The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing $26.4 million in grant funding to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments in all 50 states, two territories and the six largest local jurisdictions. The awards will support:
* Hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases.
* Increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments.
* Developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
“With this funding, health departments can better respond to disease outbreaks, monitor trends and evaluate the impact of interventions, such as vaccinations or infection control practices, to improve the public’s health,” according to a statement from Beth Bell, director of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. “In addition, the investments in information systems will put health departments in a better position to engage effectively in this modern era of health information exchange and evolving electronic health records.”
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