CDC awards $6.2 million for integration of health services
CDC's Program Collaboration and Service Integration (PCSI) initiative to enable six demonstration project areas to extend the reach of prevention services
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that it will award a total of $6.2 million over the next three years to health departments in six areas to combine and streamline health services for diseases with similar characteristics, such as HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), viral hepatitis and tuberculosis. The awards aim to increase collaboration among programs and integration of prevention, testing and treatment services for these infections, which may be interrelated due to characteristics such as risk, transmission or other factors.
New York City, North Carolina, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Texas and Washington, D.C., will receive the annual awards to begin demonstration projects that follow this approach. With CDC guidance, each area will tailor its project to meet local needs, taking into account prevalence of disease, number of new infections and which communities are most impacted. The projects will be monitored and evaluated by CDC on an ongoing basis to identify innovative and effective evidence-based strategies, programs and services that can serve as future models for other health departments across the country.
"These funds will enable health departments in six areas with high burden of disease to evolve beyond their current disease-specific prevention approaches and begin providing more comprehensive services, which ultimately should save time, resources and lives," said Kevin Fenton, MD, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, STDs, Viral Hepatitis and TB Prevention. "Service integration provides one-stop shopping for a wide range of health services, which can eliminate repeated registration periods and reduce numerous administrative barriers facing people who live in underserved areas."
HIV, STDs, hepatitis and tuberculosis share many behavioral, social, environmental and biological factors. Many of the same behaviors that put people at risk for HIV infection put them at risk for acquiring STDs and hepatitis. Additionally, STDs can facilitate the transmission of HIV, and HIV/AIDS increases the risk of developing tuberculosis and the progression of liver disease in those with chronic hepatitis C.
Co-infection is much higher among certain diseases and among certain populations. For example:
- About 25 percent of people with HIV are also infected with the hepatitis C virus
- About 57 percent of new HIV infections are among men who have sex with men (including those who also inject drugs), and 63 percent of new syphilis cases are among men who have sex with men
- Almost half of all new HIV infections are among African-Americans and 42 percent of all tuberculosis cases among people born in the United States are also among African-Americans
- The majority of tuberculosis cases are among racial and ethnic minorities
- The highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea – bacterial infections that can cause infertility in women – are among teenage girls and young women
Despite high prevalence of co-infection, many prevention strategies and services focus on diagnosing and treating just one infection. Program collaboration and service integration can simplify existing processes, accelerate disease prevention, and have a greater overall impact on the well-being of those infected with these diseases by combining prevention, testing and other services.
Program collaboration and service integration is part of CDC's strategy for streamlining and coordinating efforts across disease areas to increase the effectiveness of current public health efforts. Providing a single point of entry for multiple services such as health care, welfare assistance, adult education and other services at a single location minimizes duplication of services and extends the reach of services to communities with the greatest need. Additionally, improving collaboration within health departments and with CDC will help identify populations with multiple related risks, maximize prevention opportunities, and provide surveillance and other data vital to assessing changing disease trends. It will also enable more flexible responses to intertwined epidemics.
For more information, please visit: www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/programintegration.
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