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									EPIET Alumni Network (EAN) Annual Report 2004-2005


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

Content 1. Introduction 2. Membership update 3. EAN activities 2004-2005 4. Alumni news 5. Finances Annex 1 Programme EAN module Training the Trainers Annex 2 EAN members’ survey summer 2005



Welcome to the first EPIET Alumni Network (EAN) annual report! One of the primary purposes of the EAN has been to “maintain and develop contacts between members” and to “share and exchange professional experiences and expertise”. In that spirit, the Annual Report sets out to summarise activities and news (both professional and nonprofessional) involving EAN members over the previous twelve months.

This year’s report amongst others brings details of the EAN “Training the Trainers” module held in Stockholm, the 10-year EPIET anniversary celebrations held in London and the results of the recent training needs survey of members.

In future years, we would really value contributions from members – on professional activities such as missions, meetings or any personal news. We very much hope you enjoy the read and that this will be the start of a longstanding tradition.

Your EAN board

Marta Valenciano Julia Fitzner

Susan Hahné Richard Pebody

Biagio Pedalino Ulrike Dürr


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe


Membership update

Firstly, we would like to welcome the 11th EPIET cohort, starting the EPIET programme in 2005. The 16 new fellows joining the programme are:

Good luck to you all for your next two years. You will be joining a growing network (and family). Who are the EAN? Currently, EAN has 120 members. Members are alumni and fellows from the first 10 EPIET cohorts, fellows and alumni from field epidemiology training programmes in Europe (presently Germany, Norway and Spain) and EPIET supervisors. What are graduates of the

programme doing now? Alumni are working in Europe (at least 16 European countries) and beyond, in places as diverse as Bangladesh, South Africa and the United States.

3. 3a

Activities in 2004/2005 Watching the detectives: Celebrating the 10th year of EPIET. Tuesday January 18th 2005, Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) Centre for Infections hosted an open one-day meeting on 18th January 2005 to celebrate the tenth year of the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET). The day was organised in partnership with the EPIET Alumni Network (EAN) and with EPIET training sites in the Five Nations of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

We called it “Watching the detectives” because field epidemiologists are like health detectives when they discover and investigate outbreaks, find their cause and work out how to bring them under control. Of the total of 117 EPIET fellows and associates from the past decade, more than 40 have had a connection with the Five Nations, either by being one of the 26 people who have come here for training from one of 10 other European countries, or by being sent by the UK (10 people) or Ireland (4 people) to train in one of 7 other countries in Europe. Around fifty people attended the meeting, coming from all over Europe. Professor Chris Bartlett opened the day. He was the Director of the Centre in London when EPIET first started, and gave a fascinating insider’s account of the background to how EPIET came into being. He offered a unique insight into the parlous state of public health in Europe in the 1990s, and the risks that senior professionals were willing to take, in the interests of public health, to support EPIET at various stages when a collapse in progress looked imminent. This was a whole story in itself. The presentations by EPIET fellows and alumni illustrated the contribution of EPIET to European public health through the wide range of work they have been involved with both during and after their training. The investigations had been carried out in all sorts of different settings and on scales ranging from families and local hospitals in various European countries to refugee camps in Darfur, Sudan. What they have in common is a rigorous investigative and scientific approach to defining and solving critical public health problems. The presentations were of extremely high quality and kept the audience entirely engaged all day. The day ended with a dinner hosted by the HPA for the EPIET Alumni, supervisors and others closely associated with the programme. The overall feeling was captured by one of the alumni, who wrote afterwards: “I came away thinking that EPIET has created a network that is quite unique and special”. Two of the fellows were interviewed after the meeting by a journalist from Public Health News. You can read more at: http://www.publichealthnews.com/news/showcontent.asp?id={E147B8EB-32DC-43C1-9F4FDF021683B601} and at http://www.publichealthnews.com/news/showcontent.asp?id={2D3277DCF77C-4FC2-83EA-23E2230194D2}. Natasha Crowcroft, London December 2005


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe Picture 1. Dinner following the celebration of 10 years of collaboration between EPIET and the British Isles, London, 18th January 2005. Left: Chikwe Ihekweazu, Berit Müller-Pebody, Bruno Ciancio.

