Prevention of HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB through health care : supporting health departments—next steps
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Prevention of HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB through health care : supporting health departments—next steps

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    Enhancing health departments’ preparedness and response: The role and functions of health departments are likely to change dramatically over the next few years. Multiple factors shape public health operations – changes in health service, delivery and support, evolving health information systems, and budget constraints at all levels of government. All of these factors may have significant impact on how health departments facilitate prevention, treatment and care regarding HIV, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB infections. It is critical for CDC and our partners to identify key strategies and activities that anticipate and address the complicated but emerging circumstances and improve population health. Although the most dramatic changes are anticipated for 2014, several important changes are underway.

    Now is the time for NCHHSTP and health department partners to take action to seize opportunities and address challenges. The “next steps” in this document were developed from an NCHHSTP consultation held in June 2011, with participation from health department partners, including state and local officials; those with program-specific or broad communicable disease control responsibilities; national organizations supporting health departments, programs, or community health centers (e.g., NACCHO, ASTHO, NACHC, NASTAD, NCSD), Federal agencies (CMS, HRSA), and others (e.g., academics, professionals). This document outlines next step approaches for addressing some of the most critical “drivers” of change that will impact NCHHSTP programs, as well as vision for the future. The document is organized into four categories: Utilizing investments in health information technology; Interacting with the private/primary care provider community and relevant specialists; Collaborating with community health clinics to integrate primary care and public health objectives; Engaging with Medicaid and sustaining safety-net care services.

    The most immediate activities focus on increasing awareness among NCHHSTP staff and program partners about the implications of anticipated changes and the need to establish new collaborative relationships. However, these action steps must occur in the context of the broader changes in health department (HD) function that will require expanded and altered HD capacities.

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