Contact: DOH Office of Communications Jessica Hammonds, Press Secretary (850) 245-4111
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH WINS ASTHO VISION AWARD FOR TUBERCULOSIS SCREENING PROGRAM
-Award given to exemplary state health programs that demonstrate creative and innovative approaches to addressing public health needs and challenges-
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is being recognized by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) with the 2012 Vision Award for the Florida Multidrug-Resistant (MDR) Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Program.
“Our Department is honored to receive national recognition that highlights and validates our coordinated efforts through the TB System of Care,” said State Surgeon General Dr. John H. Armstrong. “With the help of all of our health partners, we remain vigilant in our efforts to protect Floridians when dealing with any disease control issue.”
ASTHO’s annual award program recognizes best practices at state health departments that demonstrate creative and innovative approaches to addressing public health needs and challenges. Applications are judged and scored by experts and leaders in state public health through a peer-reviewed process, and are evaluated on background information, innovation, effectiveness and potential for replication.
Florida implemented a universal screening process of highly infectious TB patients for MDR TB in July 2009 to foster the most rapid detection of a multidrug‐resistant tuberculosis patient. This process promptly indicates the need to change the treatment regimen to assure the cure. As a result of implementing this protocol, 31 Florida TB patients (single or MDR) were more accurately diagnosed during 2010-11, ensuring appropriate treatment, minimizing transmission, and providing patients the best chance of being cured. With an earlier diagnosis of drug-resistant TB, the patient receives adequate treatment faster, thus shortening the time period of transmission.
ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. Territories, the District of Columbia and the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and assuring excellence in state-based public health practice. For information about ASTHO’s Annual Meeting, where the award will be conferred, please visit www.astho.org.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/FLDepartmentofHealth. .
For news story ideas, interviews, videos and more from DOH Communications visit the DOH Online Newsroom http://newsroom.doh.state.fl.us/ .