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August 4, 2016

New Informatics Analyst Joins PHII

PHII’s work in the technical assistance arena is growing, and so is its team. The group is excited to welcome Natalie Viator, MPH on board as the new Informatics Analyst. In this positon, Natalie will provide support for informatics projects to advance epidemiology and surveillance practices. 

A career in public health hasn’t always been in Natalie’s plans. She entered college at the University of Texas at Austin with intentions to pursue medical school. It wasn’t until she began participating in mission trips to underserved countries in Latin America as a freshman in college that she noticed her interests shifting. She was exposed to low resource communities with high disease burdens and started observing common risk factors impacting the community’s health: biomass burning, unclean water and micronutrient deficiency.

“I became inspired by the opportunity to impact the masses, before they get sick, instead of treating each person individually,” she shared. Her love for public health was born.

Her newfound interest brought her to Atlanta to earn her master’s in public health with a focus in epidemiology at Emory University. Her coursework expanded her knowledge of essential public health topics such as immunization, public health surveillance and informatics. But her goals began to crystalize when she took a course led by Dr. Alan Hinman, Director of Programs for the Center for Vaccine Equity at the Task Force for Global Health, and was introduced to PHII. Excited about the program’s historical work in the field, Natalie joined as a research analyst in June 2015.

“I am really proud that I landed myself in a field that I am intentional about and that I’m genuinely excited about. I think my personal and professional strengths lend themselves to public health and informatics.”

- Natalie Viator

Now a permanent part of the Institute’s team, Natalie is eager to work on projects devoted to the same subjects she studied in school. However, she’s no stranger to informatics work: prior to this position, she was an electronic health record (EHR) implementer at Baylor Scott & White Health. There, she became familiar with the technical background and science behind EHRs and worked with physicians and nurses to show them how an EHR system can help improve clinical outcomes and their day-to-day work. Working in private health care and witnessing the cultural shift EHRs are introducing in the field has helped prepare Natalie for her new role with PHII.

“I am really proud that I landed myself in a field that I am intentional about and that I’m genuinely excited about. I think my personal and professional strengths lend themselves to public health and informatics,” she noted.

Natalie enjoys a range of hobbies when she isn’t focused on health IT. She loves attending live concerts and comedy shows and brushing up on her cooking skills. She has the most fun, though, with her Black Mouth Cur rescue dog, Carmen. She met her at the Austin Pets Alive! animal shelter in 2012, and they have been inseparable since.