Every large-scale public health emergency, serious disease outbreak, natural catastrophe or man-made event is unique, confusing, messy and often outstrips local and state capacity. With the growing number and scale of emergencies there is an immediate need to swiftly identify and mobilize epidemiologists to respond. We rely on them to safeguard our health through surveillance, emergency response, and prevention efforts. They respond rapidly to emergencies such as coronavirus, anthrax, measles, Zika virus, West Nile virus, vaping, the opioid epidemic, gun violence, multi-state foodborne illnesses and natural disasters.
In 2018, the CSTE Foundation (CSTEF) was established to address critical funding shortages at The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and support their mission to develop, expand and diversify the epidemiology workforce. Applied Epidemiologists at the state and local level are the public’s disease detectives. We rely on them to safeguard our health as they respond rapidly to emergencies such as coronavirus, anthrax, measles, Zika virus, West Nile virus, the opioid epidemic, gun violence, multi-state foodborne illnesses, and natural disasters. Their work eliminates or limits disease transmission every day and prevents disease, disability, injury, and premature death.
Our goal is to save lives and improve the public’s health by strengthening the 1,700+ members of CSTE and their public health agencies. We believe education plus funding for new, developmental, and under-resourced efforts will have the benefit of:
· Improving disease surveillance and epidemiologic practice through training and capacity development
· Promoting effective use of data to guide public health practices, thus saving lives and limiting the spread of debilitating disease and death
CSTEF also supports epidemiologists by developing competency standards, training new and experienced professionals, introducing new areas of professional competence such as informatics, and expanding into emerging areas that include hospital-associated infections, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, injury, diseases impacted by climate change and more.