The Council is led by a governance committee comprised of four representatives from The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
Erin Epson, MD
California Department of Health and CORHA: Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Representative
Dr. Epson is Medical Director and Chief of the Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program at the California Department of Health. She is clinically trained and board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and completed medical epidemiology training as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In her role with the CDPH HAI Program, Dr. Epson is responsible for ensuring the HAI Program fulfills its legislative mandates by interpreting HAI data reported by California hospitals, determining HAI and antimicrobial resistance (AR) prevention priorities, and publishing these data on an annual basis. Dr. Epson oversees HAI Program operations and communications, data management and epidemiologic analysis, investigation and response to HAI/AR outbreaks and infection control breaches, and facility- and regionally-based HAI/AR prevention initiatives.
Joseph Perz, DrPH, MA
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CORHA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Representative
Dr. Joseph Perz currently serves as the Deputy Chief for Public Health Programs within the Prevention and Response Branch, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Perz entered the field of public health after training as an engineer and environmental scientist. After receiving a Doctorate in Public Health from Columbia University, he served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Tennessee Department of Health. Since the early 2000s, Dr. Perz has worked at CDC headquarters, guiding dozens of outbreak investigations and special studies, drawing attention to the needs for injection safety and other basic infection control. He has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, MMWR articles and book chapters. His activities are currently focused on building support for health departments, fostering interagency collaboration, and promoting efforts to improve and expand prevention and response activities across all healthcare sectors.
Dawn Terashita, MD, MPH
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and CORHA: National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Representative
Dr. Terashita currently serves as the Chief of the Healthcare Outreach Unit at the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Acute Communicable Disease Control Program. Dr. Terashita was educated at the New York Medical College and obtained her Masters of Public Health from Loma Linda University. Dr. Terashita is board certified in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine. She has supervised more than a hundred healthcare-associated outbreaks and authored and co-authored numerous related publications. She is Chair of the Los Angeles County Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Committee and is a member of the California Department of Public Health Healthcare Associated Infections Advisory Committee.
David Gifford, MD, MPH
American Health Care Association (AHCA) and CORHA: Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Representative
Dr. Gifford is a geriatrician who currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at the American Health Care Association (AHCA). He also serves on the Board of the Baldrige Foundation, and chairs the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Geriatric and Gerontology Advisory Committee—a congressional chartered committee to advise the U.S. Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs and Congress on geriatric services for veterans. Prior to AHCA, Dr. Gifford was the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health from 2005 to 2011, where he received the National Governor’s Distinguished Service Award for State Officials for his management of the H1N1 influenza outbreak. He was also the Chief Medical Director of Quality Partners of Rhode Island, and the medical director of several Rhode Island nursing homes. Dr. Gifford has also brought his expertise to academia, serving as a Clinic Associate Professor of Medicine and Community Health at Brown University Medical School and School of Public Health. Dr. Gifford holds a Medical Degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a Master of Public Health from the University of California Los Angeles, as well as dozens of publications on both his healthcare and public health work. His activities for the past 20 years have focused on health care system quality improvement efforts to ultimately improve health outcomes.