Specialist Profile Series. Tatiana A. Gordienko

  Published: 15.08.12 Updated: 15.08.2012 15:54:45

Citation: Specialist Profile Series. Gordienko TA. EpiNorth 2011; 12: 119-21. '

Name: Tatiana Alexandrovna Gordienko
Background: Medical Doctor, graduate of Perm State Medical Institute (later renamed to Academician E.A. Vagner Perm State Medical Academy), PhD in Medical Sciences
Title: Deputy Head of the Epidemiological Surveillance Department, Special Chief Epidemiologist of the Ministry for Healthcare and Social Development in Arkhangelsk Oblast
Organization: Directorate of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being (Rospotrebnadzor) in Arkhangelsk Oblast
Specialization: Epidemiology
Hobby: sport, outdoor recreation, reading

What are your responsibilities at the Directorate of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being in Arkhangelsk Oblast?

I am involved in the planning and provision of epidemiological surveillance over infectious diseases and in developing prevention programs targeted against different infectious diseases in Arkhangelsk oblast. I participate in various analytical, organizational, didactic and consultative activities, investigate current epidemiological situations and work with prevention and control of outbreaks. One of my major goals is to provide epidemiological surveillance over vaccine-preventable infections and to organize immunization of the population. I interact with official bodies including the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development in Arkhangelsk oblast and conduct some joint projects in collaboration with the authorities.

What motivated you to devote yourself to infectious disease epidemiology?

Now I think it just could not be otherwise! As a student, I was lucky to have excellent professors who kindled my interest in infectious disease epidemiology. I am particularly grateful to my tutor, Irina Viktorovna Feldblum, Professor of Epidemiology. At the time she was young but has become a very distinguished scholar and the head of the Epidemiology Department in Academician E.A. Vagner Perm State Medical Academy. My interest in epidemiology motivated me to participate in various scientific projects conducted by the Department of Infectious Diseases and the Department of Epidemiology at my institute. After graduation, I started to work as epidemiologist in Arkhangelsk. I have never regretted choosing this profession and I think I would never change it for anything else.

Which of your professional achievements brings you the most satisfaction?

As a result of extended vaccination coverage, the incidence of vaccine-preventable infections has decreased. Data collected over time have documented the efficiency of this selected strategy. This activity is being conducted together with health practitioners.

What was your most difficult professional moment?

Reorganization of the epidemiological service in 2005 resulted in transferring of medical epidemiologists to various institutions and separation of the laboratory service department. The changes provoked certain doubts about the efficiency of our work. However, the top officials of the service and all the specialists did everything possible in order to solve the administrative and economic problems that developed between the different institutions. Now we have succeeded in developing a new model for collaboration under the existing conditions.

What do you think are the most important achievements in infectious disease epidemiology so far?

The current state of vaccine prophylaxis, with new vaccines and modification of existing vaccines, makes it possible to protect various groups of population against infectious diseases on a mass scale. It is particularly important to underline the fact that the incidence of some infectious diseases, such as smallpox, poliomyelitis caused by the wild virus strain, measles, and tetanus, can be reduced to the point of eradication.

How did you start collaborating in the EpiNorth project?

I started my collaboration with EpiNorth during our joint project addressing immunization against viral hepatitis B and rubella.

What do you find the most interesting aspect of the EpiNorth project?

For professionals, all types of up-to-date information about their field of activity are always in high demand. The epidemiologists living in the EpiNorth participating countries have an opportunity to exchange their data and experiences, and thus to establish close contacts with colleagues. It is also important that publications in the EpiNorth journal are free of charge, which makes them available to the widest audience.

What do you consider the most important achievement of the EpiNorth project?

The project allows us to exchange our ideas and to share our experience in solving current problems related to epidemiology of infectious diseases.

What is your favourite book and why?

In different periods of my life, I was influenced and impressed by different books. Each book we read teaches us quite a lot. I do not think I could have only one favourite book for a long period of time. Some years ago I liked Mikhail Bulgakov’s novels for their merciless truthfulness; then I enjoyed historical books and fantastic novels by Ivan Efremov because they showed the harmony of a human personality. Some time ago I also admired the noble firmness of heroines in novels by Danielle Steel, and right now I am “hooked” on Paulo Coelho’s works. I like “The Alchemist” most of all and would recommend it to anyone. I am sure you will enjoy it!

Aside from your professional career, what is your greatest ambition in life?

Apart from my very interesting job, I also have a family to take care of. I am trying hard to set a good example for my children, motivate them to achieve more than their parents and to succeed both in their careers and personal lives.

What would be your wishes for the younger colleagues in the field of epidemiology?

Medical science as a whole and epidemiology as one of its areas cannot be learned from “A to Z” once and for all. The peculiarity of this field of study is that it needs to be investigated anew every day.