Contact: DOH Communications
Jessica Hammonds, (850) 245-4111
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RECOGNIZES NATIONAL DISEASE INTERVENTION SPECIALIST DAY
~October 5th recognition of contributions to public health~
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Health (DOH) will celebrate the inaugural National Disease Intervention Specialist Recognition Day on October 5. This special recognition acknowledges public health professional’s contributions made through their role in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. There are nearly 200 statewide specialists who conduct more than 150,000 field investigations and 30,000 interviews annually to gather information related to infectious diseases.
“Providing ongoing education and outreach are two critical components within the Department’s mission for a healthy Florida,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John H Armstrong. “Our role in public health is the identification, prevention and intervention of infectious diseases, and the work of these Disease Intervention Specialists enable all of Florida’s residents and visitors to safely live, work and play.”
Each day, Disease Intervention Specialists conduct open field investigations to identify individuals who have tested positive for disease, conduct interviews, provide education, offer partner services and conduct screenings as necessary. Last year, community outreach involved more than 178 substance abuse programs, 61 colleges and universities, 28 migrant worker camps, 50 homeless shelters and 195 areas the Department identified as high risk. These experts also conducted more than 100,000 screenings in jails, correctional facilities and detention centers and tested more than 6,000 youth in juvenile detention centers.
“The prevention and control of communicable disease is achieved through an integrated public health system, and our Disease Intervention Specialists are vital in this process,” said Interim Division Director of Disease Control and Health Protection, Jennifer Bencie. “They are a key component to the interruption in the spread of disease.”
Florida originated the concept of Disease Intervention Specialist recognition more than five years ago. This inaugural recognition day is a result of Florida’s leadership and communication of the contributions made by disease investigation professionals in the public health arena.
DOH works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.
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