This blog features Emily Fussell a DIS from from the Indiana State Department of Health in Indianapolis. She shares her experience as a DIS and how the the DIS Slack workspace enriches her work.
What I enjoy the most about my time as a DIS is the ability to meet people where they are. I feel we have lost the value of face-to-face interactions and compassion for people who are less fortunate than us. The political environment and the social media environment have created a world where bold, abrasive behaviors with others is seen as the “norm”– this is something that detriments all of us in several ways, but that’s another conversation for another day! Being a DIS allows me to not only provide education and health services to people who need it most, but it also allows me to meet that person where they are and offer them empathy and compassion.
The most rewarding experiences I have ever had as a DIS are when perfect strangers (my patients) tell me they feel comfortable around me, and that they are so glad I was able to listen to them and they finally feel “not judged” for their choices. The path to recovery, healing, and prosperity begins with ALL of us meeting others where they are and uplifting them – being a DIS allows me to do this in a very special and unique way.
Being a DIS allows me to not only provide education and health services to people who need it most, but it also allows me to meet that person where they are and offer them empathy and compassion
I love that the NSCD DIS Slack workspace allows me to talk instantly to all of the STD Warriors across the United States! It has been invaluable to speak to program directors, other DIS, and many other STD prevention staff through the Slack channel. I have gathered technical assistance, examples of work flow, and random STD knowledge that I have been able to bring back to my team and implement. It also allows me to share tough cases, hard times, or generally just vent about the life of a DIS. As we all know, it’s hard doing the work we do – and having a safe space where I’m allowed to be upset, tired, or happy about the course of my work is so awesome. It’s hard to talk to people in our waking life about the work we do – so many people are “grossed out” by STD talk! Having a space of people who won’t giggle, dry heave, or use me as their go-to medical advice for the burning in their urethra is truly valuable.
Learn more about the DIS Slack workspace here.
Hey there! My name is Emily Fussell. I’m a Nashville, TN native currently living in my mother’s hometown of Indianapolis, IN. My passion to serve people extends into all aspects of my life – through career, friendships, and other public service. I found my calling to serve in public health during a community health clinical while I was in nursing school in Evansville, Indiana at the University of Evansville. Once I made the switch – I never looked back! I have been in public health since 2014 and I have worked for the Indiana State Department of Health as a DIS since February 2017. I never imagined my career would wind up in STD/HIV prevention – but I have loved every single day!