Right: Bernadette Gergonne, Alfons Lieftucht, Noel McCarthy, Juan Carrique-Mas.


Continuing professional development

3b. Third EAN module: Training of Trainers (ToT), 29th-30th April 2005, at SMI, Stockholm, Sweden. This module was held over two days (programme: see annex 1), hosted by SMI and facilitated by Arlette Communier (consultant with extensive experience of ToT within Epicentre/MSF). Aims To provide those who need to know (trainers/potential trainers) with a package of tools to be used in training at different levels and for different purposes. To initiate/promote future ToT activities in Europe (i.e. working groups, future modules, learning groups etc.) Outcome A total of 13 participants from seven European countries received training on: • • • • assessing training needs; defining competencies and training objectives; designing a course; various training techniques.

The evaluation of the module was very positive with requests for further training in this area from participants.


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe Picture 2. EAN module, Training of Trainers, Stockholm, 29-30th April 2005. Arlette Communier, Pasi Penttinen, Biagio Pedalino, Benn Sartorius.


Survey regarding training needs among EAN members

Biagio Pedalino co-ordinated a survey of EAN members to identify members training needs to inform future EAN training activities. The survey was conducted in June-July 2005. A questionnaire to collect information about ideas and suggestions on future EAN activities was sent to all members (n=106) by email. A total of 39 (37%; 39/106) members returned the questionnaire. “Qualitative methods”, together with “disease modelling”, “management of large databases” and “public health in emergency situation” were the most mentioned topics for future modules. Use of mainly interactive workshops was the preferred format by 56% of respondents. A total of 17 (43.5%) respondents offered their availability to facilitate future EAN training activities. 33.5% of the respondents preferred to conduct the courses over the w-ends. Courses were suggested to be funded by members’ institutes/organisations (28%), by EAN (25%) and by members themselves (19%). Members who did not participate in previous EAN training activities were constrained mainly (42.5%) by bad timing of the training courses. A total of 30 (78%) members showed interest in participating in a either new or already existing EAN working group and a number of ideas were presented to create/constitute new EAN working groups.


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

Regarding the future possible relationship between EAN and the newly established ECDC, 26 (49%) respondents supported close collaboration with the ECDC but not integration. Results of the survey will be further discussed at the EAN Annual General Assembly during a “brainstorming” session due to be held after the EAN board presentation of the annual activities. A more detailed analysis of the answers and ideas is enclosed in annex 2. Thank-you to all of you who completed the questionnaire, the information will be invaluable to plan the next EAN modules.



The aim of the yearbook is to provide an overview of contact details of all EAN members, as well as an overview of topics they are working on, in order to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information among EAN members. So far, four EAN yearbooks have been produced (the most recent print copy in 2004/2005). Around the time of the Scientific Seminar in October 2005, an electronic version of the updated yearbook will be disseminated among members. Information for this was requested from members over the summer of 2005. Subsequently, around 60 members provided updated contact and work topics details. A request to update details for the yearbook 2006 will be e-mailed to members around april 2006.


Disseminating job offers

During the period October 2004 - September 2005 a total of 123 emails with job offers (each often with multiple posts) were received by the EAN board at the EAN email account (i.e. eanboard@yahoo.co.uk) and forwarded to all EAN members. We thank all the EAN members who sent us job offers, and we would like to encourage you please keep posting us any possible job offers and opportunities you may receive in your daily working activity. We would also like to congratulate all those who, thanks to the EAN job opportunity distribution, obtained an interesting job. If you do move, please do keep us updated and send us a brief email to communicate your possible new email address.


Country files

Ulrike Dürr co-ordinated a survey among EAN alumni to collect information that might be useful to begin the fellowship in the different European host countries.


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

EPIET is not only a training programme, it is also moving to a new country, speaking a foreign language, adapting to a new environment with different habits, culture, procedures, etc…which is not always easy, especially in the beginning. This is why we conducted a survey amongst fellows of previous cohorts to collect information that might help new fellows to settle and start in their host countries. We asked alumni for information on documents that were needed for settling, and any possible recommendations; particularly how to: sign the contract and obtain health insurance; open a bank account; enter into a rental lease; obtain a residence permit/card (if needed)

… and of course also about places where to have fun, take language classes, etc. Results from the questionnaires that we received were sent to the fellows of the new cohort (cohort 11). We hope the information will be completed and updated each year for new fellows, to build up on the previous figures and support the new members of the EPIET family in their induction process. Thank-you to all who completed the questionnaire. We hope that the information will be invaluable for the new fellows. Any further suggestions to improve the collection of useful information are more than welcome.


