Caitlyn Stockhausen shares how the NCSD/Diagnostic Direct Syphilis Health Check donation to the City of Milwaukee Health Department was utilized in the field.
Caitlyn Stockhausen, City of Milwaukee Health Department
October 29, 2021
For STD Awareness Week 2021, the National Coalition of STD Directors and Diagnostics Direct partnered to donate 2,000 Syphilis Health Check tests to NCSD members. Caitlyn Stockhausen with the City of Milwaukee Health Department shares how their donation was used in the field.
The City of Milwaukee has experienced a 300% rise in syphilis cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases have particularly increased in women, persons who engage in transactional or survival sex, and people who use IV drugs. There has also been a spike in congenital syphilis. Many of these congenital syphilis cases are complicated by suboptimal prenatal care, housing insecurity, substance use, and transactional sex work. This data has been a call to action for the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD), community partners, and local health care providers. There is a gap in access to sexual health care services, particularly STI testing and treatment, in the transient populations who experience many barriers to accessing care in traditional clinic settings. In collaboration with StreetLife Communities, a well-respected community-based organization who targets outreach efforts to the homeless and sex work populations, Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) and Public Health Nurses (PHN) at the Milwaukee Health Department utilized the NCSD/Diagnostic Direct Syphilis Health Check (SHC) 2021 donation to perform rapid syphilis testing and treatment in the field. At this late-night outreach event, clients were offered rapid syphilis and HIV screening by MHD as a mobile pop-up clinic. Clients were informed of syphilis results within 10 minutes. Eight clients were tested at the initial event, two clients had reactive rapid syphilis tests, and one client was treated on the spot. We plan to continue this effort of rapid syphilis testing and treatment in the field into the future.
Meet Caitlyn Stockhausen
Caitlyn Stockhausen has a BS in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University. She is passionate public health advocate and is currently employed as a Disease Intervention Specialist Coordinator at the City of Milwaukee Health Department. Her 3 years of work at the City of Milwaukee Health Department has included STI case management as a Disease Intervention Specialist in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Program and Site Coordination at a COVID-19 Isolation Facility. She is a MPH Candidate in Epidemiology at the Zilber School of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.