The Utah Department of Health named a new state epidemiologist Wednesday.
Allyn Nakashima, a doctor, is returning to Utah after working in Atlanta at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a news release.
At the CDC, where the 61-year-old spent 31 years, she was a senior medical epidemiologist and provided technical assistance to countries funded under an AIDS relief program. She also volunteered to provide clinical care to HIV/AIDS patients at the Decatur Veterans’ Administration Medical Center, according to the health department.
As the state’s epidemiologist, Nakashima will oversee Utah’s efforts to reduce vaccine-preventable diseases, hospital-acquired infections, influenza, STDs and other communicable diseases.
“We are excited to have Dr. Nakashima join the Utah Department of Health team. We believe her vast experience in various positions with the CDC will further our efforts as a state agency to protect the public’s health through preventing avoidable illness,” David Patton, executive director of the health department, said in the release.
Nakashima is a graduate from Skyline High School, along with the University of Utah, where she earned a bachelor’s and medical degree, according to the release.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to return to my Utah roots and to work with the team of outstanding public health professionals at the Department of Health, who are committed to protecting and improving the health of Utah residents and ensuring their safety,” she said in the statement.