Senior Vice President, Public Sector Health, ICF
Jennifer Welham leads a division that provides research, analytics, training, technical assistance and evaluation to help clients and the public make informed public health decisions.
“I’ve spent my entire career helping clients understand and leverage scientific research to make decisions that protect and improve public health,” she said.
Welham’s team managed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s BioSense, the cloud-based nationwide syndromic surveillance platform for detecting COVID-19 outbreaks and transmission, and it conducted a longitudinal survey to assess the proportion of individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. The team provided data for U.S. Agency for International Development to help developing countries improve diagnostic and surveillance mechanisms to detect and monitor infectious diseases, plus emergency response support to increase COVID-19 testing in several countries. It also created the National Institutes of Health website for COVID-19 treatment guidelines to give doctors easy access to patient care information.
“It’s an exciting time to be in public health,” Welham said. “We have the opportunity to make a meaningful and lasting impact on society as we emerge from the pandemic, address recovery challenges,\ and assess lessons learned to improve our public health infrastructure.”
Welham looks to leverage ICF’s expertise to help address a number of growing health concerns. U.S. drug overdose deaths rose 30% in 2020, the highest number ever recorded. Extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest and corresponding heat-related emergency room visits and deaths highlight the impact of climate change on health. And there is an urgent need to address the health disparities that face vulnerable and underserved populations.
“There’s much to be done outside the realm of infectious disease,” she said.
Welham is also focused on combining her team’s extensive public health expertise with ICF’s digital transformation chops to help clients modernize their outdated public health systems to provide researchers, health providers and the public better access to real-time information to monitor outbreaks of current and future diseases and address other health priorities.