As part of ongoing efforts to support the health and safety of the campus community, the WPI health team has added Emily Burke to focus full time on contact tracing -- identifying and quarantining close contacts of anyone in the WPI community who tests positive for COVID-19.
In her new role, Burke also will supervise six Emergency Medical Services (EMS) students who have received specific training in the strict privacy protocols involved with – and necessary for – contact tracing efforts. These students will serve in an “as-needed” basis. (WPI’s EMS team operates as a subdivision of WPI Police, serving the community in cases of medical emergency to coordinate communication, treatment, and transport of patients.)
Formerly a contact tracer at Boston-based Partners in Health, Burke earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in teaching from Brown University. For the past six years she taught chemistry, biology, physics, health, and oceanography at Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton, Mass. Burke also spent part of the past four years teaching a chemistry lab for nursing majors at Rhode Island College, and she also worked and volunteered in various capacities at the Rhode Island Free Clinic in Providence for the past nine years.
Burke is the latest hire for the Health Services Team. In August, WPI hired a new director of Health Services, along with two health-related coordinators. In September, the team hired two additional nurse practitioners and a registered nurse, opened a specialized respiratory clinic, and relocated the Student Health Center.