Women’s History Month: Michelle Decenteceo and her team work behind the scenes to keep our passengers and community safe
In addition to being America’s third-busiest gateway for international passengers, MIA is also one of 20 U.S. ports with a 24/7 CDC Quarantine Station. It’s up to the CDC to limit the introduction and spread of contagious diseases in the U.S. T[W(1] his past year, the CDC Miami Quarantine Station has worked tirelessly with airport and healthcare partners to protect the safety of our community. For our final Women’s History Month feature, we’re getting to know the CDC Miami Officer in Charge, Michelle Decenteceo.
- What do you do at MIA?
As the Officer in Charge for the CDC Miami Quarantine Station, I am responsible for the office of Quarantine Public Health Officers, Public Health Advisors and Licensed Medical Practitioners, who are all collectively responsible for preventing and mitigating the introduction of communicable disease at ports of entry.
- What’s your favorite memory from working at MIA?
My favorite memory from working at MIA is its airport community. Although MIA is the busiest international airport in Florida, working with the tight-knit group of MIA partners really makes a difference.
- How has your job evolved in the past year?
I was previously the Assistant Officer-in-Charge. I decided I wanted more challenging yet exciting endeavors, and I accepted a promotion to Officer-in-Charge this past August. The past year has been tough, but positively eye-opening. Our staff has increased from a small group of five officers to over 30 personnel. The Miami Quarantine Station has not had this much staff in decades. Due to COVID, I have had much more frequent planning and coordination meetings with MIA colleagues while we adjust to the new normal.
- Tell us something that people may not know about you.
While I have lived in Florida for most of my life, I love chilly weather much more than summer days.
- Have you picked up any interesting hobbies this past year?
I am not sure if you could consider this a hobby, but I have become a huge fan of podcasts and audiobooks this year. They are great to listen to when commuting!
- What’s something that you’ve recently learned about yourself?
I have recently learned this as a new parent: I really enjoy being a mother.
Trying to establish that the CDC's always active/present, not just lately because of COVID. [W(1] [W(1]