Applied Informatics Team Training (Invite Only)

Participants of the Applied Informatics Team Training Program will participate in a hands-on-session using a case study.  The case study will address principles of public health informatics, project management, evaluation, and stakeholder engagement.  This session is by invitation only.

Staff Lead : Jessica Arrazola

Chronic Disease

The Future of Chronic Disease Surveillance: BRFSS and Beyond

Timely and locally relevant data, metrics, and analytics is a key theme of the HHS Public Health 3.0 (PH3.0) initiative, which is a call to action to create a public health infrastructure where governmental public health expands partnerships across multiple sectors, leveraging data and resources to address social, environmental, and economic conditions that impact health and advance health equity. Chronic disease surveillance is experiencing challenges resulting in data gaps, limitations in data access and timeliness, decreased funding, and increased data collection costs, coupled with a changing technology and culture. Adopting PH3.0 specifically focused on chronic disease could better inform related public health decision making and create innovative methods to improve chronic disease surveillance, epidemiologic analyses, and program evaluation.

This symposium will be a discussion of the importance and use of data at governmental public health departments, focusing on the specific challenges and limitations of existing chronic disease surveillance systems and what infrastructure improvements need to take place. Speakers will describe strategies taken to address some of the current challenges of BRFSS, processes to use non-traditional data sources, and other innovative methods to improve chronic disease surveillance. Attendees will learn about specific strategies for developing partnerships, collecting data, and analyzing data to improve chronic disease surveillance. Ample time will be allowed to discuss lessons learned, recommendations for future chronic disease surveillance, and next steps for attendees.
Learning objectives:

  • Understand the current state of chronic disease surveillance and its challenges.
  • Describe innovative approaches to address surveillance gaps and methodologic and analytic challenges within the existing infrastructure.
  • Participate in a solutions-oriented discussion of the future of chronic disease surveillance.


Staff Lead: Nikka Sorrells

Community Health Assessment

Geospatial Analysis and Other Epidemiological Tools and Resources for Assessing and Improving Community Health and Health Equity

The majority of states (39) and many local health departments (316) have applied for voluntary public health accreditation. Community Health Assessments and associated Community Health Improvement Plans are pre-requisites for re-accreditation. Additionally, there are new accreditation requirements including annual reports on the changes in 5-10 CHA/CHIP community health outcomes. Epidemiologists have important roles in supporting the data driven steps and requirement including:

  • Generation of small area estimates for assessing current health status;
  • Utilizing GIS to map sub-county health and associated social determinant estimates in order to identify hot spots of health disparities;
  • Identifying and appropriately targeting evidence-based interventions capable of achieving measurable health improvement;
  • Monitoring, evaluating, and reporting improvements in health outcomes.

Building on the skills and learning objectives from the 2016 CHA/CHIP pre-conference workshop, this full-day workshop will prepare participants to effectively support the re-accreditation process. All topic sessions will include case studies, lessons from the field, and interactive learning opportunities. Additionally, each session will include an overview of the relevant re-accreditation requirements and standards.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Calculate and utilize neighborhood-level measures of population health (life expectancy) and known social and environmental determinants to identify and assess the modifiable factors driving health disparities;
  • Employ data visualizing and messaging best and promising practices to raise public and decision maker awareness on the role of multi-sector, place-based factors (e.g., income, housing, employment, transportation, and community development) in creating health and eliminating health disparities.
  • Identify the most cost effective and impactful community level interventions for addressing disparities and achieving measurable improvements in community health.
  • Utilize practical tools (e.g., logic models) and resources for monitoring and evaluating scientifically supported interventions and assessing population health impact.


Staff Lead: Hayleigh McCall

Enteric Diseases

Key Steps in Investigating Salmonella and STEC Clusters: An Illustrated Discussion of Theory, Approaches, and Tools, Including Whole Genome Sequencing

Detection and investigation of Salmonella enterica and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) clusters is a frequent and increasingly complex challenge for foodborne disease epidemiologists. This workshop will provide the current thinking on best practices for conducting each of the major steps in cluster investigations: Outbreak detection (cluster identification and prioritization, including the role of whole genome sequencing); Hypothesis generation (using descriptive info, subtype history, questionnaire design, shopper/credit cards); Hypothesis testing (analytic studies, subcluster investigation, informational tracebacks, food testing); and, Taking action (putting everything together, public communication, regulatory action). The session will include brief presentations to introduce topics, recent outbreak examples to illustrate each key point, and a substantial participation/discussion role for attendees.

