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Program Director for Serious Communicable Diseases

Emory University Hospital


PANEL: Navigating A Pandemic


Sharon Vanairsdale, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, NP-C, CEN, FAEN, FAAN is the Program Director for the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA. As the Program Director, she manages unit readiness and hospital preparedness for patients with Ebola and other special pathogens. In her role, she helps coordinate clinical operations, staff safety, and patient outcomes. She has been involved in the care of patients with Ebola virus disease and Lassa Fever. Dr. Vanairsdale is also the Director for Education within the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center, a federally funded collaborative between Emory, Nebraska Medicine, and New York Health and Hospital-Bellevue. Prior to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, she was the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Emergency Department at Emory University Hospital. In 2016, Dr. Vanairsdale was awarded the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Nurse of the Year for Exemplary Professional Practice and the Georgia Chapter March of Dimes Nurse of the Year for Nursing Administration. In 2017, she was inducted into the Academy of Emergency Nurses and the American Academy of Nursing and serves as the vice-chair of the Expert Panel on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Dr. Vanairsdale received her Doctor of Nurse Practice from Emory University’s School of Nursing in December 2018.

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