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Programs & Services

Technical Assistance & Training for Local Health Departments

The Communicable Disease Branch formed the Technical Assistance and Training Program (TATP) in July 2010 as part of the Medical Consultation Unit. The program directly supports North Carolina's local health department communicable disease staff in identifying, preventing and responding to communicable disease threats.

Program staff are available to assist local health departments 24/7. In combination with medical epidemiologists and subject matter experts, they provide services in each of the communicable disease group areas: respiratory, food-borne, water-borne, vectorborne, zoonotic, hepatitis, rabies, sexually transmitted and invasive bacterial diseases, and healthcare-associated infections. Assistance is provided through telephone and on-site consultation, on-site technical assistance, monthly conference calls, annual conferences, regional trainings and webinars.

TATP strives to:

  • promote best practices for communicable disease programs,
  • enhance web-based resources and training opportunities,
  • respond to surveillance data needs at local health departments, and
  • assist with service integration between programs to better serve the community.

The program is staffed by six nurses who function as regional consultants (PDF, 33KB) to local health department communicable disease staff. For continuity, each local health department has an assigned CD Nurse Consultant. As part of the ON CALL system in the Medical Consultation Unit, the nurse consultants establish strong partnerships with local communicable disease control staff and assist them in responding to reports of communicable disease. Working with N.C. Communicable Disease Branch physicians and epidemiologists, the nurse consultants provide assistance with new staff orientation, quality improvement activities, and workflow management in the North Carolina Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NC EDSS) (link). They also answer questions about clinical services, treatment guidelines, disease investigation, reporting and control measures.

TATP training and staff development for local health department communicable disease staff includes:

TATP consultation, reporting and support services for local health departments (LHDs) include:

  • Assistance with LHD policy development
  • Clinical services for STDs, syphilis and HIV/AIDS
  • 24/7 communicable disease response
  • Communicable disease investigation
  • Communicable disease record management
  • Communicable disease risk communication
  • Communicable disease surveillance
  • Communicable disease reporting

Quality improvement services include:

  • Sharing best practices
  • Creating LHD short-term learning collaboratives
  • Investigating cases
  • