Community of Practice Updates

On This Page
(decorative image)
Your Success Stories Support Policy Initiatives
Support Policy Initiatives

Success stories have many uses, one of which is helping state and national legislators understand our programs. Members of Congress are always interested in how work in their districts is being carried out by federal agencies and, more importantly, how appropriated funds are improving people’s lives.

Why do your stories matter? Your stories demonstrate transparency, partnership, and commitment to public health. Your stories provide the information we need to appeal to the interests of Congress.

Whether you’re taking steps to fulfill congressional mandates, collaborating with state or federal departments to expand data sharing, describing activities that advance state or local policy initiatives, or describing how you’ve spent funding, your stories provide the information we need to explain how syndromic surveillance improves public health. We know that public health programs transform communities and improve lives.

Community Highlights

NSSP Community of Practice

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to participate in NSSP Community of Practice activities? Did you want to be part of something to improve public health surveillance? We want you to stick to your resolutions and can suggest several ways to get involved:

  • Check out the newly released syndromes: CDC NSSP has recently released several new chief complaint/discharge diagnosis (CCDD) categories and syndromes. We strongly encourage community members to test these and provide feedback or edits to
  • Volunteer for AMC User Acceptance Testing: CDC NSSP acts on user feedback to improve the Access & Management Center (AMC). NSSP is looking for volunteers to pilot test new enhancements (mid-February 2021). If interested, please email
  • Submit a Syndromic Surveillance Success Story: We want to hear from you! Do you have a story to share with the community but haven’t the time to write? The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), facilitator of the NSSP CoP, wants to help. Simply email a blurb, and they’ll take it from there.
  • Be part of the NSSP CoP Data Sharing Workgroup: The workgroup is developing a process to handle data-sharing requests. If you’re interested in being part of this effort, email to be added to the workgroup listserv and get announcements (e.g., calendar invites).
  • Pilot Test Mental Health Syndromes: The NSSP CoP Syndrome Definition Subcommittee is developing syndrome definitions for specific mental health conditions or illness presentations and is looking for community members to pilot test recently developed queries. If you’re interested, please email to be added to the listserv.
  • Become a Data Quality Subcommittee Co-Chair: If you’re interested in this position or want to learn more, please email
  • Join a CSTE Syndromic Surveillance (SyS) Collaboration Project:
    • Injury SyS Workgroup: This workgroup is collaborating with CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control to finalize a SyS guidance document targeted for March 2021.
    • Wildfire SyS Project Workgroup: This workgroup is collating and reviewing wildfire health outcome syndromes
    • CSTE Non-Fatal Opioid Overdose Position Statement Implementation Guide Workgroup: This workgroup is drafting guidance that explains how to use data from poison control, emergency departments, hospital discharge diagnosis, syndromic, and laboratories for the non-fatal opioid overdose position statement.
      To learn more or get involved, please email
  • Check out previous call recordings and other resources here.

NSSP CoP Core Committee

  • Krystal Collier (AZ)—Core Committee Chair
  • Yushiuan Chen (Tri-County, CO)—Core Committee Deputy Chair
  • MisChele Vickers (AL)—Data Quality Subcommittee Co-Chair; MisChele will be vacating this position soon. We thank MisChele for her many contributions!  If you’re interested in working with others and co-chairing this subcommittee, please email
  • Diksha Ramnani (WI)—Data Quality Subcommittee Co-Chair
  • Teresa Hamby (NJ)—Knowledge Repository Curation Subcommittee Chair
  • Bill Smith (Maricopa Co., AZ)—Syndromic Surveillance and Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Co-Chair
  • Fatema Mamou (MI)—Syndromic Surveillance and Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Co-Chair
  • Rasneet Kumar (Tarrant Co., TX)—Syndrome Definition Subcommittee Co-Chair
  • Rosa Ergas (MA)— Syndrome Definition Subcommittee Co-Chair
  • Natasha Close (WA)—Technical Subcommittee Co-Chair
  • Caleb Wiedeman (TN)—Technical Subcommittee Co-Chair

Data Quality (DQ) Subcommittee

  • On the January DQ call, Krystal Collier (AZ) shared that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released the draft of the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI). The Draft USCDI v2 results from wide-ranging public input into the elements that should be included to enhance the interoperability of health data for patients, providers, and other users. ONC encourages the public to review this draft standard—including the list of data elements that did not make it into the standard—and provide comments through the USCDI home page by April 15, 2021. The DQ co-chairs MisChele Vickers (AL) and Diksha Ramnani (WI) encouraged subcommittee members to share their own data quality stories and asked how the subcommittee can best meet the data quality needs of the community.
  • Check out previous call recordings and other resources from the DQ Subcommittee here.

Knowledge Repository (KR) Curation Subcommittee

Syndrome Definition (SD) Subcommittee

  • During the January 2021 SD call, Zach Stein (CDC contractor) shared CDC’s recently added discharge diagnosis (DD) codes for COVID:
    • encounter for screening for COVID-19 (Z11.52),
    • contact with and (suspected) exposure to COVID-19 (Z20.822),
    • personal history of COVID-19 (Z86.16),
    • multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) (M35.81),
    • other specified systemic involvement of connective tissue (M35.89), and
    • pneumonia due to coronavirus disease 2019 (J12.82).
  • Kayla Anderson (CDC/NCIPC) and Lakshmi Radhakrishnan (CDC/CSELS) shared the updated anxiety definition, a new draft depression definition, and a new draft obsessive compulsive disorder definition. If you’re interested in testing the queries, please email
  • Check out previous call recordings and other resources from the SD Subcommittee here.

Syndromic Surveillance and Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery (SPHERR) Subcommittee

  • On the January 2021 SPHERR call, Michelle Carr and Yifang Dang (Houston, TX) presented on the “Use of Informatics Visualization Tool Overlaying with Syndromic Surveillance Data in Monitoring Respiratory Health after Deer Park Fire in March 2019.”  They described how they combined syndromic data from the Houston Health Department—specifically within the Southeast Texas Syndromic Surveillance System and Houston Electronic Disease Surveillance System—with environmental data using ArcGIS mapping and analysis software to create visualizations of air quality during the fire.
  • Check out previous call recordings and other resources from the SPHERR Subcommittee here.

Technical Subcommittee

  • Check out previous call recordings and other resources from the Technical Subcommittee here.

If you have questions about the NSSP CoP, its highly collaborative user groups, the NSSP CoP Slack Workspace (a collaboration platform), or syndromic surveillance, please email