Public Health Expert

Dr. Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC

In July, SAIC hired public health expert Dr. Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC to help guide the School’s plans to resume in-person teaching, learning, and residential life this fall. Working alongside faculty and staff, Dr. Rebmann is advising on contact tracing, testing, reporting protocols for positive cases, and more, and is assisting the School in following best practices that meet or exceed guidance from the Chicago Department of Public Health and other local and national health authorities. Board-certified in infection control and epidemiology, Dr. Rebmann is reviewing plans and providing guidance and scientific expertise in support of the School’s efforts to reduce the risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), on our campus.

Dr. Rebmann is the director of the Institute for Biosecurity at the Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice and a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is a nurse researcher with an emphasis in infectious disease emergency preparedness. Her past work experience includes research and clinical practice with HIV/AIDS patients, hospital infection prevention, and epidemiology, and research areas of focus include the long-term use of respiratory protection and addressing barriers to vaccine uptake. Dr. Rebmann publishes and lectures on pandemic planning, emerging infectious diseases, and infection prevention practices. To date, she has contributed to more than 90 publications and presented at more than 100 conferences.

 

About Dr. Rebmann's Role

What is Dr. Rebmann's scope of work?
Dr. Rebmann’s role is to serve as a consultant on our return-to-campus plans, reviewing our processes and protocols, advising on best practices, providing critical feedback, and keeping us abreast of what the scientific community knows about the pandemic.

What is Dr. Rebmann's role as a decision maker or changer of policy? What weight do her opinions and recommendations have, can she share candid feedback, and is the expectation that she should be suggesting specified, actionable plans for us to implement?
Dr. Rebmann is an independent consultant working with us on several critical areas of our Make Ready plan, as well as addressing new issues that arise. She is absolutely expected to provide her candid feedback, even if it is at odds with our initial thinking. We’ve contracted her to provide her expertise, and we’re closely following her guidance–we’ve begun implementing her recommendations, even adjusting course where need be, so that our planning continues to be rooted in science. While we’ve engaged her as an expert, and we are making sure our plans align with her recommendations, she does not set policy. The Campus Emergency Operations Planning group continues to set policies that will guide our return to campus.

Has Dr. Rebmann reviewed our plan?
We reviewed our Make Ready plans with her several times and implemented her recommendations on everything from daily symptom checks to new floor plans that allow for social distancing. She has consulted on every major policy decision before it has been made and will continue to help us further develop the plan.

How long will we be working with Dr. Rebmann?
Dr. Rebmann has been contracted to work with us at least until the end of the year. Closer to that time, we’ll determine if we need to continue working with Dr. Rebmann into the spring semester.