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Dr. Herbert L. DuPont is currently Chief of the Internal Medicine Service at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases, University of Texas School of Public Health, and Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He has authored 370 peer reviewed original science publications and 326 reviews or book chapters and edited or written 19 books. He received the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement in Infectious Diseases from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
The Intestinal Microbiome in Health and Disease
The intestinal microbiome (totality of microbes) is affected by diet and receipt of antibiotics. It influences gut motility, mucosal absorption and central nervous system function. A number of diseases are associated with alterations of gut microbiome including Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD), inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, chronic neurologic disorders and obesity. CDAD produces recurrent disease when the diversity of the flora is reduced. Restoration of the microbiome is currently performed by fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) where fecal bacteria from a healthy donor are delivered to the intestine of a patient with disease. FMT is currently the treatment of choice for patients with multiple recurrence of CDAD. It may be possible to improve general health by giving the proper microbes that are adapted to the gut providing intestinal homeostasis and health.
Dr. Malick Diara joined ExxonMobil in 2009 with over 20 years of experience in the field of public health. He is the Public Health Manager of ExxonMobil Global Medicine and Occupational Health Department with responsibilities related to the development of infectious disease prevention and control programs in Company workplaces. Prior to ExxonMobil, Dr. Diara lived in Washington DC for 9 years, working with consulting firms and Non Profit organizations. With funding from USAID and in partnership organizations such as UNICEF and WHO, he supported the design, implementation and evaluation of global, national and local public health programs. Prior to DC, he worked in West African countries as Public Health Project Manager with French and American organizations, practiced as a Physician in France and French West Indies and worked as a business entrepreneur for 2 years in Senegal. Malick is a physician with a Medical Doctorate from Dakar/Senegal School of Medicine (1987), a MBA from the Paris/France Institut Superieur de Gestion (1991) and a MPH from Tulane/New Orleans (1997). He is a global citizen based in Houston.
Mitigating Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Global Company Workplaces
In global companies with internationally mobile workforces and operations where people work and live together, infectious disease outbreaks can impact the health of workers and communities, disrupt operations and affect a company’s reputation. Emerging diseases such as coronaviruses, norovirus and avian flu can be challenging in such settings. Adequate control of outbreaks in these workplaces requires standardized measures that are globally communicated and consistently applied across worksites and countries. Building on its global pandemic flu plans and site Infectious Disease Outbreak Management measures, the Company used a two- pronged communication approach to engage key stakeholders and adequately communicate with workers. This model represents an effective global and scalable approach to mitigate the impact of various communicable diseases in global company workplaces.
Dana El Hajj, PhD
I have been a nurse for 18 years. My clinical experience was mostly Critical care however, My research interests have always focused on health promotion and disease prevention. Being in immigrant myself, i have always been interested how acculturation shapes and changes our behaviors. My current work is evaluating the prevalence of Hookah use, not only among Arab immigrants, but across all ethnic groups in the Houston area. Hookah use has been on the rise recently, both nationally and internationally, and the health hazards are not any less benign than those of cigarette use.
Health of Arab Immigrants Living in Colorado: A Socioecological Perspective
Despite the increase in the number of Arab immigrants living in the United States, the literature lacks adequate information about Arab Americans’ health habits in relation to important health outcomes. The outcomes of interest were cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. The health behaviors of interest were diet, exercise, early cancer detection and smoking. The results showed that when compared to the general population in Colorado, the study participants were twice as likely to use tobacco products, such as cigarettes or hookah (p&;lt;.001, OR=2.35). Arab immigrants seem to be at risk for unmet health care needs and will benefit from culturally sensitive health promotion tools especially in the areas of tobacco use.