Erin Blau (’17 DNP/MPH) was first exposed to the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program with the CDC while she was pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing degree at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
“I studied overseas and received a tremendous amount of rural nursing training. I fell in love with the role of the public health nurse, and that was it for me,” said Blau, who solidified her career choice by interacting with EIS officers during the dual degree DNP/MPH program at CU.
EIS officers work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and respond to and investigate outbreaks or healthcare crises in the United States and abroad. “The EIS is most known for outbreaks and communicable disease control and are known in the field as disease detectives,” said Blau.
Erin Blau while on active duty
“It’s highly competitive. Each cohort is about 60-70 officers,” said Blau, who calls her job with the CDC her “dream job.”
During the DNP/MPH program, Blau developed, implemented, and evaluated a syringe service program. Data showed how this type of program could reduce HIV, hepatitis C and overdose risks among people who inject drugs.