Sharlene E. Edwards, MPH, RN, started her career in public health in 2002 as a Project Coordinator for the Rapid Assessment Response and Evaluation (R.A.R.E) Project in Manatee County which worked to assess and describe the dynamics of local HIV/AIDS transmission in Manatee County. It was from here that Sharlene developed a love for Disease Control and Public Health. Since then, Sharlene has worked as an STD DIS, Epidemiologist, Preparedness Manager, and TB Control and Immunization Manager. Currently Sharlene serves as the Disease Control Director for the Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas), where she coordinates local strategic planning efforts to improve community health and reduce communicable diseases. In addition, she works to bring partners together from various sectors to collaborate toward a healthier Pinellas County. She has over a decade of experience in Communicable Disease education, surveillance, outreach, and prevention. Sharlene is mostly passionate about health promotion and prevention for those who suffer greatly from health disparities and health inequities. She is heavily involved with community grass roots organizations that work to promote and improve health outcomes within black and brown communities.