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National DIS Recognition Day

2016 National DIS Recognition Day - Friday, October 7th 

 NCSD asked members to show their love by sharing their pictures and activities from 2016 National DIS Recognition Day to show how they honored DIS across the country. 

 South Dakota

South Dakota selected Ashley Klatt (DIS Watertown), and Summer Gillaspie (DIS Rapid City) as their DIS of the year. 


  Florida gave each of their DIS a mug, an award, and a NCSD DIS calendar.


 2016 National DIS Recognition Day Press Release


Why We Celebrate National DIS Recognition Day? 

What You Can Do: Recognition Can Be Easy!
 The Role of DIS

Why We Celebrate: 

  • Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) are the backbone of state and local STD/HIV programs.
  • DIS serve the most critical role in the reporting and controlling of the spread of STDs, HIV, TB and hepatitis.
  • DIS cover many miles in their attempt to assure all patients who are infected, or have been exposed to an infection, are notified and treated.
  • It is important to recognize those whose work often goes unrecognized.
  • DIS brave unsafe conditions, work weekends and nights and respond to crises outside of STD/HIV prevention including pertussis, H1N1 influenza, e-coli and other outbreaks.
  • DIS are silent heroes dedicated to serving the health of their communities. 

The Role of DIS 

DIS work in health departments, community health centers, and other similar locations. The DIS role was initially established to work in the field of STD prevention. However, these public health professionals have ground-level investigative skills that have also become key components of tuberculosis outbreak response; HIV exposure notification; other infectious disease control efforts; and emergency response. DIS have expertise in essential skills such as communication, interviewing, counseling, case analysis, and provider and community engagement. As the health care landscape evolves, DIS are needed even more as patient navigators and network builders to ensure patients are linked to care through expanded relationships with health care providers. DIS are a critical part of the public health infrastructure and in building the link to health care.
Check out the real stories submitted by DIS that give you an idea of a “day in the life of…” here.

What You Can Do: Recognition Can Be Easy! 

Following the example set by the State of Florida, NCSD encourages project areas to acknowledge this day of recognition for all Disease Intervention Specialists in their county, city, state or territory. Here are some suggestions for making your DIS Recognition Day a success. 

  • New for 2016!! NCSD has created a DIS Recognition Day printable photo calendar that serves as year-long reminder of the importance of DIS and how much they are appreciated.  Use a picture like the one below, a group shot of all of your DIS, etc. to create your own calendar.  As part of the DIS scholarship application we asked applicants to provide one word that they thought best described DIS.  NCSD then took those words and made a "Word Cloud" to include on the calendar as well.  You can find the 2017 DIS Calendar template here  to make your own.  
  • Present each DIS with a certificate on October 7th. Use this template or create your own. Bonus points if you bring in the director of your health department to do the presentation honors.
  • Consider promoting a Wellness Day--hire a massage therapist or a yoga instructor for an afternoon of rest and relaxation for your DIS.
  • Bring in baked goods, breakfast, or pizza and host a mealtime celebration in honor of your DIS
  • Use NCSD's editable statement about DIS Recognition Day to create your own press release in less than 5 minutes!
  • Tweet about DIS Recognition Day using #DISday2016.  Or retweet messages from NCSD’s Twitter account, @NCSDdc.  Click here for sample tweets.
  • Share with them CDC's letter and video (below in 2014) regarding the importance of DIS.
  • Purchase a small, useful gift for your DIS. Ideas include: a drink tumblerinsulated cooler bag,keychainpenbusiness card holder, or mug.
  • Request that your Health Commissioner and other appropriate individuals sign a proclamation using this proclamation template or by creating your own.
  • Recognize DIS simply by adding a message to your email signature line.


2015 National DIS Recognition Day 

Leading up to this day of recognition, NCSD asked everyone to show their love by taking a special picture to honor DIS across the country.  We asked everyone to use our DIS Recognition Day printable photo message templates. Please see below some 2015 National DIS Recognition Day photos from around the country!







A few project areas chose to share with NCSD what they did to commemorate the occasion.


Florida celebrated National DIS Recognition Day by ordering commemorative compasses for all of their DIS staff this year. 




Corpus Christi celebrated two special DIS, Mary Ann Valverde-Gomez and Carmen Villarreal for all their hard work over the years.

In another region of Texas, they celebrated by treating them to lunch and having a stand up meeting afterwards.  Each DIS was awarded 8 hours of Admin Leave as part of the Recognition.