Staff Lead: Thuy Kim

Environmental Health

Let’s Rock the Boat for Environmental Health Equity: Lessons Learned from Environmental Epidemiology and Disaster Response Experts

This full day workshop, “Let’s Rock the Boat for Environmental Health Equity: Lessons Learned from Environmental Epidemiology and Disaster Response Experts”, will feature learning opportunities and dialogue surrounding the theme of environmental health equity. Participants will consider how health equity strategies can be incorporated into typical environmental health epidemiologic practice, the many datasets that can be used to identify at-risk populations, and how to best communicate findings concerning vulnerable populations. Lessons from the field will be shared concerning at-risk populations in regard to a variety of topics. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, environmental disasters, vectorborne disease epidemics, harmful environmental/chemical exposures, and healthy homes. The Environmental Health workshop is targeted toward environmental health epidemiologists, disaster epidemiologists, climate and health epidemiologists, and additional state and local health department staff engaged in environmental health surveillance activities. The workshop is open to all conference attendees.

Staff Lead: Hayleigh McCall

Epi Info™

Mastering Epi Info™: A Users Workshop

Epi Info™ is a public domain suite of software tools designed for the global community of public health practitioners and researchers. It provides for easy data entry form and database construction, a customized data entry experience, and data analyses with epidemiologic statistics, maps, and graphs for public health professionals who may lack an information technology background. Epi Info™ is used for outbreak investigations; for developing small to mid-sized disease surveillance systems; as analysis, visualization, and reporting (AVR) components of larger systems; and in the continuing education in the science of epidemiology and public health analytic methods at schools of public health around the world.

Part I will provide an overview of Epi Info™ suite of products. The session will discuss the data collection need during a public health event and how various kind of data collection scenarios are handled through Epi Info™ products. Participants will learn how to quickly design data collection forms using the Epi Info™ Form Designer and explore various solutions for data collection (Web and Cloud solutions and Epi Info™ for Mobile ( Hands-on exercises will be completed during the session.  Part II of the workshop will highlight importing data into a central database repository from data collected through the suite of products offerings (Desktop, Web & Cloud, and Mobile). Participants will learn how to set up dashboards to analyze data using the Visual Dashboard, explore the various statistical analyses that can be performed using Epi Info™ and learn the limitations and appropriateness of each for a given data set. Participants are requested to bring their own laptops running Microsoft Windows (Windows 7 or above) with capability to connect to the conference’s wireless Internet.

Staff Lead: Amanda Masters

Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance

Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop: Lessons Learned and Advancing Prevention

The Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop: Lessons Learned and Advancing Prevention is geared toward HAI/AR Program Coordinators, Directors, AR Experts, State and Regional Lab staff, and additional state and local health department staff engaged in HAI/AR prevention and response activities. The workshop discussions will address the needs for health department leadership and state and local collaboration to: make effective use of HAI/AR surveillance data; drive prevention efforts towards national goals; contain AR threats and respond to outbreaks; and control the spread of Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms regionally and across settings.

Staff Lead: Nicole Bryan

Hepatitis C Surveillance

Conducting Core Surveillance for Hepatitis C

The Hepatitis C Surveillance workshop is targeted toward viral hepatitis surveillance coordinators, program coordinators, and additional state and local health department staff engaged in hepatitis C virus (HCV) surveillance activities. The workshop discussions will explore the existing capacity of HCV surveillance programs across various jurisdictions, identifying programmatic challenges, technical assistance needs, and opportunities for potential guidance, standardization, and collaboration. In addition to topical sessions, the workshop will continue the ongoing conversation of defining core activities for conducting HCV surveillance in state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments.

Staff Lead: Brooke Beaulieu


National Meeting of Influenza Surveillance Coordinators

CSTE, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be hosting an Influenza Surveillance Coordinators Workshop on Sunday, June 10, 2018 in conjunction with the CSTE Annual Conference.  The purpose of the workshop is to provide a forum for jurisdictions and CDC to discuss current themes in influenza surveillance and to strengthen relationships and cooperation between influenza programs from health departments around the country.  Invited participants include Influenza Surveillance Coordinators from state, territorial, and large local health departments.  Participants will also include representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This workshop is open to all registered attendees.

Staff Lead: Monica Schroeder

Injury ICD-10-CM Transition

Surfing the Waves of Injury Morbidity Surveillance Changes

Epidemiologists with an interest in injury-related topics are welcome to attend the 2018 CSTE Injury Workshop. The day will highlight the recent work of the CSTE Injury ICD-10-CM Transition Workgroup and the CSTE ICD-10-CM Drug Poisoning Indicators Workgroup, focusing on how those findings may be applied. Half of the day will be dedicated to each of the workgroups.

The Injury ICD-10-CM Transition workgroup members will develop 1) recommendations for clarifications in CMS/NCHS Guidelines for Coding, and 2) additional tools/guidance needed by injury epidemiologists.

