Local health departments (LHDs) are on the frontlines of sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, testing, and treatment. LHDs offer a multitude of services, including free or low-cost STI/HIV testing and treatment, partner services, and access to condoms, among other things. Additionally, sexual health education, community outreach, and STI/HIV screening events are often organized through LHDs. Health departments also serve as an important resource for healthcare providers by providing education and technical assistance on testing and treatment recommendations. Through the below projects, NACCHO continues to support LHDs in building capacity to address STI rates in their communities.
EXPRESS STI VISITS INITIATIVE
With funding from the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP), NACCHO leads the Express STI Visits Initiative, which is designed to increase the evidence base for express STI clinical visits and support clinics in quality improvement efforts to strengthen, scale-up, and evaluate express STI visits. We define express STI visits as triage-based STI testing without a full clinical examination. Express visits, also known as “fast-tracking,” are often associated with technology and automation with the goal of reducing visit time, reducing time to treatment, and freeing up provider time.
The Express STI Visits Initiative has a number of components, including a Community of Practice with clinics that currently implement or are interested in implementing express STI visits, in-depth projects with three sites to strengthen operational plans for express STI visits, and a forthcoming report to support express STI visit implementation.
NACCHO recently engaged Cardea to conduct in-depth assessments of three jurisdictions considering or planning to establish STI express services, which refer to triage-based STI testing without a full physical examination. NACCHO and Cardea visited Jackson, MS; Providence, RI; and San Francisco, CA to develop a better understanding of the role that STI express services can play in each jurisdiction and to explore clinical operations and resource requirements related to express visits. As a result of the in-depth assessments, Cardea developed a report with recommendations and considerations for each site, and for express models more generally.
The executive summary is now available.
To learn more, view the STI Express Initiative flyer and check out our recent presentation from the 2018 STD Engage Conference. For questions or support, please contact Samantha Ritter, Senior Program Analyst for HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-756-0162.
NACCHO is working with the CDC Division of STD Prevention, the National Coalition of STD Directors, and the Public Health Accreditation Board to develop a national certification program for disease intervention specialists (DIS). The effort aims to strengthen and formalize the role of DIS, expand the recognition of DIS and the profession, ensure adequate training, and improve service provision and health outcomes. Learn more about this project here and by reading the article titled “Strengthening Public Health at Its Core: A Focus on Disease Intervention Specialist” in the Winter 2015 NACCHO Exchange.