NASTAD (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors), the premier national public health organization representing all state, territorial, and CDC directly-funded city/county health department HIV and hepatitis programs, proposes a five-year project under CDC/OSTLTS’ Strengthening Public Health Systems and Services Through National Partnerships to Improve and Protect the Nation's Health. NASTAD is uniquely positioned among public health organizations with a national reach to support CDC/OSTLTS in its objective to strengthen the public health system with a project that will improve the capacity of the infectious disease workforce in Category B health departments at the state, territorial and local levels in three strategic areas: 1) Data and Information Systems, 2) Partnerships; and 3) Laws and Policies.
NASTAD serves as the key information and capacity building assistance (CBA) resource channel for the infectious disease prevention and treatment workforce in state, territorial, and major city/county health departments that administer HIV and hepatitis prevention programs funded by CDC and Part B of HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP). Over the last decade, NASTAD has been focused on the need for health systems integration to improve public health programs and health outcomes, including enhancing data collection and sharing between systems, accelerating effective partnerships across public and private health sectors, and articulating the complex legal and policy issues that emerge when working across systems. Health systems integration plays a critical role in enabling improved communications, coordination, and responsiveness to population health, thereby enabling health systems to better prevent and treat infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. NASTAD has provided proven leadership, CBA, networking, and training to help public health departments, especially the infectious disease workforce, improve their knowledge and capacity to undertake health systems integration strategies and activities.
NASTAD’s overarching goal for health systems integration and for this CDC/OSTLTS project is to improve the capacity of the infectious disease workforce to better coordinate public health systems with other public and private health systems and payment structures (e.g., Medicaid, private insurance, primary care, drug user health providers). Among the primary strategies to reach this goal is to provide CBA to the infectious disease workforce to: 1) navigate enhanced data collection and sharing between public health systems and with other health systems, 2) build effective partnerships across health sectors, and 3) understand the complexities of legal and policy issues that promote or inhibit health systems integration. Achieving these goals and strategies will lead to improved population health outcomes including supporting affected individuals and communities in achieving viral suppression for people living with HIV and curing people with hepatitis C infection.
NASTAD’s proposed CBA activities under CDC/OSTLTS will help state, territorial and major city/county health departments in all 10 HHS regions of the U.S. to increase capabilities to collect, manage, use and share data appropriately to support public health monitoring and surveillance of HIV and hepatitis, strengthen partnership capabilities to respond to public health priorities collaboratively, and improve the capability of understanding and applying laws and policies to improve health outcomes.