Catherine Troisi has been active with APHA since 2004, serving six years as Epidemiology Section Governing Councilor, two years as Epidemiology Programming Co-Chair, and currently Chair of the Action Board and Co-Chair of the Joint Policy Committee. As Chair of the Action Board, Cathy initiated a reorganization and filled vacant positions. Cathy has been a strong voice for public health with 14 published op eds and receiving the 2015 APHA Advocate of the Year Award. She testified before the US House of Representatives and Texas legislature regarding Ebola and public health funding. One of her skills is the ability to translate scientific concepts into language that is understandable to the general public, with over 100 media interviews on public health issues in the last three years
Cathy is a Fellow of the Texas Public Health Association (TPHA), where she served on the Governing Council and strategic planning committees and helped plan the 2011 Annual Conference. She received the 2010 TPHA Outstanding Service Award.
Cathy has extensive experience in scientific research, starting her academic career in the laboratory and academia and then moving to community work and public health practice. Cathy practiced public health for seven years at the Houston Health Department where she served in several roles including Assistant Director, working on policy development, collaborations with academic institutions, promotion of public health education for staff, and health department accreditation activities. This gives her a broad view of public health and allows her to “bridge the gap” between academia and practice while appreciating the contribution that both make to improving community health.
Dr. Troisi is currently Associate Professor (tenured) in the Divisions of Management, Policy, and Community Health and Epidemiology and coordinator for the Leadership Studies Concentration at the University of Texas School of Public Health where she teaches courses in public health and leadership. Her expertise is in infectious disease epidemiology and she has research grants in the areas of HIV and hepatitis. She also collaborates with the Houston/Harris County Coalition for the Homeless. Cathy holds a BA in Chemistry from the University of Rochester, an MS in Biochemistry from Michigan State University, and a PhD in Epidemiologic Sciences from the University of Michigan. She completed the National Public Health Leadership Training in 2011.
I entered the field of public health because I care deeply about science and social justice and felt this was the best way for me to serve the community. If fortunate enough to be elected to the Executive Board, I will draw from my strengths and experience to concentrate on three areas: advocacy, strategic planning, and collaboration.
First, our voices must be heard to protect and improve the public’s health whatever the political climate. The Board can serve as a catalyst for advocacy, mobilizing and assisting members and affiliates to promote public health priorities including social determinants of health. We need to speak out not only for ourselves and our families, but also for vulnerable communities that can be severely impacted by poor policies and may not be willing or able to advocate for themselves.
Secondly, we need to assure we are forward thinking in our strategic planning, building on our proud 145-year history. APHA must have a well thought out, action-oriented, SMART strategy going forward as there are new challenges and new opportunities ahead. As one example, we must ensure we are providing members and affiliates with value for their membership and determine what they need to advance public health practice.
Lastly, we need to enhance collaboration and synergy between practitioners and academics by providing mechanisms for increased cooperation. APHA equally values practitioners and academics. They each can contribute their unique strengths to our purpose. Having experience in both areas, I understand how cultures and approaches differ, which can sometimes impede knowledge transfer. I will work to bridge that divide and unite toward our common goal.
Serving ex officio on Executive Board has allowed me to observe and participate in guiding the organization. If elected, I will waste no time contributing my skills to optimize APHA and public health.