National Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) Recognition Day

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, October 6, we will come together to commemorate the 12th annual National Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) Recognition Day under the theme “DIS Make a Difference.” This theme underscores the incredible impact DIS have had on public health for close to a century, their tireless response to a multitude of outbreaks, and their direct role in enhancing the lives and health of people across the country.

The legacy of Disease Intervention Specialists traces back to the 1930s, a testament to their enduring commitment to safeguarding public health. For decades, DIS have stood as unwavering sentinels, confronting diseases head-on and evolving with the ever-changing landscape of health threats. Their long-standing dedication has paved the way for our nation to navigate through various health crises with resilience and resolve.

DIS have proven themselves time and again by responding to a wide array of outbreaks. From the early days of combatting sexually transmitted infections to the modern challenges posed by infectious diseases like COVID-19 and mpox, DIS have been at the forefront. Their expertise and adaptability have been instrumental in devising effective strategies, implementing interventions, and ultimately mitigating the impact of these diseases on our communities.

Perhaps most significantly, DIS directly make a difference in people’s lives and health. Their work transcends statistics and charts; it touches the very heart of our communities. They provide vital education and support to individuals at risk, ensuring that those in need receive the care and guidance necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones. DIS forge connections, build trust, and empower individuals to take control of their health, often in moments of vulnerability.

Today, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all DIS. Thank you for your unyielding commitment, your adaptability in the face of adversity, and the resolute spirit you bring to your work each day. We witness the profound impact you have on communities throughout our nation, particularly during times of crisis. Please understand that we hold deep appreciation for each one of you. We also urge you to prioritize your well-being, both physically and emotionally, as we continue to confront the myriad emergencies that our nation faces—a task upon which we depend on the DIS workforce.

In closing, on this National Disease Intervention Specialists Recognition Day, let us all take a moment to reflect on the invaluable contributions of DIS. Together, let’s celebrate their unwavering dedication to public health, their impressive legacy, their response to outbreaks, and their direct impact on the lives and health of our communities.

With our sincerest gratitude,

Leandro Mena, MD, MPH, FIDSA
Division of STD Prevention
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention