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 California: 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. Colorado: 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. Illinois: 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. Minnesota: 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.