Annual EPIET Scientific Seminar

The EPIET Scientific Seminar was first organised in 1995 as an annual training exercise in oral scientific presentation for EPIET and German FETP fellows in Veyrier-du-Lac. It was held for the 10th time in October 2005 (and for the second time in Mahon, Menorca). The seminar’s main organiser is the EPIET programme office in collaboration with the EPIET Alumni Network (EAN). Organisational support has been provided on occasion by other field epidemiology training programmes such as Epiter, Tephinet Europe, and the Canadian Field Epidemiology Training Program. Over the past 10 years, the seminar has grown - in terms of content, the review process and the audience. The content has gone from a one-day event with 13 oral presentations by current EPIET/FETP fellows to a three-day seminar with 39 oral presentations, 60 posters and two round-table discussions this year in 2005. Indeed this year, 147 abstracts were submitted (many by alumni). Forty reviewers from national centres around Europe and North America reviewed abstracts. Many thanks to all those alumni who volunteered to review.


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

The EPIET Scientific Seminar is becoming increasingly recognised amongst the European Public Health community – and EAN’s role as a co-organiser in the development of the seminar has been critical.


Goodbye “Papa Alain”

As you all know, at the end of the Scientific Seminar 2005, we said goodbye to EPIET founder and Scientific Co-ordinator, Alain Moren. For the 10 years since its inception, Alain has kept the EPIET spirit alive. In the early days he fought many funding battles on our behalf, and it is his dedication and commitment to EPIET that has resulted in the continued success of the programme. Let’s hope that his tremendous enthusiasm and passion for epidemiology will continue through the EPIET programme for many, many years to come! On the night of the usual seminar party, as a result of efficient planning by the special working group set up to organise the party (!), those present were treated to a great evening. Our MCs, Marc-Alain Widdowson (Cohort 5) and Lara Payne (Cohort 9), first presented a short video of randomly selected participants at the last introductory course being asked by the ‘journalist’ Marta to say the first 2 words that came into their mind on hearing the name “Alain Moren”. The words “moustache” and “Asterix” were the most likely responses (OR = 4.0, 95% CI 3.0-5.0). Then, on a keyword from Marc-Alain, most of us in the room sprouted moustaches – which we kept on, as a mark of respect for Alain, throughout the meal. Then Marta read out messages for Alain from those who were unable to be there, and he had to guess who had written each one (score = 4/7). Several speeches were made (Alain, Johan, Preben, and Mike Catchpole) and then Susan and Angie presented Alain with a “memory book” containing photos of Alain from childhood to EPIET made by Angie (with help of Alain’s wife and mother!). Alain was also the subject of a “jeu de l’oie or goose play” made by Ulrike and Patricia (with help of Marta, Angie, Biagio, Helen, Viviane and Arnold) in which he was shown photos and given challenges based on each picture. Some involved him learning the first steps of a Greek dance, or how to say “thank-you” in Gaelic, while others were simple – such as how to calculate the number of trees in one aerial shot of rainforest taken from 3000 m. If he got the right answer he could continue around the board to the final prize, which was the present of many people across Europe and Canada: tickets to Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Alain was given a big envelope with pictures from Okavango Delta, a virtual cheque and air plane ticket (return mandatory) as well as messages on postcards sent from all over Europe and also from many other countries of the world. The trip to Okavango Delta has long been a dream of his and we are happy to have been able to help him get there!


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

Finally the EPIET facilitators and co-ordinators gave us a spectacular rendition of the Blues Brothers (with James being especially …unrecognisable!) and the dancing began. It ended all too soon at 03h00 when the DJ had to stop, but not before we had been treated to a really wonderful evening’s dancing with special mention to Dionisio and Nohelly for a great floorshow!

4 4a

Alumni news Andrea Infuso

Andrea Infuso (cohort 1) died suddenly on 20th September 2005. It is difficult to believe Andrea will no longer be with us, sharing his smile and asking his scientific, but provocative questions. Andrea: we are going to miss you. Eurosurveillance weekly published an obituary for Andrea written by Francoise Hamers (volume 10, issue 9) which you can read at http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ew/2005/050929.asp#4.


