At a Glance
  • State Population: 7,051,339
  • Local Health Departments: 95
  • Frequent Public Health Emergencies: Tornadoes, Flooding, Chemical Hazmat
  • Key Emergency Operations Center Activations: 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic
  • CDC PHEP Funding:
    FY 2022: $12,135,779
    FY 2021: $11,636,659
    FY 2020: $11,654,608
  • Public Health Crisis Response Funding
    Mpox 2023 funding: $629,878Mpox 2022 funding: $419,948
    COVID-19 2021 funding: $40,941,205
    COVID-19 2020 funding: $14,345,196
PHEP-Funded Staff
  • Epidemiologists: 10
  • Laboratorian: 6
  • Nurses: 7
  • Planners: 11
  • Other: 20*

*Includes IT specialists, administrative staff, statisticians, and other positions

CDC Preparedness Field Staff

1 Career Epidemiology Field Officer
1 Preparedness Field Assignee

Top 5 Preparedness Investments
  1. Public Health Laboratory Testing
  2. Medical Surge
  3. Community Recovery
  4. Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation
  5. Information Sharing
Stories from the Field
CDC CEFO Oversees COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in Tennessee

Julie Shaffner, a PHEP-funded Career Epidemiology Field Officer, oversaw teams conducting case investigations and contact tracing for the Tennessee Department of Health’s COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts. Shaffner established a surge process to ease the burden on public health staff in the field and provided updates on COVID-19 guidance and protocols during regular calls with more than 150 public health staff. Shaffner also organized statewide call centers to answer general and clinical questions from the public and healthcare providers about COVID-19. The call centers have respond to more than 100,000 calls.

Tennessee PFA Helps Develop Alternate Care Sites during 2020 COVID-19 Response

Jennifer Johnson, a PHEP-funded preparedness field assignee in Tennessee, helped develop in 2020 alternate care sites for when hospitals in the most affected areas of Tennessee became overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Johnson worked with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to conduct exercises that tested the sites’ capabilities. She also led exercise debriefings to assess lessons learned and improvements needed.

Tennessee Opioids
PHEP Program Brings Tennessee’s Opioid Overdose Epidemic under Control

In Tennessee, PHEP supports a CDC field scientist who works with local staff to improve surveillance, strengthen outbreak response, and conduct epidemiologic investigations. In 2017, Tennessee recorded 1,268 deaths related to opioid overdoses. The CDC scientist, alongside local staff, collected and analyzed data from multiple sources to understand the nature of the epidemic, and developed a report. Known as the Opioid Outbreak Strategic Map, the report outlines actions to increase public education, identify problematic prescribing patterns, and strengthen collaboration with law enforcement. This report helped coordinate the efforts of all invested in stopping opioid deaths and created a path for moving forward.

Tennessee Opioids
Responding to a Devastating Wildfire

When a destructive wildfire spread through Gatlinburg in late 2016 and disabled all forms of communication in the city, the state, regional, and local health departments deployed four PHEP-funded mobile communications centers to the affected areas. These were outfitted with satellite phones and satellite internet access. For the duration of the response, all communications were funneled through the mobile communications centers, including all communications between emergency medical services, hospitals, public health, medical examiner, and emergency management. This PHEP-funded asset ensured that life-saving work could continue during a dangerous and unpredictable emergency.