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CSTE Informing Dialogue in Washington, D.C.

Posted By Jeff Engel and Chad McCoull, Friday, March 27, 2015
Updated: Friday, March 27, 2015
Untitled Document

CSTE meetings show progress for federal program partnerships and promise for Congressional appropriations.

This week CSTE leadership met in our nation’s capital to make recommendations based on the needs and perspectives of state and local epidemiologists. Executive Board members Al DeMaria of Massachusetts, Tim Jones of Tennessee, and Janet Hamilton of Florida were accompanied by CSTE Executive Director Jeff Engel, Washington Representative Emily Holubowich, and Communications Coordinator Chad McCoull.

Meeting with our colleagues in the executive and legislative branches provided a forum to share data and stories about both the challenging day-to-day realities and heartening accomplishments of applied epidemiology in America. These continued discussions help align federal priorities with those of state and local health departments in order to better alleviate burdens and bridge capacity gaps. CSTE leaders touched upon multiple recurrent topics:
  • Recommendations on national action in antibiotic resistance
  • Gaps in healthcare-associated infection data collection and dedicated staffing
  • Strategies for harmonizing and developing national reporting systems
  • Assessment results in workforce capacity and fellowship programs
  • Institutional perspectives on Ebola Virus Disease monitoring programs
  • New directions for the Emerging Infections Programs (EIP) network
In addition to these illuminating discussions, CSTE presented a joint letter, coproduced with the Association of Public Health Laboratories and addressed to legislative subcommittees that preside over public health appropriations. The letter urges continued bipartisan support for core epidemiology activities, emerging priority areas, and more:
  • Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
  • Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB)
  • Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) grants
  • Foodborne Disease Surveillance
  • Advanced Molecular Detection
  • Workforce and Career Development, including CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowships

Read the complete letters to the House of Representatives and the Senate

As a direct result of this week’s meetings, CSTE is forging new partnerships to better serve its national membership. CSTE looks forward to further opportunities to work with the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Washington, D.C. office and CDC National Center for Health Statistics. As public health practitioners at all levels of government come together to shape the future of epidemiology, CSTE remains a unifying voice for the national public health applied epidemiology workforce.
Jeffrey Engel, MD is Executive Director and Chad McCoull, MPA is Communications Coordinator at CSTE. CSTE members with messages they wish to share with CSTE leaders are welcome to contact us. For more information on CSTE’s advocacy efforts, read Emily Holubowich’s CSTE Features article on President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2016 budget.

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