About to move to the Caribbean for a new role as an Epidemiologist/Technical Officer with the Caribbean Public Health Agency, Jonathan Edwin says he was first interested in public health as a way to make changes at a population level, and impact health on a broad scale.
He used the basic principles of epidemiology daily in his role as a field epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), where he worked for just under two years. After graduating in 2013, he took part in an International Science Learning project in Kenya, worked part time with the Vancouver Native Health Society on the HIV/Hep C program, and full-time for Fraser Health’s STOP HIV initiative, before moving home to Ontario to start with PHAC as a field epidemiologist.
This role involved working in a department that responded to public health emergencies across Canada and the world. Day to day, Jonathan conducted disease surveillance, outbreak investigations, occasionally interviewing patients, and analysis and interpretation of findings to guide public health decision making. He also had the opportunity to travel into the field to respond to emergencies. In the fall of 2014, he worked on the Enterovirus D68 outbreak early response team, collecting and analyzing data and disseminating results. This included the publication of a manuscript in the Canada Communicable Disease Report, meaning if a similar outbreak occurs in future, there is now research to guide decision making.