The Drug Poisoning Indicators workgroup members will review state results and prioritize next steps in developing consistent methods for drug poisoning surveillance that uses ICD-10-CM coded data.

Staff Lead: Danielle Boyd

Maternal and Child Health

Substance Use and MCH: Challenges and Innovations to Surveillance Issues

Practitioners may find that the priority needs and key health issues faced by the mothers, children, and families they serve change frequently. Epidemiologists can gain ideas, lessons, and new approaches by sharing their work on these emerging topics with each other. In addition, exploring new methods can help us to gather and use data more effectively to inform priorities and programming.

The 2018 MCH symposium will focus both on substance use, the challenges and innovations to surveillance issues facing mothers, children, and families and specific examples of the epidemiologic approaches that can be used to address these and other issues. The first part of the symposium will include a data visualization training geared towards the 6 states that have received funding to implement the 12-question Marijuana and Prescription Drug Supplement with the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). This training will be open to all symposium attendees.

The second part of the symposium will feature lessons learned on potential topics such as: NAS surveillance, ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM transition, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and Drug Use Supplement Questions with the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).

Learning Objectives:

  • To increase knowledge among states on best practices of administering the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), including the visualization of PRAMS data.
  • Understand measurement and analytic challenges posed by Substance Use and Maternal Child Health.
  • Identify potential epidemiologic approaches for examining Maternal Child Health Substance Use topics.
  • Identify additional analytic tools that can be incorporated into MCH epidemiologic work.
  • To increase the understanding among states of maternal behaviors and experiences and their relationship to adverse health outcomes.


Staff Lead: Nikka Sorrells

National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) Annual Business Meeting

First incorporated in 1953, the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) is an organization of professionals with expertise in the prevention and control of zoonotic disease, as well as various other areas of veterinary public health. The majority of NASPHV members are veterinarians with advanced training and degrees in public health, and hold federal, state or local government positions. Because of the many members in common, shared goals and close working association with CSTE, NASPHV holds their annual meeting in conjunction with the CSTE Annual Conference. The meeting agenda includes organizational business, committee and compendium reports, brief presentations by members or others concerning issues of interest or concern, and a roundtable report by members as to the main issues/problems currently being faced in their state or territory. Stakeholder groups (CDC, USDA, and State Animal Health Officials) typically attend and present as well. CSTE conference attendees are welcome to attend.

Staff Lead: Becky Lampkins

Occupational Health

Growing fruitful partnerships: the key to successful occupational safety and health programs

The CSTE 2018 Occupational Health Workshop will focus on partnerships among state agencies, academic institutions, worker advocacy organizations, and the federal government. The objectives of this workshop are to discuss opportunities for collaboration and barriers to successful partnerships, and to explore practical steps that occupational health professionals can take to both build new and strengthen existing partnerships in their own states.

Staff Lead: Song Xue

Substance Use and Mental Health

Get a little sand between your toes: Dig into Substance Use and Mental Health Surveillance

The 2018 Substance Use and Mental Health Surveillance Workshop features topics that affect state and local epidemiologists across the country. A presentation on the CSTE Recommended Indicators for Substance Use and Mental Health will start the day with results from pilot states . Other presentations include project updates from CSTE subcommittees such as Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Mental Health, with a focus on skill building for applied epidemiologists.

Staff Lead: Valerie Goodson

Surveillance/ Informatics

Enhancing Surveillance Through Partnerships and Innovation

This full day workshop, “ENHANCING SURVEILLANCE THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS AND INNOVATION”, will feature dialogue and learning opportunities around policies and practices that support effective collection and use of public health surveillance data, an activity fundamental to data driven decision making and public health practice. Attendees will consider new approaches to enhance a wide array of state and local surveillance activities.

The goals of this workshop are to:

  • Provide an opportunity for discussion about surveillance best practices that includes CDC staff, CSTE members, and other public health partners and key stakeholders
  • Facilitate consensus-building across organizational and disciplinary boundaries
  • Devise implementation strategies that can be immediately applied in public health agencies

A principal focus will be on foundational surveillance areas: case surveillance and syndromic surveillance. Specific aims include providing input to:

  • Current CDC initiatives, including modernizing tools and services used in the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) and the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP)
  • Development and adoption of information exchange standards
  • Governance of data harmonization efforts within and across CDC program areas
  • Topics under consideration by the CSTE Data Standardization Workgroup
  • Future activities under the CSTE Surveillance Practice and Implementation Subcommittee

Target Audience: Epidemiologists and Informaticians engaged in surveillance activities, public health leadership, public health associations, and public health partners

Staff Lead: Shaily Krishan