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Commander Jasen Kunz, MPH, REHS

Environmental Health Officer, Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health

Jasen Kunz Commander Jasen Kunz is an Environmental Health Officer at the Water, Food, and Environmental Services Branch in CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, which provides technical assistance, practice-based research, training, tools and guidance to address environmental causes of foodborne and waterborne health threats. He leads the agency’s environmental health component of preventing and responding to Legionnaires’ disease, and has co-led the development of CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code. Jasen started at CDC in 2002 at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, evaluating the public health impact of hazardous waste sites on tribal lands. He also served as an industrial hygienist in CDC’s Office of Health and Safety, overseeing programs on indoor air quality and asbestos, and addressing health and safety issues in CDC’s laboratory and built environment. He holds a B.S. in environmental health from Bowling Green State University and an MPH from the University of South of Florida.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Testing the Resiliency of Legionnaires’ Disease Prevention

Co-Presenter: Elizabeth Hannapel, NCIRD Legionella Team

Abstract: The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) collaborate extensively on developing and improving response and prevention strategies related to opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens addressing public water supplies and premise plumbing systems. IDPH’s Legionella Response Team often calls upon IEPA’s Bureau of Water to collect information and collaborate with public water system operators on water systems to quickly and efficiently gain an understanding of water quality entering facilities associated with clusters of Legionnaires’ disease. This collaboration extends to improving field assessments of water systems, support in the field during investigations, and understanding of water quality changes in premise plumbing pathogens through sharing of resources, information and expertise. This relationship has also expanded opportunities for state health officials to educate public water system operators on Legionella ecology in human-made water systems, preventative water management and communication practices that can support successful building water management teams, particularly in health care settings.