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CSTE position statements represent the documentation and analysis of policy issues affecting public health and can cover any issue of importance to CSTE members. Position statements may take the form of general policy statements or call for placing health conditions under standardized surveillance. Position statements are submitted each spring and then discussed and voted on by the CSTE membership at the Annual Conference in June. Position statement authors must be active CSTE members, although associate members may be co-authors.

View past position statements by clicking here.
View the 2016 Position Statement Timeline.
Position statements must be submitted by an active CSTE member using the appropriate template and by the deadline. The submission deadline for ordinary process position statements is 13 weeks before the June business meeting on Thursday, March 24, 2016.
PDF versions of the 2016 templates for submitting position statements are available below. To receive an editable template, please email Meredith Lichtenstein ( with the type of template you need and the topic of your position statement.

*To receive an editable template, please contact Meredith Lichtenstein (

Zika Virus Interim Position Statement
Read the interim position statement “Zika Virus Disease and Congenital Zika Virus Infection Interim Case Definition and Addition to the Nationally Notifiable Disease List.”

Authors seeking to update an existing standardized surveillance case definition should reference previous CSTE position statements for the condition and describe the proposed updates in the position statement. Authors are also encouraged to seek input from appropriate subject matter experts at the state, local, and federal levels during the position statement writing process. The template must be completed in its entirety for both updated and new case definitions. Final position statements should be able to "stand alone” and contain all current information required to implement surveillance for the disease or condition.
View submitting author responsibilities.
There are three mechanisms to submit a position statement for consideration by the CSTE membership and discussion at the CSTE Business Meeting: ordinary process, expedited handling, and presidential review. Please see the requirements for each and the 2016 submission timeline for more details. The deadline for ordinary submission is Thursday, March 24, 2016.

Position statements should be submitted using the appropriate template. Submitted statements using the incorrect template will not be accepted by the National Office. Updated 2016 templates with submission instructions are available via the above links.

The format for the three types of position statements is briefly described below.

Policy resolutions:
  1. Statement of the problem
  2. Statement of the desired action(s) to be taken
  3. Public health impact
  4. **NEW** Revision history - updated for 2016
  5. References
  6. Coordination
  7. Author Information
Standardized surveillance for diseases or conditions:
  1. Statement of the problem
  2. Background and justification
  3. Statement of the desired action(s) to be taken - updated for 2016
  4. Goals of surveillance
  5. Methods for surveillance
  6. Criteria for case identification
  7. Case definition for case classification
  8. Period of surveillance
  9. Data sharing/release and print criteria
  10. **NEW** Revision history - updated for 2016
  11. References
  12. Coordination
  13. Author Information
Placing healthcare-associated diseases or conditions under standardized surveillance through the National Healthcare Safety Network:
  1. Statement of the problem
  2. Background and justification
  3. Statement of the desired action(s) to be taken
  4. Goals of surveillance
  5. Methods for surveillance
  6. Case and denominator definitions or risk adjustment
  7. Proposed circumstances for standardized surveillance and reporting
  8. Narrative: Public health surveillance vision, proposed priorities, and strategy for future expansion or decrease in surveillance
  9. Data sharing/release and print criteria
  10. **NEW** Revision history - updated for 2016
  11. References
  12. Coordination
  13. Author Information

Interim position statements
Urgent or time-sensitive issues that must be addressed between annual business meetings may be submitted as interim position statements. Interim position statements are approved by the CSTE Executive Board and immediately become official policy of CSTE until the next CSTE Business Meeting, when they must be ratified or they will become null. Interim position statements are posted to the CSTE website immediately after approval by the Executive Board.

Informal discussion webinars: 2016 Position Statement Webinars will be scheduled in spring 2016
These webinars will take place before the next annual conference to provide a forum for informal position statement discussion among CSTE members along with local, state, and federal public health partners. The purpose of these webinars is to allow more time for members and position statement authors to interact and engage in discussions of selected position statements. Submitting authors will have a chance to give a brief 5-7 minute overview of their position statement, and others will be encouraged to ask questions and make comments.

Approval process
At the CSTE Annual Conference, all CSTE members are encouraged to attend the position statement discussions organized by CSTE Steering Committees, where each statement is presented by the author, discussed, and voted on. An author (usually, the submitting author) is required to be at the Annual Conference to present the statement. Dates and times of the Steering Committee discussions vary but are available in the yearly CSTE Annual Conference agenda.

Position statements are put to two votes by the appropriate Steering Committee, the first to approve the position statement and the second to add the position statement to the CSTE Consent Calendar. The CSTE Consent Calendar is a method for position statements that have been deemed non-controversial to be voted upon all at once by the Council at the CSTE Business Meeting. In order for a Steering Committee to consider adding a position statement the CSTE Consent Calendar, a quorum of CSTE members must be met during the voting process. A quorum for position statement purposes is defined as at least one Active Member from ten or more states or U.S. territories represented in any Steering Committee Session.

Position statements approved by the Steering Committees are brought to the CSTE Business Meeting for final approval. This meeting occurs annually at the CSTE Annual Conference and typically occurs Thursday morning. At this meeting, representatives from state and territorial health agencies vote on the position statements. Each state and territory is given one vote.

To review the policy on the position statement approval process, please view the CSTE Policies and Procedures Manual.

After approval
Once approved, all position statements become CSTE policy and will be posted on the CSTE website. The submitting author will be responsible for tracking the position statement during the year following its adoption. By May 1 of the year following adoption of a position statement, the original submitter will be asked to report back to the CSTE Executive Board on the status and impact of the position statement. In addition, the CSTE National Office will follow up with agencies that have been contacted for information or response as listed on each position statement.
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