CDC DIS Workforce Development Funding
The Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) Workforce Development Funding is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. This $1 billion investment will be used over a five-year period. The goal of the investment is to support 21st century outbreak response needs by:
- Expanding and enhancing frontline public health staff
- Conducting DIS workforce training and skills building
- Building organizational capacity for outbreak response
- Evaluating and improving recruitment, training, and outbreak response efforts
For the first year, the DIS Workforce funding will be distributed as a supplement to PS19-1901: STD Prevention and Control for Health Departments (STD PCHD).
The purpose of the CDC DIS Workforce Development Supplement is for state, local, and territorial jurisdictions to hire, expand, train, sustain, and support Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) to strengthen the capacity of state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) public health departments to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.
The funding will be available to the 59 current recipients of CDC’s RFA-PS19-1901, “Strengthening STD Prevention and Control for Health Departments” (STD PCHD).
Within 60 days of receipt of funds, recipients must submit workplans, budgets and supporting materials that describe their approaches through 12/31/2021 for procuring sufficient personnel to meet jurisdictional response needs for the COVID-19 pandemic and other incident infections, prioritizing hard-to-reach communities, and on how recipients will focus efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring and recruiting workers from local communities they serve. Recipients will be expected to provide a brief overview of their programmatic context and capacity to implement workforce development goals, and information on needs assessment, including their current organizational structure, current staffing, staffing and skills gaps, training, training gaps, and outbreak response capacity. Recipients will be expected to include organizational chart(s) and policy and procedure documents at the state and local levels, as applicable.
Within five business days of receipt of the Notice of Award, the Authorized Official for each respective recipient is required to acknowledge receipt of the guidance as a Grant Note in GrantSolutions. The acknowledgement must be submitted on official letterhead and utilize the “Acknowledgement Letter for PS19-1901– COVID-19 Supplemental Funds” attached to the guidance.
Within 60 days of receipt of the Notice of Award, the supplemental funding application package must be received by GrantSolutions and consist of the following documents:
Application for Federal Assistance 424
- One form for supplemental request – fill out the e-form in GrantSolutions
Budget Information 424a
- Total funding request- for supplemental project- provide form as an attachment
Workplan and Budget Narrative
- CDC will provide a suggested work plan template. Recipients are not required to use the CDC template but will be required to submit all information included in the CDC work plan template. Also, an application checklist will be distributed to recipients through GrantSolutions.
- The budget justification should go through 12/31/2021.
For details, refer to the CDC DIS Workforce Development Supplement guidance deliverables section and workplan template.
Funding is being allocated to 53 state and territorial health departments based on proportional Community Resilience Estimatesexternal icon (CRE). Six directly funded cities will be funded as a percentage of the state allocation.
The CRE was developed by the Census Bureau to reflect community resilience to recover from a disaster, especially from COVID-19. The CRE combines information from the 2018 American Community Survey (ACS) and Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program (PEP) (e.g., risk of poverty, crowding and disability in the community) and health conditions. Funding amounts were allocated proportionally based on the percentage of the population with more risk as determined by the CRE, ensuring that no jurisdictions received less than $1,000,000. There is a minimum funding allocation of $1,000,000 per jurisdiction.
The performance period begins with the date of award and will end December 31, 2021.
Recipients will operate under the STD PCHD PS19-1901 budget period. The budget period for the supplement begins the date of award and will end December 31, 2021.
Funds will remain available for five years to conduct activities necessary to expand, train, and sustain a response-ready DIS workforce. STD PCHD recipients will be able to carryover funding as permissible under Expanded Authority for Carryover.
A workplan template will be provided to recipients via GrantSolutions as soon as it is finalized.
Progress Reporting Requirements
Recipients must submit progress updates and fiscal reports every 12 months. Progress reports must include status in meeting hiring goals at recipient and sub-recipient levels. Fiscal reports must summarize progress in obligating and spending the allotted funds. Reporting templates will be made available. Recipients will also work with CDC to develop an evaluation plan to assess progress towards intended workforce development outcomes within the first six months of award. CDC will work with recipients to create evaluation plans that include process and outcome metrics related to staffing, hiring, and training, as well as disease intervention measures and outcomes related to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases response as applicable to the staff hired under this supplement. Progress reporting also includes routine project monitoring calls with project officers.
Yes, purchase of equipment and supplies necessary to support DIS including personal protective equipment, diagnostic tests (up to 10% of funding without CDC approval), computers, cell phones, internet costs, cybersecurity, software and technological tools, and equipment needed to perform the duties of the position, and other costs associated with support of the expanded workforce (to the extent these are not included in recipient indirect costs).
Yes, recipients can use supplement funds to make subawards or contracts to tribal and local entities to expand, train, and sustain a response-ready DIS workforce.
Yes, training is supported through this funding for new and existing staff. All DIS training must adhere to the core competencies developed by CDC. Programs are strongly encouraged to use CDC-developed training where available.
Yes, and all DIS training must adhere to the core competencies developed by CDC. Programs are strongly encouraged to use CDC-developed training where available, specifically for CDC-developed core DIS training. If programs use other core training, they must submit a training curriculum for review and approval.
Hiring priority should be given to frontline public health workforce (DIS and DIS supervisors) with a secondary focus on roles that support the success of frontline DIS response and outbreak efforts. However, funding could be used to hire personnel that may range from early-career or entry-level positions to mid-level positions and may include but is not limited to full-time and part-time staff (which may consist of converting part-time positions to full-time positions during the performance period), temporary or term-limited staff, fellows, interns, and contractors or contracted employees.
Programs are encouraged to use the various mechanisms listed below. Programs may use temporary staffing or employment agencies to hire staff for surge capacity during an outbreak, but this is not recommended for long-term staffing needs.
The variety of mechanisms to expand the DIS workforce include, but are not limited to:
- Using the COVID-19 Related Support Services (CRSS)external icon contract mechanism through the General Services Administration (GSA) (Acquisition Gateway (gsa.gov)external icon) to obtain contract staff or services;
- Veterans Employment Services (Veterans.govexternal icon);
- Forming partnerships with academic institutions, creating student internship or fellowship opportunities, and building graduation-to-workforce pipelines;
- Establishing partnerships with schools of public health, technical and administrative schools, and social services and social science programs.
Yes, CDC expects the funds will support health departments to increase capacity to conduct disease investigation (case investigation and contact tracing), linkage to prevention and treatment, and outbreak response for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. We strongly encourage state and territorial health departments to support local jurisdictions and tribal governments within their jurisdictions that are not directly funded through this Supplement.
Yes, however hiring priority should be given to frontline public health workforce (DIS and DIS supervisors) with a secondary focus on roles that support the success of frontline DIS response and outbreak efforts. The additional staff should be used to support the success of frontline DIS response and outbreak efforts.
Yes, programs can hire shared positions to support responding to COVID-19, incident infections and outbreak response.