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Data Modernization Initiative
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"Data: Elemental to Health" Campaign

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"Data: Elemental to Health" is a first-of-its-kind campaign to secure meaningful, sustained funding for public health surveillance. The collection and analysis of data is the backbone of public health surveillance, and of chief concern to CSTE members. Without a modern system for this information, epidemiologists are left to bridge the gap via sluggish, manual processes that put the nation at risk. Alongside partners Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), CSTE's goal for the campaign is $1 billion in new appropriation for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 10 years.

CSTE members often work in concert with CDC on emerging public health threats, but their response is only as good as the quality (and efficiency) of the data systems. Unfortunately, these systems are mostly antiquated, relying on obsolete surveillance methods and in dire need of security upgrades. Modernizing public health data collection into a seamless and integrated framework will create a surveillance capability suitable to safeguard the health of the nation.

Please see the links below for our campaign materials:

"Driving Public Health in the Fast Lane" Report

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In September 2019, CSTE released a white paper titled, "Driving Public Health in the Fast Lane: The Urgent Need for a 21st Century Data Superhighway." This report is a snapshot of the current state of the public health data infrastructure and was funded by the de Beaumont Foundation. You can read or download the report via the following links:

Full Report
Individual Highlights

Former CSTE Executive Director Jeffrey Engel, MD said of the publication, "Those of us who work in public health know the consequences of slow data sharing and antiquated data systems—delayed detection and response, and ultimately the loss of time and even lives. Data is the cornerstone of public health surveillance, and this report highlights the urgent need to modernize our data systems to implement today’s technologies, better protecting the public’s health."

The report was released at a Capitol Hill briefing in Washington, DC hosted by our Data: Elemental to Health co-chair HIMSS, and attended by partners APHL and NAPHSIS. Please also visit the de Beaumont Foundation's website for a blog posted about the report's launch.