Craig Hedberg, PhD, MS, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the UM SPH, is MDH’s principal academic partner in the Center of Excellence (CoE). MDH has collaborated closely with Dr. Hedberg since he joined UM in 1999, resulting in 16 joint publications. Dr. Hedberg is one of the few Academics who has made foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak investigation a primary focus of research, teaching, and service. While at UM, Dr. Hedberg has authored or co-authored 52 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters; most focused on the development, use, and evaluation of methods to improve outbreak investigations (bibliography). Specific focus areas have included the timeliness of surveillance and outbreak investigations; enhancement of outbreak detection algorithms; use of clinical and epidemiologic criteria to guide lab and environmental assessments in outbreak investigations; and development and use of improved exposure assessment and traceback methods. These studies were conducted in collaboration with colleagues at MDH, MDA, other states, CDC, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). Dr. Hedberg was the lead author for 3 CIFOR Guidelines chapters: Investigation of Clusters and Outbreaks; Special Considerations for Multijurisdictional Outbreaks; and Performance Indicators for Foodborne Disease Programs. He developed performance indicators and metrics for laboratory, epidemiology, and environmental health program performance, and was the PI on a study to evaluate the impact of training on response to emergency incidents, including foodborne disease outbreaks; this work was funded by CDC through the UM Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (U-SEEE PERRC). Dr. Hedberg has led or participated in numerous projects with UM leaders in the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (e.g., Dr. Jeff Bender), the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the UM Department of Food Science and Nutrition, and the Food Policy Research Center. These Centers explore regional and national food production, processing, and distribution as they relate to changing risks for foodborne illness transmission, and they represent a deep, broad pool of expertise to help accomplish our CoE’s objectives).
Dr. Hedberg has conducted multiple studies on foodborne illness surveillance for CSTE, including the enteric disease investigation timeline survey that established an evaluation framework for foodborne illness surveillance that was further developed in the CIFOR Guidelines; an analysis of cluster characteristics associated with successful outbreak investigations that highlighted the importance of clusters within single states; and the cost-benefit study that demonstrated the impact of PulseNet. He was selected by CIFOR to review the CIFOR Guidelines to identify gaps and areas that needed to be updated in the second edition.