Tarrant County DIS Appreciation Day (Ft. Worth, Texas)



Minnesota recognized their wonderful DIS with a pizza party followed by a recognition celebration. The DIS were presented with a certificate of recognition and a special fun award.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee celebrated by having a special party for their DIS including pizza, salad, and dessert.


Indiana celebrated by making the above video for their entire DIS workforce across the state. They gathered clips from everyone including NCSD!

Thank you to everyone who celebrated DIS this year!

NCSD National DIS Recognition Day Press Release



3rd Annual National DIS Recognition Day

October 3, 2014 (Annually on the first Friday in October)

Video honoring 3rd Annual DIS Recognition Day, featuring Dr. Jonathan Mermin, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention; William Smith, Executive Director of NCSD; and Dr. Gail Bolan, Director of the Division of STD Prevention. A letter from CDC leadership about DIS Recognition Day can also be found here

DIS Day 2014 Activities


On the occasion of the Third Annual  National  DIS Recognition Day, Minnesota DIS were honored with lunch at a local restaurant. The Partner Services DIS team, the supervisor and program manager enjoyed a light rail train ride to the restaurant. Everyone had a great time and
 the team shared many laughs during lunch.  Additionally, a message about the National DIS observance was posted on the Minnesota Department of Health intranet page to recognize DIS for their contributions to improving the health of Minnesotans. 

Florida Dept. of Health in Hillsborough County

On October 6, 2014, our Disease Control Division Director, Faye Coe, RBN, BSN and our Assistant Director, Cindy Morris, RS made a halt in their daily activities to recognize the work of these great public health heroes. 

Since the last celebration in 2013, the STD Program has processed over 15,500 reports, closing/dispositioning 95% of them within 14 days of which, 2,494 required our Disease Intervention Specialists had to conduct investigations (records search, phone calls, multiple field visits, documentation, etc.).
Disease Intervention Specialists were recognized with a DOH cup, a letter signed by the State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, Dr. John Armstrong, MD, FACS, a recognition certificate signed by Dr. Douglas Holt, MD, our Director and some candy smores.

In addition, our Surveillance staff was recognized with some candy treat making them O”fish”illy the best surveillance team.



The Philadelphia Department of Health DIS celebrating the third Annual DIS Recognition Day!

Erie County Health Department in Buffalo, NY


Rebecca Sole, Supervisor, organized a DIS breakfast recognition party on 10/3/14. Rebecca and Patti created Certificates of Recognition which were signed and presented by  Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. Rebecca made up gift bags for each DIS with a Coffee Shop gift card, extra field notebooks, chocolate and balloons. DIS surprised Supervisor, Rebecca Sole, with beautiful flowers, a lunch gift card, chocolate, tea and heartfelt card. The celebration continued with breakfast pizzas, roasted beet and chicken salad, quiche, sweets and many other delicious treats brought by clinic staff.



 Above: Disease Intervention Specialists in Los Angeles
Below Left: DIS pose for a picture in San Diego
Below Right: DIS working in a lab in Indiana


DIS Blog Series!

Just like we did last year, we asked DIS to submit stories about their work as DIS for a chance to win a free Annual Meeting registration. 

THIS YEAR'S WINNER: This year's winner is Chuck Miller of Columbus, Ohio! Congratulations Chuck!!! Here is Chuck's story, 'We Never Know How Caring About Them Can Make a Difference to Someone.'

Last year, Tim Heymans of Minnesota won with his story titled 'The Cadavar.' We had many other wonderful submissions as well, which can be found on NCSD's blog here.


DIS Creed
"I am a proud Disease Intervention Specialist, a highly skilled health professional who stops at nothing to prevent the consequences of communicable disease among those so unfortunate to be infected or exposed. My greatest reward is knowing I make a difference."

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Kelly Mayor at

Highlighted Resources

As a proud partner of the National Female Condom Coalition, NCSD invites you to celebrate Global Female Condom Day with us on Friday, September 16th!  Global Female Condom Day is an annual day of education and advocacy to increase awareness, access, and use of female condoms around the world.


NCSD has received multiple requests for information about sexual transmission of the Zika virus.  We understand that several state and local STD programs are not included in discussions about Zika response, or about sexual transmission of cases. 


NCSD is pleased to release an infographic designed to help explain the amazing work of Disease Intervention Specialists and others who perform contact tracing for STDs.  The infogra