DIS Serve Historic Role in Fighting COVID and Other Infectious Disease Outbreaks
For Immediate Release: May 13, 2021
Contact: Kathleen Jeanty, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-610-5424
Washington, D.C. –
The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) applauds the Biden and Harris Administration’s decision to invest $1.13 billion in new funding for Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) to fight COVID and other infectious diseases. We sincerely thank Congress and the CDC for this ground-breaking investment.
“Today marks a historic turning point in building-back America’s public health workforce after decades of neglect,” said David C. Harvey, executive director. “America needs a robust and well-funded public health DIS workforce in America to ensure we are never caught unprepared again,” he adds.
Disease Intervention Specialists — sometimes referred to as first responders, disease detectives, case investigators, contact tracers and other terms — are highly skilled and diverse professionals. Coming from the communities they serve, DIS work with communities of color, LGBTQI, women and other people in need to reduce social disparities and promote health equity. The new funding, which comes as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will be used to support and hire thousands of new DIS positions, ongoing training and professional development, and other assistance to public health departments.
“New funding for DIS is a down payment on rebuilding the public health system our nation needs to be ready to respond to any infectious disease threat, including the out-of-control STD epidemics in America made worse by COVID,” Harvey says. “NCSD will work closely with CDC and our members and the nation’s public health departments to build a strong and effective DIS workforce,” he adds.
The National Coalition of STD Directors is a national public health membership organization representing health department STD directors, their support staff, and community-based partners across 50 states, seven large cities, and eight U.S. territories. Our vision is a nation without sexually transmitted diseases. We advance effective STD prevention programs and services in every community across the country. NCSD does this as the voice of our membership. We provide leadership, build capacity, convene partners, and advocate. For more information, visit www.ncsddc.org.