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe


Alumnae babies

We can report a few new EAN arrivals

Yara Karlotta (Katrin,C6)

Anton Paul (Julia,C4 and Johannes,C7)

Vincent (Dirk, cohort 10)

Ella (Berit,C4 and Richard,C2)

Antonia (Miriam, C8 )

Anna (Line, C7 )



The current available funds for EAN are 6776.11 Euro. The details are described in the tables.


Income 2004-2005

Income included the member fees and a donation by the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet, SMI). For the membership payments, 107 of the 120 members paid the fees (20 Euros) for 2004. Of these payments two payments got lost in the mail. Three members paid their fees for 2004 and one member paid the fees until 2007 earlier (in the old balance).


Expenses 2004-2005

The main expense was the EAN “train of the trainers” module in Sweden: 2750.22 Euro (see details below). Additionally payments were bank fees, a payment for sending material for the Scientific Seminar and costs for flowers sent for Andrea Infuso´s funeral in the name of EAN.


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

1) Expenses 2004-5 1.1. EAN module Fee for trainer - 350 per day * 5 days (including 2 days Trainer fee for preparation) 1750.00 Perdiem in Stockholm - 150 per day * 3 days 450.00 Flight Paris-Stockholm-Paris 338.00 Stationary 38.52 2576.52 Sub-total trainer fees Other fees (kronas) Food Rent for the room Grill items Sub-total other training fees in Krona Sub-total in EURO Total EAN module cost in EURO 1.2 Bank fees Money transfer Account fees Total bank fees 1.3 Other costs Material Scientific Seminar Flowers Membership fees lost in post Total other costs TOTAL EXPENDITURES in Euros 1268.00 250.00 1598.00 1598.00 173.70 2750.22 29.65 32.00 61.65 20.00 100.00 40.00 160.00 2971.87

2) Income 2004-2005 2.1 Balance 2003-2004 2.2. Donations SMI Donation 2.3. Membership fees Fees 2004 Fees 2005 Fees 2006 Fees 2007 Total Fees 2130.16 5000 Swedish Krona 107 members * 20 Two members * 20 One member * 20 One member * 20 5397.82 2140.00 40.00 20.00 20.00 2220.00 9747.98

TOTAL INCOME in Euros Balance (September 2005) Total Income Total Expenses Balance

9747.98 2971.87 6776.11


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

Annex 1. Programme of EAN module Training the trainers, Stockholm, 29th-30th April


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe

Annex 2: EAN 2005 membership survey results

1- Future EAN training modules Overall the EAN training activity aims to complete/update knowledge and skills acquired during the EPIET/FETP fellowship and integrate them with new activities and topics. In this regard, this survey aims to identify new training courses responding to precise training needs.

Potential training topics (N = 154): 1.1.- Advanced statistics n=32 (21%) 6 (19%) 5 (16%) 6 (19%) 8 (25%) 7 (21%)

- Logistic regression/multivariate analysis - Time series analysis - Disease modelling - Sample size calculation

1.2- New methodological issues n=38 (25%) - New survey methods - Bias - New issues in study design and analysis - Ecological studies - Clinical trials - Capture-Recapture - Updates on outbreak investigation - Qualitative methods

5 (13%) 5 (13%) 0 (/) 12 (32%) 0 (/) 1 (2%) 3 (8%) 3 (8%) 9 (24%)

1.3- Software/IT courses - Statistical software - R software - Advanced Excel - Management of large databases

n=22 (14%)

2 (9%) 4 (18%) 7 (32%) 2 (9%) 7 (32%)

1.4- Other topics (n= 62; 40%) Training the Trainers (evaluation, training needs, etc) European public health systems Public Health in Emergency Situations Health economics Project management Publishing/scientific writing Vaccinology 5 (8%) 6 (10%) 8 (13%) 5 (8%) 7 (11%) 7 (11%) 3 (5%)


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe
Public health leadership Update on specific infectious diseases 3 (5%) 4 (6.5%)

