(ELC) and Emerging Infections Programs (EIP)

Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) and Emerging
Infections Programs (EIP)
The Prevention and Public Health Fund (the Fund, or PPHF), created in the Affordable Care Act,
is the nation’s largest investment in prevention. The Fund invests in cross-cutting prevention
programs that have the potential to transform our public health system, improve health, and
reduce health care costs.
The Fund is supporting the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) and Emerging
Infections Programs (EIP), which are complementary programs designed to increase the capacity
of epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems at state, local, and territorial health
departments for detecting and responding to infectious disease public health threats. In Fiscal
Year 2012, ELC and EIP received over $51 million from the Fund. The programs are
administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What is the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Program (ELC)?
 ELC program grantees receive funding to support and enhance their epidemiology and
laboratory capacity and to improve health information systems. The program is currently
implemented in all 50 states, 2 territories, and the 6 largest jurisdictions and focuses on
infectious disease tracking, detection, and response capabilities.
What is the Emerging Infections Program (EIP)?
 EIP is a population-based network of 10 states and their collaborators in local health
departments, academic institutions, federal agencies, and public health and clinical
laboratories spread across the United States, which serves as a national resource for
tracking, prevention, and control of emerging infectious diseases. The EIP network’s
strength lies in its ability to quickly translate surveillance and research activities into
informed public health best practices. Funding from the Prevention and Public Health
Fund is invested in coordination, training, and information technology activities that will
build capacity and enable grantees to manage the numerous and varied EIP program
activities and studies.
Expected Outcomes:
Efforts in FY2013 will continue to focus on advancing the implementation of electronic
laboratory reporting (ELR). PPHF funding has added nearly 200 full- and part-time
informatics staff in health departments. This increase in staffing, along with funds for
equipment and technical implementation, is directly contributing to an increase in the
number of public health departments able to use electronic laboratory reporting. In Fiscal
Year 2013, CDC expects to increase the proportion of lab reports for reportable
conditions received electronically from 54% to 60% nationally.
Thanks to the Fund, ELC has added 461 full- and part-time epidemiology and laboratory
positions in the state, large local, and territorial health departments. These positions,
along with funds for training, lab equipment, and supplies, have contributed to earlier
detection and response to outbreaks, leading to reduced numbers of cases.
State Successes
Staffing for foodborne disease surveillance has been limited in the past. A comprehensive
database has now been developed for jurisdictions that participate in the California
Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE), and the data can be analyzed by
dedicated foodborne disease surveillance epidemiologists. Real-time analysis of this data
is now possible with continued support from PPHF funding.
The work of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been
credited by CDC and FDA officials for limiting the spread of a nationwide Listeria
outbreak that infected 146 people in 28 states and resulted in at least 30 deaths. ELC
funds helped support the communicable disease surveillance and reporting system, as
well as the state laboratory, in rapidly detecting this outbreak and in helping to minimize
the public health effect.
ELC funds, supported by the PPHF, also supported development of the communicable
disease training that allowed the public health nurses and epidemiologists to complete the
Listeria questionnaires and obtain accurate information from ill people in a timely
manner. The outbreak was solved in two weeks rather than months as is typical with
many Listeria outbreaks.
An Electronic Laboratory Reporting Team, supported by ELC grants and the Fund, has
been created to support the ongoing efforts with Illinois National Electronic Disease
Surveillance System (I-NEDSS) and the Illinois Public Health Node.
This funding has enabled Illinois to develop infrastructure and tools for a Health
Information Exchange (HIE) between providers, HIEs and public health.
Investigators with the Chicago CDC Prevention Epicenter have also been developing
tools to automatically report data on central-line associated bloodstream infection and
multidrug resistant organism to the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network.
The Minnesota Public Health Laboratory (PHL) has expanded laboratory capacity by
training cross-cutting staff, investing in equipment that improves quality and throughput,
and developing methods that improve quality and efficiency. These new systems have
enabled the PHL to better respond to routine and unexpected requests.