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Congratulations to the CNI Zika Team on this outstanding achievement!

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) & ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) Honor Awards celebrate the best of public service by recognizing the talented and dedicated staff at CDC & ATSDR for their contributions to improve lives and to help make the world a healthier place.   

The CNI Zika Pregnancy and Birth Defects Local Health Department Initiative, within the Health & Human Capital Division, was awarded the Excellence in Emergency Response Domestic Award for excellence in emergency response that increased MCH (maternal and child health) capacity of local health departments responding to the Zika emergency.  

As part of CDC’s emergency response to the Zika outbreak, CDC launched the Zika Local Health Department Initiative (LHDI) to support state and local health departments and help increase complete, accurate and timely reporting of data to USZPR.  The goal of LHDI is to improve Zika pregnancy and birth defects surveillance, clinical and community outreach, and referral to service by providing select state and local health departments with a highly qualified contracted local resource or field assignee focused on epidemiology, provider outreach, and data abstraction through August 2018. CNI staffed the 27 sites selected by CDC across the US and US territories,  and the team developed tailored statements of work, hired field assignees, trained them with experts at CDC, and rapidly deployed them to their respective jurisdictions.

By providing support at the local level, LHDI is improving LHDs’ ability to provide sustainable services to those most impacted by Zika; pregnant women and infants. LHDI has reduced the effects of Zika on mothers, infants, and communities through: improved understanding of congenital Zika syndrome, increased understanding of testing protocols, increased number of at-risk individuals being tested, improved timeliness, completion, and accuracy of surveillance data, and increased number of women and children connected to services. Since the start of the initiative in October 2016 through October 2017, data from the 27 LHDI sites show:

  • Provider education on Zika-related birth defects has increased by 20%
  • Provider adherence to lab test protocols has increased 44%
  • 85% of lab test forms submitted for Zika testing are complete and accurate
  • 100% of case investigations are launched within 48 hours
  • 65% of field assignees have developed a mechanism for infant follow-up and case investigation follow-up at their health department
  • The percent of Zika-affected families referred to specialized services has increased by 32% to 61%
  • In state and local health departments where field assignees have been placed, they have tested 19,722 women, educated 2,123 providers, and referred 181 families to specialty providers

CNI was instrumental in helping CDC create a new model for responding to an emerging threat that leveraged capacity at the local level. CNI hired highly trained local resources with knowledge of the unique needs of the vulnerable population (mothers and their babies) and the cultural nuances, which had been critical in impacting local communities. The successes from this model, such as enhanced provider outreach, are already being explored as an intervention for other emerging and existing threats, such as a recent tuberculosis outbreak in El Paso, TX.

Congratulations to the CNI Zika Team on this outstanding achievement!