The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced September 15 that it will award a total of $6.2 million over the next three years to health departments in six areas to combine and streamline health services for diseases with similar characteristics, such as HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis. The awards aim to increase collaboration among programs and integration of prevention, testing, and treatment services for these infections, which may be interrelated due to characteristics such as risk, transmission, or other factors.
New York City, North Carolina, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Texas, and Washington, D.C., will receive the annual awards to begin demonstration projects that follow this approach. With CDC guidance, each area will tailor its project to meet local needs, taking into account prevalence of disease, number of new infections and which communities are most impacted. The projects will be monitored and evaluated by the CDC on an ongoing basis to identify innovative and effective evidence-based strategies, programs, and services that can serve as future models for other health departments across the country.
"These funds will enable health departments in six areas with high burden of disease to evolve beyond their current disease-specific prevention approaches and begin providing more comprehensive services, which ultimately should save time, resources, and lives," says Kevin Fenton, MD, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, STDs, Viral Hepatitis, and TB Prevention. "Service integration provides one-stop shopping for a wide range of health services, which can eliminate repeated registration periods and reduce numerous administrative barriers facing people who live in underserved areas."