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North GA – The North Georgia Health District is pleased to announce the recent recognition and distinguished honors bestowed upon two esteemed members of our epidemiology staff.

The Rollins Epidemiology Fellowship Program, under Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, is a two-year fellowship that places early career epidemiologists in Georgia's state and local health departments. Its mission is to enhance Georgia’s state and local public health programs by training exceptional epidemiologists who passionately serve their communities through critical surveillance, outbreak response, and general public health practice.

Ashley Deverell with Rollins Epi Fellowship Award webAshley Deverell, Rollins Epidemiology Fellowship 2023 Outstanding Supervisor Award RecipientThe Rollins Epidemiology Fellows owe their success to the exceptional supervisors at the public health district sites. Therefore, Ashley Deverell, our district Infectious Disease Director, was recognized with the prestigious 2023 Outstanding Supervisor Award for her unwavering dedication to her fellows, department, and community. Ashley was honored for setting a remarkable example by investing time in building strong relationships with each fellow and staff member. She prioritizes their strengths and well-being, consistently going above and beyond to support her team and the communities they serve.

When fellows at the North Georgia Health District were asked to evaluate their experiences with their supervisor, Ashley surpassed expectations across all measures, earning high praise from all three fellows.

Fellow Tori Roy said, “Ashley is great at communicating. She’s very clear and offers constructive feedback and support even outside her regular business hours. She allows freedom to work on and develop projects to benefit the district and is very open to suggestions.”

TW AD BW Rollins Fellowship Award webRollins Epidemiologist Fellowship Award recipients Theresa Williams & Ashley Deverell pose with Adjunct Fellow Bridget WalshAdjunct fellow Bridget Walsh said, “Ashley has been an outstanding supervisor in a multitude of ways. She is first and foremost a brilliant public health professional who is consistently looking for additional ways to serve the community. She has fostered my interest in outreach efforts by helping me get in touch with community leaders. She innately trusts her employees and supports our endeavors. Her support, intelligence, creative problem solving, and diplomacy among community leaders has set my coworkers and me up for success time and time again.”

Even shortly after starting as a fellow for the health district, Epidemiologist Theresa Williams observed, “Ashley leads by example. She takes time to develop a relationship with each member of her staff and focuses on their strengths and well-being. She sees the best in everyone and strives to help them reach their fullest potential. I have only known Ashley for a few short years but in that time she went from being the vaccine coordinator to taking on the role of Infectious Disease director for District 1-2 where the other fellows and I have gotten to see her blossom into someone we all strive to be like. At the height of the pandemic, she was a champion of vaccination, even vaccinating the homebound in their homes with her own two hands. She advised school nurses, nursing home directors, nurses, physicians, superintendents, principals, and TV news crews during the COVID-19 surge and again during the Monkey Pox epidemic. She consistently not only shows up for us, but she goes above and beyond for the good of her staff and the good of the communities we serve. If anyone deserves to be recognized for being an outstanding supervisor, it's Ashley Deverell!”

Theresa Williams with Rollins Epi Fellowship Award webTheresa Williams, Rollins Epidemiology Fellowship 2023 Impact Award RecipientTheresa Williams was also honored by the Rollins Epidemiology Fellowship Program with the 2023 Impact Award
 for her outstanding contributions to improving health outcomes and reducing the burden of disease in the North Georgia Health District. As a valuable member of the epidemiologic team, Theresa was recognized for demonstrating exceptional productivity. Notably, she has excelled in investigating enteric diseases and has also taken the initiative to cross-train COVID-19 case investigators to assist with other disease investigations. Thanks to her efforts, the district now has the necessary capacity to effectively conduct disease investigations for COVID-19 cases and for foodborne and waterborne diseases.

According to her supervisor, Ashley Deverell, “Theresa is the lead point-of-contact for COVID-19 within our school and daycare systems. She has excellent rapport with our local partners. She also manages our enteric disease program which ensures timely interviews for patients who are affected by enteric diseases such as salmonella and campylobacteriosis. Thanks to her work within our district, we are 100 percent on attempts to contact our patients for interviews. I am proud of how she has cross-trained COVID-19 case investigators to assist with enteric investigations and interviews.”

We hope everyone will join us in congratulating these deserving award recipients and in recognizing the significant contributions they have provided to the public in north Georgia.

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