Public Health Impact and Workforce Investments
Public Health Impact
As Americans are increasingly affected by infections emerging or re-emerging anywhere in the world, identifying and stopping their spread is essential to protecting public health and saving lives. Communities across the nation benefit from the actions taken by state, local, and territorial public health departments to detect, respond, prevent, and control infectious diseases. Examples of benefits include:
- Preventing future outbreaks
- Responding quickly to occurrences of infectious diseases
- Executing prevention and control strategies leading to decreased infectious diseases deaths and illnesses
- Improving health outcomes, health care quality, and health equity
Supporting the public health workforce is a cornerstone of ELC. Historically, this support has included investments in both categorical and ‘flexible’ staff, leaders within public health state and local organizations, and training through didactic learning, conferences, and peer-to-peer learning.
Over time, ELC strengthened its commitment through developing a Workforce Assessment that recipients must complete, then using this information to develop a training plan to address gaps in capacity across epidemiology, laboratory, health information systems, bioinformatics, and leadership and management domains.
The ELC Cooperative Agreement continues to provide funding to support positions, participate in trainings, and strengthen competencies within the health department to address infectious disease surveillance, prevention, and response activities.
Technical Assistance Program (TAP)
The purpose of the Technical Assistance Program is to provide technical assistance and critical staffing support to the 64 ELC recipients. This program helps recipients successfully complete COVID-19 related goals and objectives as detailed in their ELC-approved COVID-19 workplans. The program offers recipients an opportunity to secure expertise from contractual staff through September 30, 2024. The positions vary from leadership levels to highly technical positions related to the COVID-19 emergency response and the areas of disease investigation, surveillance, and laboratory testing.
In Budget Period 4 (August 1, 2022 through July 31, 2023), ELC provided funding to support 2,999 positions which constitute 1,761 full-time equivalent staff.
ELC supported over 40,000 positions, equivalent to over 10,000 full-time staff. These were funded under ELC’s two largest COVID-19 awards (Enhancing Detection and Enhancing Detection Expansion), totaling almost $30 billion.
- Building Biosafety Capacity in Our Nation’s Laboratories
- Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Efforts from Health Departments in the United States, November 2020-December 2021
- CDC’s “Flexible” Epidemiologist: A Strategy for Enhancing Health Department Infectious Disease Epidemiology Capacity
- COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Efforts from Health Departments – United States, June 25-July 24, 2020
- Epidemiology & Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases: Essential Funding for Public Health Laboratory Response [PDF – 1 page]
- Estimated COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Averted by Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in the US
- Public Health Response to Multistate Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Associated with Prepackaged Chicken Salad, United States, 2018 [PDF – 3 pages]
- Strengthening Rural States’ Capacity to Prepare for and Respond to Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2013–2015