Valerie A. Kokor '80
Ms. Kokor graduated from Gannon University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a minor in German in May 1980. While at Gannon, she was a member of the Student Government Association. Ms. Kokor received her Masters of Business Administration in Marketing in February 1983 from Youngstown State University.
Valerie Kokor began her 25-year public health career in 1983 working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a CDC Public Health Advisor, Ms. Kokor’s initial assignment was with the Houston City Health Department in the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Program. After three years, Ms. Kokor was transferred to the Ohio Department of Health Immunization Program as the State Immunization Program Deputy, assisting local and state public health staff in assessing, developing, and implementing activities to raise the immunization coverage of infants, children and adults throughout the state.
In 1988, she became the Immunization Program Manager for the Maine Department of Human Services, working with the State leadership in planning and implementing efforts to raise immunization coverage statewide. Ms. Kokor later spent eight years at CDC Atlanta, Georgia headquarters as an Immunization Project Officer. In 1998, Valerie became the Deputy of the Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch in the Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases supporting 75 CDC scientists working on such diseases as Rabies, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and bioterrorism agents in the high-containment laboratory building.
In 2001, the nation was rocked by the events of 9/11, and Ms. Kokor was detailed to New York City to assist the cadre of CDC epidemiologists and local staff working on hospital surveillance and assessment of illness and injury. In 2002, she became the Deputy of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Informatics; and in 2004, the Deputy of the Division of International Health, where she assisted in building public health disease surveillance systems. Valerie returned to the CDC Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response as the Director of the Career Epidemiology Field Officer (CEFO) Program in the Office of Science and Public Health Practice.
In September, 2008, Valerie was asked to become the Acting Chief of the Program Services Branch in the CDC Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response to oversee and lead the CDC staff who work with the $700 million Preparedness Grant to 62 State and local health departments.
Valerie’s supportive family consists of her parents, Carl and Rose Mary Kokor, a brother Robert, a sister Lisa, brother-in-law Tim, nephews Jeffrey and Thomas and a niece Emily.
(Published in 2009)