Surveillance and epidemiology are at the core of public health practice and provide the foundation for developing a public health response to any disease threat. In fact, four of The Ten Essential Public Health Services – a list of core public health responsibilities drafted by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working group – depend on epidemiologic capacity. While the State, tribal, local and territorial (STLT) applied epidemiology workforce continues to grow, there are still significant gaps in epidemiologic capacity.
The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) proposes to provide capacity building assistance to STLT applied epidemiologists through workforce development and technical assistance initiatives. These CBA activities will help strengthen the U.S. public health system by enhancing our nation’s applied epidemiology and surveillance capacity and improving STLT agencies’ ability to deliver essential public health services. Through the cooperative agreement with CDC, CSTE will:
- Enhance public health systems infrastructure by assessing workforce capacity and developing standards of practice that help STLT public health agencies.
- Increase epidemiology workforce capacity in STLT health agencies through competency-based training for applied epidemiologists in all career levels and recruiting recent graduates into applied epidemiology careers through fellowship training programs.
- Improve the utility of data and information systems to guide decision making by equipping the epidemiology workforce with skills necessary to manage and interpret data, utilize state of the art technology and facilitate data integration.
- Promote collaboration between STLT and federal agencies and other organizations so STLT epidemiologists are better prepared to leverage partnerships and engage with the public health community-at-large to strategically address public health needs.
- Provide technical assistance and identify best practices, which lead to the development of tools and resources to improve public health practice.
Through these activities, CSTE aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- Strengthened ability of STLT epidemiologists to deliver essential public health services
- Increased competency of STLT epidemiologists in surveillance, epidemiology and informatics to facilitate more effective use of health data to inform decision making and support evidence-based policies.
- Enhanced surveillance systems that integrate health information technologies so that STLT agencies and partners can collaboratively and strategically respond to public health priorities