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Courtney Chan, Infection Prevention Coordinator, Medical Scribe, and Researcher

Spring 2021 Featured Trainee:

Courtney Chan

  • Infection Prevention Coordinator and Infectious Diseases Clinic Medical Scribe at Tufts Medical Center
  • Research contributor and co-author with the Levy CIMAR’s Drs. Maya Nadimpalli and Shira Doron: “Antibiotic Resistance: A Call to Action to Prevent the Next Epidemic of Inequality,” in Nature Medicine (2021)

Courtney Chan is Coordinator for Infection Prevention and a Medical Scribe in the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Tufts Medical Center (TMC). She has taken on several research projects under the guidance of the Levy CIMAR’s Dr. Shira Doron, a TMC epidemiologist and antimicrobial steward, and is especially interested in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare through research, advocacy, and community-based action.

In January, Courtney co-authored a piece in Nature Medicine with Drs. Maya Nadimpalli (also of the Levy CIMAR) and Doron, titled “Antibiotic Resistance: A Call to Action to Prevent the Next Epidemic of Inequality,” which highlights the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial and ethnic minorities. The authors question how the next predicted global health crisis, antimicrobial resistance, would impact these and other marginalized populations, including the economically disadvantaged. The team is currently working on a research study investigating whether racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately at risk of acquiring drug-resistant urinary tract infections.

As Infection Prevention Coordinator, Courtney works with Dr. Doron and a team of infection prevention nurses and attending physicians to track, report, and analyze trends in community- and hospital-acquired infections. She assists with quality improvement projects to combat preventable infections and increase awareness of antibiotic resistance and its impact on patients and public health as a whole. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has supported several educational campaigns on PPE usage and post-vaccination risks. She also supports TMC’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Team, a group created to assess the hospital’s antibiotic prescribing practices and propose changes to decrease the risk of resistance.

In addition, Courtney works as a medical scribe in the Infectious Diseases Clinic under the guidance of Dr. Alysse Wurcel, a TMC Infectious Diseases physician caring primarily for patients who are transgender, incarcerated, and/or managing HIV/AIDS. In this role, Courtney maintains patient health records and also connects patients to legal representation and other advocacy resources as needed.

Courtney graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2020 with a B.A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology: Cognitive Neuroscience and a minor in Biology, and plans to attend medical school later this year. She was a John B. Ervin Scholar at Washington University for leadership in diversity and community engagement. During this time, she served as Director for Heart for the Homeless and founded the Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Initiative. The FQHC Initiative connects unhoused individuals to affordable primary care, insurance enrollment assistance programs, and local resources for childcare, transportation, and health screenings. Courtney also served as President of the Synapse Neuroscience student group, where she jumpstarted several St. Louis community initiatives such after-school STEM enrichment programs and sports rehabilitation programs for children with cerebral palsy.

Courtney’s undergraduate research experience centered on two projects: one characterizing electroencephalographic markers of post-surgical delirium and another examining the use of ketamine anesthetic during electroconvulsive therapy. In 2019, she served as a Clinical Research Fellow in the Harvard Program of Neonatology at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she investigated biomarkers of post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus and spina bifida in premature infants. She spent last year studying Global Health and Development Policy at the School of International Training in Geneva, Switzerland and Marrakech, Morocco, where she researched barriers to healthcare for migrant groups, specifically looking into psychosocial and mental health support services offered to asylum-seekers and refugees after resettlement.

Courtney will start medical school in July, and she hopes to use her training to advocate for health equity through research, education, and clinical work, particularly for populations who lack adequate access to healthcare.