WACO, TX — Texas is being awarded $18,681,523 in funding to support the disease intervention specialist (DIS) workforce.
DIS are public health professionals who work almost as disease detectives to stop and prevent transmission of infectious diseases; 78 percent of the health department workforce that is designated to STD/HIV has or is currently responding to the COVID-19 emergency, according to the CDC.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services announced 59 jurisdictions, the District of Columbia, all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and six health departments in larger metropolitan areas, are being awarded $200 million in funding to expand and strengthen the DIS workforce.
“Disease intervention specialists have helped halt infectious disease outbreaks in America for decades, and this funding builds upon that expertise for a stronger, healthier America,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “This critical investment to recruit and train the experts needed to end this pandemic and prevent the next one is part of our larger effort to rebuild public health infrastructure in the United States to ensure it can protect the health of all Americans for generations to come.”
This funding is meant to allow public health departments in the 59 jurisdictions to better conduct disease investigation, and enhance their response to COVID-19 and other infectious disease, according to the CDC.
The CDC will also increase DIS training opportunities and delivery of partner services, in addition to the funding.