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June, 2007

Hispanic Health Program



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The nation has a growing need for trained epidemiologists to address current public health problems as well as problems of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.

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Epidemiologists comprise less than one percent of the total public health workforce. Minorities, especially Hispanics/Latinos, make-up an even smaller percentage of this profession.

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As the Hispanic/Latino population multiplies and their public health problems worsen, it is important to increase the number of trained Hispanic/Latino epidemiologists who can provide assistance to their own populations.


The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) is a unique two year, post-graduate program of service and on-the-job training for health professionals interested in epidemiology. Since 1951, approximately 2,500 EIS Officers -- CDC’s "Disease Detectives" -- have graduated from this program. Seventy officers have been Hispanic/Latino. In FY 2001, 72 officers graduated from the EIS Program, nine of whom were Hispanic/Latino. Of the 73 new officers entering in July 2002, three were Hispanic/Latino. In addition to the on-the-job training gained by investigation of disease outbreaks, natural and man-made disasters, and other public health emergencies, the EIS Program provides formal instruction to EIS Officers through courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, public health ethics and law, evaluation of surveillance systems, scientific writing and prevention effectiveness.

Example of program in action:
  EIS Officers work in a variety of areas during their assignments, many which involve Hispanic/Latino health activities, including: an outbreak investigation of syphilis among Hispanic/Latino males in Decatur, Alabama, an investigation of increased Hispanic/Latino teen pregnancies in Kansas, and a long term study on "Suicide among Hispanics, US 1990-99."


The need for well trained minority epidemiologists, especially Hispanic/Latino, remains high. In an effort to meet these and future demands, the EIS Program will work to increase the number of minorities entering the program and those being assigned to state and local health departments in future years. This will be done in concert with increased marketing of the program to the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools.

For more information, contact the Epidemiology Program Office, Division of Applied Public Health Training, Mailstop E-92, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30333: (404) 498-6110:

Back to the Hispanic/Latino Populations Page



Hispanic Health Program
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