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Tracynda Davis

Program Manager

Food Safety and Recreational Licensing

Division of Public Health

Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services

Madison, WI 53701

Biography

Tracynda's interest in environmental health began while she was completing her undergraduate degree at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, when the city was faced with the largest waterborne outbreak in the U.S. She became fascinated about how a microorganism not well understood crippled the city she lived in. She attended the University of South Florida College of Public Health to study under renowned water pollution microbiologist, Dr. Joan Rose. She completed research on the viability of Cryptosporidium parvum in marine waters and received a master's degree in public health. From there, she moved to California to supervise the microbiology department in an environmental laboratory until she realized her interests lie working directly with the public. She moved back to Wisconsin and joined a local health department as an environmental health specialist, enforcing local and state public health laws and regulations.

 

Currently, she is a program manager in the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, where her oversight includes food safety, swimming pools, and water attractions. She writes policies and procedures, trains and evaluates local and regional health departments, and has conducted extensive research on the sanitation condition of both indoor and outdoor waterparks. She has been actively involved in revising and updating antiquated health codes for both the design and construction and safety health and maintenance of public pools. Recently, her initiative to provide diaper-changing stations in all pool areas was passed by the Wisconsin legislature in January 2005, requiring both sex restrooms to provide this necessary amenity in an effort to reduce transmission of waterborne diseases.

What I Learned at EPHLI

I am thankful for the opportunity to meet and work with such outstanding individuals in the EPHLI and the CDC. Networking with professionals and colleagues from other states gave insight about the commonality we face working in public health. EPHLI was beneficial in providing tools to self-understanding, while concentrating on the big picture. Understanding my personal communication and social style allowed me to focus on strengthening my weaknesses. Using systems thinking illustrated how situations continue to exist and alerted me to objections and limiting processes that affect a current system. Learning how systems work assisted me to develop appropriate interventions for problem solving.

 

I believe the relationships created this year will be a foundation for future collaborations, and I am fortunate to be a part. EPHLI has proved to be an invaluable experience for me, and I hope many others will be afforded the same opportunity.