Erika Willacy

IMPACT Program Lead, Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
United States

About Me: Erika Willacy currently serves as Program Lead for the newest international training program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Improving Public Management for Action (IMPACT). In her position, Ms. Willacy provides oversight and direction for the development, implementation, and evaluation of this applied public health management training program targeted at improving the health workforce in low to middle income countries. The program also utilizes principles of supportive supervision and mentorship to ensure the development of a cadre of public health professionals able to translate science into action. The IMPACT program launched in 2016 in Bangladesh and Kenya and will soon expand to Cambodia and other countries.

Ms, Willacy’s professional interests are focused on how behavioral science and dynamic approaches to systemic change can be used to reinvigorate public health systems and improve health outcomes in low to middle income countries. Prior to her leadership of the IMPACT program, Ms. Willacy served as the Lead Health Education Specialist in the Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch at the CDC, where she was responsible for planning and implementing training activities for an international network of physicians who screen immigrants and refugees. In this role, she also conducted research on the development of new educational tools and strategies to communicate emergent health information to refugee populations.

During her time at CDC, Ms. Willacy has also supported numerous emergency response efforts; much of her work in this area targeted immigrant and refugee communities. This included the production of a refugee-focused educational campaign on H1N1 influenza. Ms. Willacy also invented and led the production of the Check and Report Ebola (CARE) Kit, a package designed to educate and ease the concerns of individuals returning from countries affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak while ensuring they were properly tracked by health systems. The CARE Kit was profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and several other notable publications. Ms. Willacy was also the recipient of a ClearMark Award of Distinction for this effort.

Ms. Willacy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychobiology from Wellesley College and a Masters of Public Health degree in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan.

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Capacity Building and… Session 2
Capacity Building and… Session 1