UTA public health expert recognized as guiding light in pandemic

Dr. Erin Carlson has been named the Best Public Health Expert in the 2021 Best of Dallas list by the Dallas Observer.

Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

  Erin Carlson wearing Covid mask

An expert in infectious disease, Dr. Erin Carlson, associate clinical professor and director of Graduate Public Health Programs in UTA’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation has been named the Best Public Health Expert in the 2021 Best of Dallas list by the Dallas Observer. Dr. Carlson is described as a “guiding light during a dark time” by the Dallas Observer, and lauded for her communications skills in delivering tough prognoses with a delicate manner.

“I am very grateful to Dallas Observer journalists for this honor. The Dallas Observer is a great example of the partnerships that journalists have successfully established with public health professionals during COVID,” said Carlson.

Nominated by staff news reporter Simone Carter at the Dallas Observer, Dr. Carlson has given over 60 interviews with various local and national outlets since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also provided interviews in both English and Spanish, and highlights include NPR national syndication and a recent profile in the Wall Street Journal focusing on the medically vulnerable returning to the workplace amidst the pandemic.

“Prior to the pandemic, I hadn't written much about health-related matters. As soon as the novel coronavirus landed in North Texas, though, I quickly had to learn how to deliver readers the latest information on COVID-19. Thanks to the University of Texas at Arlington's top-notch communications team, I was connected to Dr. Erin Carlson, who has an unmatched gift for breaking down a complex and rapidly evolving topic in easy-to-digest language,” said Carter.

Erin Carlson public speaking“Dr. Carlson is always a joy to interview, even though most of the time she's having to answer questions about a grave subject. Her commitment to expanding the public's understanding of the disease in a way that's accessible, accurate, and memorable has undoubtedly saved countless lives. I also appreciate that she's sharply focused on providing readers with the assurance that we can beat COVID-19 with the proper actions. And although she may not know it, she imbues each interview with hope -- something that we all need now more than ever.”

“Simply put: Dr. Carlson truly is a journalist's dream,” said Carter.

Before joining CONHI, Carlson previously worked as principle and co-investigator on community-based infectious disease research, and in projects concerning access to health care for vulnerable immigrant populations. Her work has been funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Science Foundation, and state and local organizations.

“Local journalism has been a great ally to public health during COVID. Our local journalists have done an excellent job communicating science-based facts during COVID and I feel very honored to be a tiny part of that communication process,” said Carlson.