wisconsin in April, 2020. Dr. Simanek and Dr. Halinka Malcoe provided an affidavit for ACLU in support of the need for decarceration as a means to enable social distancing in Wisconsin prisons and jails.
Dr. Simanek also participated in a Facebook live session for ACLU WI to discuss the challenges of social distancing in prison and jails.