For Christopher J. Perkins ('93 BA, Political Science), the mild wave of panic caused by the spread of the Zika virus in 2016 assured him that his career in preventative medicine was exactly the right choice.
Dr. Perkins serves as the health authority/medical director for Dallas County Health and Human Services. He was instrumental in Dallas County's response to the West Nile virus outbreak in 2012 and the Ebola crisis in 2014. Perkins oversees the epidemiology staff responsible for investigating communicable diseases and performing contact tracing and monitoring. He also leads several divisions, including tuberculosis elimination, STD/HIV, refugee health, immunizations, employee health, environmental health, and public health preparedness.
"My role is to protect and educate the citizens of Dallas County," Perkins says. "My time at UTA taught me how to communicate effectively with large populations and gave me a solid foundation to complete my Master of Public Health and my doctorate in osteopathic medicine. Each step in my education gave me a comprehensive approach to fighting infectious disease."