(i.e. emerging pathogens (i.e. flu, SARS), malaria, tropical medicine, travel medicine, HIV/AIDS - STD, tuberculosis etc) Please specify ___________________________ Health promotion, sociology Health education programmes Evaluation of health promotion interventions Decision analysis 2 (3%) 1 (2%) 4 (6.5%) 7 (11%)

3- Would you be willing to contribute as a facilitator? Yes 17 (43.5%) No 7 (18%)

(n=39) Unsure 14 (36%) No answer 1 (2.5%)

If Yes, please specify which course you would like to facilitate Vaccinology (3); Software (1); Molecular epidemiology (1); Update on specific infectious diseases (1); Time series (1); Clinical trial (1); Diseases modelling (1); Anyone (1) 4- What type of course would you prefer? (n=62) Mainly interactive workshop Mainly lectures Case studies Informal gathering/ discussion 35 (56%) 2 (3%) 19 (31%) 6 (10%)

5- What length of course would be fitting the best with your work schedule? (n=45) 1-2 days during the week 1-2 days, weekend 3-4 days including weekend 1 week Longer than 1 week Doesn’t matter 5 (11%) 15 (33.5%) 15 (33.5%) 4 (9%) 0 (/) 6 (13%)

6- How should a training course be financed (more than one answer is possible) ? (n=77) EAN should fund Private companies should fund We pay ourselves Our institutes should pay Others Don’t know 7(9%) 19 (25%) 12 (16%) 15 (19%) 22 (28%) Please specify mix (3); EU education grants (1); EU/ECDC funds (3) 2 (3%)

7- Would you be interested in participating in EPIET modules you missed during your fellowship? Yes No 14: Rapid assessment (4); Vaccinology (2); Time series (1) EpiInfo and OB (2); No further specified (5) 9


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe
Don’t know 4

8- In order to take into account of your own needs/constraints, and facilitate your participation in attending future EAN modules, we would like to kindly ask you what were the constraints for the previous 3 modules that made you NOT attending them (more than one answer is possible). (n=40) Personal reasons Location not convenient Not interested in the topic Bad timing 11 (27.5%) 3 (7.5%) 3 (7.5%) 17 (42.5%)

The organization for which I am/was working did not allow me to attend 2 (5%) Other, please specify Mission in the field (1) No financial support by the institution (1) Too many EPIET modules so far (1) No funding (1) 2- New EAN activities/working groups 9- Would you be interested to participate actively in a EAN working group? (n=39) Yes 30 (78%) No 6 (15%) Don’t know 1 (2%) No answer 2 (5%) 4(10%):

10- If Yes, in which of the pre-existing working group would you like to participate? - Accreditation process - Training activities - No further specification 9 (30%) 19 (63%) 2 (7%)

11- Which new activity/working group would you like to see established by EAN in the future? - Not sure about what options are for new working groups - Web site update and management - More prominent graduation ceremony for EPIET fellows - Working groups related to the main areas of the ECDC: Research, OB investigation, surveillance - Communication (to increase visibility and meet evolving members needs - Don’t know but ready to help! - Job coaching assess the qualities of the trainee, identify his/her wishes for the future job, preparing him/her for the future job - Supplementary coaching coming from EAN - Working group to establish the 1 European Field Epidemiology Conference (sponsored by Eurosurveillance, EAN, EPIET, etc) - Working group to produce an options paper investigating possible links between EAN and ECDC - Vaccinology with special attention to measles eradication - Fellow support working group

3 Possible links between EAN and the newly established ECDC


EAN: Building the network of Intervention Epidemiologists in Europe
12- What kind of link, if any would you envisage for EAN with the ECDC? (n=54) EAN integrated into the ECDC Close collaboration but NOT integrated EAN responding to ECDC requests of expertise No links at all 6 (10%) 26 (49%) 22 (41%) 0

Further comments on future links between EAN and ECDC provided by respondents: - EIS and CDC in the US? - EAN as part of EPIET should follow its destiny so that EPIET is not only a 2 year training programme but a formal network of people - Strong links - Actively managed database of people (i.e. competencies, contact details, etc.) - Ensure an easy and direct access to ECDC for (1) collaboration and (2) seconded for training purposes - not sure to understand the difference between integration and collaboration but not integrated - To know more about ECDC - EAN as a fully collaborating but independent partner


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