HHS Strategic Goals and Objectives - FY 2001 . Objective 5.1 - Improve the Capacity of the Public Health System to Identify and Respond to Threats to the Health of the Nation's Population


How We Will Accomplish Our Objective

We will upgrade the surveillance, Microscopic viewrisk assessment, and response capacity of the public health system. Our priorities will focus on investments in infrastructure to improve responses to specific priority needs. These include:

  • developing a National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) to monitor the emergence or re-emergence of a variety of infectious diseases.

  • allocating resources to state health departments to expand their capacity to identify variations of E. coli and Salmonella and other pathogenic microorganisms, and to more rapidly exchange information.

  • increasing the number of health care facilities that conduct surveillance of occupational exposures and infections using the National Surveillance System for Health Care Workers.

  • providing funding to increase surveillance for influenza in state and local health departments and global sites.

  • provide support to rebuild state and local health departments' core tuberculosis prevention and control activities, including reporting of surveillance data describing the epidemiology of tuberculosis.

  • providing training, technical assistance, and funding to improve capacity of state and local health departments to conduct Hepatitis C Virus counseling, testing, and maintain referral demonstration sites.

  • providing resources for sentinel networks capable of identifying early victims of bioterrorism and responding to attacks, such as the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile Program and Rapid Toxic Screen.

  • providing assistance in the planning and implementation of the Federal Response Plan to natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies, including assistance in expanding the scientific body of knowledge for responding to these crises.

  • allocating resources to state/local health departments and hospitals for better surveillance, prevention, and control of microbial resistance.

  • developing national data standards for surveillance to enable easier transfer and sharing of information.

  • providing resources to four tribal epidemiology centers to expand their capacity for surveillance of disease and health status of Native Americans.

  • developing a surveillance mechanism to assess needs of people with disabilities.

  • allocating resources to expand the number of states with diabetes programs that will have the core capacities for surveillance, communication, and assessment of quality of care.

5.1 Implementation Strategies
  • Infrastructure Investments
  • Public Health Communications
  • Workforce Development
  • expanding the ability of states to track the performance and outcomes of their health programs through electronic reporting mechanisms.

  • making electronic hardware available to state and local public health agencies to support electronic surveillance networks.

We will improve the public health data infrastructure by providing training and funding to state health statistics centers on the collection and interpretation of statistics for state-level decision making and cross-state comparisons.

We will improve public health communications by:

  • funding cooperative agreements with states to support the Health Alert Network for electronic communications at all levels of government.

  • developing prevention information systems to provide substance abuse prevention practitioners with direct access to a wide range of scientifically sound prevention-related information resources.

  • producing and releasing public health data in clearer formats to better disseminate information on public health trends, issues, and difficulties/challenges. We will improve the supply and skills of the public health workforce. Our focus will be on training:

  • public health specialists, preventive medicine residents, nurses, and public health dentists to serve in medically underserved areas.

  • public health leadership personnel capable of developing, managing, and evaluating scientifically sound public health programs.

HHS Agencies contributing to this objective:


  • epidemiologists and laboratory specialists in applied epidemiology.

  • prevention researchers.

  • public health information specialists to address the increasingly sophisticated information needs of public health programs.

  • a more racially and ethnically diverse public health workforce.