Yididya Amha, MPH

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
Health Policy and Management
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention; Office of Policy, Planning, and Partnerships

How have you contributed to one of CDC’s priorities through your ASPPH/CDC Fellowship assignment? Explain what you have done that has “made a difference” at CDC and benefitted public health in the United States.

I have contributed to CDC’s strategic priorities through my fellowship at the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) by providing critical analysis, oversight, and situational awareness of legislation and policies that impact CDC’s activities and programs related to HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STDs, TB,
and adolescent school health. Additionally, my efforts have contributed to achieving NCHHSTP’s goals of decreasing incidence of infection, decreasing morbidity and mortality, and decreasing health disparities.

My responsibilities include analyzing, monitoring, and interpreting Congressional legislation, budget, policyissuances, regulations, and executive directives for activities, programs, and health policy issues related to NCHHSTP’s priorities to inform decision making. Previously, I analyzed the public health legislation and executive
directives from the fiscal year 2021 federal budget to evaluate the impact of the budget on NCHHSTP’s activities and programs. I also analyzed the fiscal year 2022 President’s Budget, House Appropriations Committee Report, and Senate Explanatory Statement to understand the possible implications on NCHHSTP’s activities and
programs. In addition, I’m responsible for interpreting health policy research to develop clear, effective written materials, including briefing materials, presentations, and reports, to communicate objectives and outcomes of activities, policies, and programs related to NCHHSTP’s priorities.

Furthermore, I had the opportunity to contribute to preparedness response efforts when I was deployed to the Community Interventions and Critical Populations (CICP) Task Force in CDC’s COVID-19 Response. I was the policy liaison to the community guidance team responsible for developing guidance and practical tools for
mitigation activities related to daily living, gatherings, and schools. We focused on attending to special populations, particularly those disproportionately affected by COVID-19. As the policy liaison, I developed responses to inquiries from congressional staff members and external partners on CDC’s guidance related to masks, gatherings,
and schools. I also organized partnership outreach for newly developed guidance, including planning the partner pre-brief for the release of CDC’s Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making, and organized listening sessions between our task force and organizations serving institutes of higher education to discuss how we can
improve mitigation strategies in colleges and universities. Moreover, I coordinated and facilitated meetings with key partners to share updated guidance and tools, early data on outbreaks, levels of infection and risk behavior, and other information relevant to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in school settings.


How will your fellowship experience shape your career?

My fellowship has helped me advance my professional development. I have had the opportunity to strengthen my leadership, interpersonal, technical, analytical/problem solving, oral and written communication skills. I have also been exposed me to various aspects of health policy and have a better understanding on what I would like to focus
on in my career. Specifically, I have been learning more about legislative work and know that this an area of health policy that I would like to further explore. Overall, this fellowship has equipped me with the knowledge, skills, and tools to succeed in a career in public health.


Describe specifically some of the relationships/partnerships you have built through the fellowship and how those relationships have helped/will help you in your career.

Through my fellowship, I have expanded my professional network and built relationships with senior leadership by providing strategic support to NCHHSTP leadership on issues related to HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, and adolescent school health. One of the senior leaders I have had the opportunity to build
a relationship with is the NCHHSTP director. I have worked closely with him to develop clear, effective written communication for briefing materials, reports, and presentations at local, national, and global conferences to provide information on NCHHSTP’s efforts and priorities. The guidance of my mentors has helped me build my
confidence, navigate difficult situations, and improve critical skills for my career