Indiana Epidemiology Newsletter
On June 27, 2007, the Epidemiology Resource Center (ERC) and the Indiana State Department of Health lost one of its longest serving professional staff members with the death of Vivie Dunn. Vivie E. Dunn had worked with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) as a medical entomologist since 1978. She first started in this position with the Vector Control Program in the Division of Sanitary Engineering. Then, two years ago, the program was moved to the ERC.
Vivie was born in Maryland and raised in Newark, Delaware, where she graduated from Christiana High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Entomology from the University of Delaware. During this time, she studied and became fascinated with mosquitoes, a fascination that served her and the State of Indiana well. Vivie then received her Master of Science degree in Biology, working with mites, from Idaho State University.
She came to work at the then Indiana State Board of Health in 1978 as an entomologist responsible for assisting local health departments, businesses, and citizens in the southern third of Indiana. Vivie was stationed in Newburgh where she served until her death.
During her tenure with the ISDH, Vivie developed a reputation for her competence, enthusiasm, and her ability to work well with a variety of people. She was extremely popular on the lecture circuit, never hesitating to give talks about subjects as diverse as head lice, ticks, mosquitoes, hantavirus, and birds. She spoke with schools, 4-H clubs, nurses, environmental health specialists, and naturalists, just to mention a few groups.
Vivie was extremely energetic, contributing greatly to the success of the Arbovirus Surveillance Program through the years. In this capacity, she dealt competently with St. Louis Encephalitis Virus; the introduction of Aedes albopictus, the Asian Tiger Mosquito; West Nile Virus; and Lyme Disease. She showed leadership, guiding local health departments in her geographic area through everything from collection and identification of specimens to control of vector populations.
Vivie was also active in the Indiana Vector Control Association, serving one year as President, and the Indiana Environmental Health Association, receiving the award of Sanitarian of the Year in 1988. She was an active member of the American Mosquito Control Association, the Entomological Society of America, the Indiana State Academy of Science, and was accredited as a Registered Professional Entomologist.
Vivie was also very involved in her community, participating in the local chapter of the Indiana Audubon Society and Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Evansville, where she sang in the choir.
Vivie will be greatly missed by all of us.