Skip to main content

Katz awarded LEAP Fellowship to improve antibiotic use in Tennessee

Apr. 9, 2020, 10:19 AM


by Leigh MacMillan

Sophie Katz, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, has been awarded a Leadership in Epidemiology, Antimicrobial Stewardship, and Public Health (LEAP) Fellowship. She is one of four early career infectious diseases physicians in the United States to receive the award, which provides $100,000 of funding support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sophie Katz, MD, MPH

The LEAP Fellowship was created by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society to give early career infectious diseases physicians hands-on experience collaborating with public health agencies.

Katz, who is also associate director of Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Health to improve antibiotic use in the state. Tennessee is one of the highest antibiotic prescribing states in the nation.

Katz and a team of researchers from the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System recently reviewed data from a 2016 statewide database to discover drivers of antibiotic prescribing in Tennessee and identify opportunities for improvement.

They found that a small group of providers — 2% of the clinicians in the dataset — were responsible for about one-fourth of the broad-spectrum antibiotics prescribed. High prescribing practice was more prevalent among physicians in rural areas and among those who graduated from medical school before 2000.

With the LEAP Fellowship, Katz will build on this prior work. The research team will develop feedback reports to give providers throughout the state quarterly feedback about their antibiotic prescribing. The researchers will design the reports using focus groups and input from providers who work in one of the highest prescribing counties in the state, to be sure the reports provide relevant and useful information.

“Through the LEAP Fellowship, I will gain more education about hospital epidemiology, antibiotic stewardship and public health,” Katz said. “The fellowship will provide me with an opportunity to continue to work as a liaison between the hospital/outpatient setting and the state health department, which is a long-term career goal of mine.”

Katz earned her MD at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport and completed residency training in Pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. She was a Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt, where she also earned her MPH degree, before joining the faculty in 2019.

Katz is the second Vanderbilt physician to receive a LEAP Fellowship. Milner Staub, MD, instructor in Infectious Diseases, was among the first group of awardees in 2018.

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Vanderbilt Medicine
VUMC Voice