Dimitrios Koutsonanos


Track: Applied Public Health Informatics

What is your professional background and where do you currently work?

I am a medical doctor by training and graduated from medical school at the University of Nis, Serbia in 2004. After working as a general physician in Greece (my home country), from 2006-2007, I moved to the United States where I joined Emory University and the Laboratory of Dr. Richard W. Compans and the Influenza Pathogenesis and Immunology Research Center.

There, I conducted research related to influenza infection, immunology, infectious diseases, and vaccine development. I currently serve as a health care analyst senior at Booz Allen Hamilton in Atlanta.

I am involved in several public health projects with federal and commercial entities. I also still hold a part-time faculty position with Emory University as an instructor.

Why did you enroll in the EMPH program?

During my work at Emory, I was exposed to several public health informatics systems. Through this exposure, I recognized the need for medical professionals to understand both medicine and informatics.

I realized that there was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills in the field, contribute to a new and continuously evolving area—the field of public health informatics—and through this field continue providing medical services and expertise to assist in improving public health nationally and worldwide.

After getting the advice of several health care professionals and doing my own research, I selected one of the best public health programs in the country, Rollins’ applied public health informatics EMPH program.

In addition to excellent credentials, the program also offers a flexible schedule and online courses which is ideal for working professionals.

What is the most valuable skill you learned during the EMPH program?

I have expanded my skills and knowledge beyond the traditional medical and epidemiologic standards, gained a better understanding of the technical requirements involved in public health systems, learned the importance and the critical role these systems hold in providing public health services, and discovered the gaps and needs that currently exist in the public health informatics system.

I now have a better understanding of the business aspects and requirements involved in public health processes, and how to design public health interventions that cover all medical, technical, and business aspects involved in public health.

Through the EMPH program, I was able to mature professionally, and develop skills that are crucial and necessary in a highly competitive market.

What advice do you wish someone had given you prior to enrollment?

Be prepared for long hours of hard work and lots of reading and writing. Use every opportunity to meet new people, develop a professional network, engage in discussions, and exchange new ideas with your peers. Reach out to your instructors for anything you need, and always ask for help when you need it. Everyone is more than willing to assist in any way they can.