Zika Response to Be Focus of Annual Meeting Keynote Address by Florida Surgeon General

cphilip-web.jpg“Remaining vigilant about Zika is incredibly important.” It’s the primary message Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, hopes to get across during her upcoming Keynote Address at the Teratology Society’s Annual Meeting at the end of June. Dr. Philip is currently the Surgeon General and Secretary for the Florida Department of Health and is board certified in Family Medicine as well as Public Health and General Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Philip’s Keynote Address will take place on Monday, June 25 at 8:00 AM and focus on 2016 when Florida became the first state in the U.S. to confirm transmission of Zika through mosquitoes. ”Along with this came concerns for the health of pregnant women and infants as Zika can cause major birth defects like microcephaly, and possibly other unknown abnormalities,” explained Dr. Philip.  “My presentation will focus largely on DOH’s work with various stakeholders to surveil and respond to this arbovirus. Meetings like these are also valuable because building partnerships before an emergency occurs is one of the best ways to ensure we are ready to respond.”

Dr. Philip said she’s also looking forward to hearing the other scientific presentations at the Annual Meeting, particularly the session on opiates. “Rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) among Florida’s infants have increased over the past four years,” she said. “Hearing about promising practices from other regions and states is always useful when dealing with emerging health threats.  As we have shared Florida’s lessons learned from our Zika virus response, we hope to learn about new programs and interventions that will improve our ability to decrease the number of opioid overdose deaths and impacts on infants, children, and families,” she added.   

Learn more about the Teratology Society 58th Annual Meeting.

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