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Postcards from the field

Contact person:

DE-70191 - Stuttgart

Tel. +49 711 904 39501
Fax. +49 711 904 35050

Description of the institute
The Landesgesundheitsamt (LGA) is situated in Stuttgart, the capital of the German federal State of Baden-Württemberg. The LGA is the State Department for Public Health of Baden-Württemberg (population: 10.75 million) and is an administrative unit of the District Government of Stuttgart. The Institute is divided in 6 departments with approximately 180 employees The Department of Epidemiology and Health Reporting comprises (12) staff members and forms the state centre for the surveillance of notifiable diseases according to Germany’s national Infection Protection Act. Surveillance is carried out in cooperation with the 38 local public health offices.

Main tasks and activities:

  • Surveillance of communicable diseases (processing of more than 30,000 disease notifications per year), including analysis of data and reporting in a weekly bulletin
  • Preparedness for and response to public health emergencies by communicable diseases (e.g. bioterrorism, bio-hazards, pandemic influenza)
  • Vaccination strategies
  • Conducting outbreak investigations
  • Conducting epidemiological studies
  • Risk assessment, expert advice and support for local health authorities
  • Teaching of public health officers and other health care professionals
  • Writing press releases communicable disease issues on state level

There is a close cooperation within the Institute with the Department of Infectious Diseases and Hygiene and its laboratories for microbiology, including the German National Consulting Laboratory for Q Fever. Good cooperation is also established with the institutions of the Food Safety and Veterinarian Authority offering excellent opportunities for research and outbreak investigation. The LGA is WHO Collaborating Centre for Housing and Health.

Training opportunities
EPIET fellows will be involved in the day-to-day surveillance activities. The LGA offers a wide spectrum of training opportunities and projects in infectious diseases, besides foodborne and vaccine preventable diseases. OUtbreak investigations with local authorities are one of the main topics.

Baden-Württemberg (BW) is an endemic area for several zoonotic infections like Hanta virus, Q fever, Tularemia and Tick-borne encephalitis. The study of these infections is a main focus of the Institute and comprises spatial analysis, investigation of the influence of climatic and habitat factors and seroepidemiological studies.

The LGA is partner of EPI-RHIN, an expert network for the crossborder exchange of information on infectious diseases and health reporting mandated by the German-French-Swiss Upper Rhine Conference. Members of EPI-RHIN are representatives of local public health units of the districts bordering the River Rhine in the 3 countries and also representatives of the regional health offices. Working languages in the network are French and German.

The fellow will have an office shared with one other staff member. The work place is equipped with a network PC, full internet access, and an office telephone. There is a library with access to literature covering topics on public health and infectious diseases. The LGA is in close cooperation with the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) and the PAE-programme allows the participation in weekly journal clubs, academic sessions and teaching activities of the RKI.

An EPIET fellows at the LGA will also have the opportunity to enroll in the Master of Science in Applied Epidemiology programme which is organised in collaboration between the Charité University and the Robert Koch-Institute in Berlin.

Training supervision
Supervisor: Günter Pfaff, Dr.P.H. is a public health epidemiologist with clinical experience and additional expertise in emergency medical services.

Dr. Christiane Wagner-Wiening
Dr. Iris Zöllner
Dr. Iris Kompauer MPH

Language requirements
While the LGA provides an English dialogue work environment, a working knowledge of the German language is strongly advisable for communication with local public health offices and patients. Knowledge of French would be an asset in order to participate in the EPI-RHIN network. Stuttgart offers many opportunities for language courses in German.

Current PAE and EPIET fellows will be happy to answer your questions:
Elisabeth Aischinger (Austrian, PAE cohort 16)
Ides Boone (Belgian, EPIET cohort 17)

Training history
Number of EPIET and PAE fellows trained at institute: Three (2006, 2007, 2010)
Number of EPIET and PAE fellows currently under training: Two (2010, 2011)
Number of EPIET alumni working at institute: None

Available as a training site for Cohort 2015: No