One of EMS’s most robust core competencies is in the field of infectious disease. EMS’ corporate leadership and many of its professional staff are infectious disease specialists. EMS programs in Epidemiology & Surveillance, Bioinformatics, Digital Disease Detection and Public Health Communication are all aligned with diminishing the spread of infectious diseases globally.
Supporting global health is good for Americans’ health.
It’s good for Americans’ health because stopping epidemics and environmental and other threats to health overseas and foreign countries before they spread to our shores is not only the most ethical, but also the cheapest and most effective way to protect Americans.
— Thomas R. Frieden, Director of the CDC. November 22nd, 2011. Remarks at the UN Foundation Dinner
EMS continues to provide scientific and technical expertise to establish high quality international laboratory systems and services.
EMS has provided over 6 years of scientific and professional services in support of the CDC’s Division of Global HIV & Tuberculosis (DGHT) and has recently been awarded a new 5-year IDIQ contract, through a competitive procurement process. This IDIQ aims to continue our efforts of preventing the spread of HIV globally. The CDC’s DGHT is a key U.S. government implementer of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It provides direct peer-to-peer technical, financial, and program service delivery assistance to Ministries of Health (MoH) in order to:
- Build sustainable public health information, laboratory, and management systems and local workforce capacity.
- Expand quality care and treatment service delivery, and transition these services to local host government ownership.
- Implement effective and evidence-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs that build synergies between prevention, and care and treatment programs.
- Conduct, translate, and operationalize research on program impact and cost effectiveness.
- The International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic.
The following poster was presented at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington DC and co-authored by two of our senior scientist that support DGHT’s International Laboratory branch (ILB).
EMERGENCY RESPONSE – TRACKING AND CONTAINING PANDEMICS
Each year, close to 60,000 refugees and 500,000 immigrants come to the United States from around the world. Standards of care, access to healthcare and treatment, and exposure to infectious diseases differ around the world. The CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) works to keep infectious diseases and other diseases of public health significance from coming into and spreading in the United States. To accomplish this goal EMS provides a large staff of public health professionals focused on:
- Developing and maintaining infectious disease surveillance systems for immigrant, refugee, and migrant populations coming to the United States
- Conducting disease surveillance and outbreak investigations
- Providing leadership and technical assistance in response to outbreaks
- Dissemination of health information on migrants and refugees to state and local public health partners through the Electronic Disease Notification system for follow-up care
- Overseeing the Migrant Serum Bank, a collection of anonymous immigrant and refugee blood specimens from which samples can be requested for research
SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL WRITING
EMS has an exceptionally talented team of scientific and technical writers that directly support the Senior Editors, the Steering Committee and the Guest Editors for the development and publication of the “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” (BMBL) 6th edition at the CDC.
The CDC and the National Institutes of Health collaborate as the coeditors of the 6th edition of the “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” reference manual in both physical and electronic versions. The BMBL is a set of biosafety best practices in promoting the safety and health of workers in biological and medical laboratories. These practices have become the gold standard for biosafety practices in the United States and throughout the world. The 5th edition of the BMBL was published in December 2009. EMS is currently providing Scientific/Technical Writing and administrative support for the refinement and publication for a standard and digital publication of the BMBL 6th edition.
DIVISION OF HEALTHCARE QUALITY PROMOTION (DHQP)
The DHQP mission is to protect patients and healthcare workers and to promote safety in healthcare settings. EMS supports the DHQP in the following areas:
- Investigating and responding to emerging infections and adverse events in healthcare facilities, including healthcare-associated infections; antimicrobial drug-resistant infections; adverse events from the use or misuse of a drug (e.g., accidental overdoses); blood, organ, and tissue safety; and vaccine safety.
- Supporting the enhancement of state infrastructure for the elimination of healthcare-associated infections.
- Developing and disseminating evidence-based guidelines and recommendations to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance, and medication errors.
- Providing healthcare facilities, states, and federal agencies with data for action through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a tool for monitoring and preventing healthcare-associated infections, which is used by healthcare facilities in all fifty states.
DIVISION OF GLOBAL MIGRATION & QUARANTINE (DGMQ) – ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE PROJECTS
Currently, the United States requires health screening for all long term permanent resident (LPR) visa applicants and all refugees, no matter the country of origin. The DGMQ partnered with EMS in its challenge to meet the five-year “Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria” (CARB) goal for doubling the number of migrants that are screened for Tuberculosis (TB).
EMS works to expand the DGMQ’s capacity to prevent the incidence and prevalence of these multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis cases. EMS supports the DGMQ in the following areas:
- Communication, Training, Education and Collaboration
- Public Health Program Development, Management, and Operations
- Epidemiological Support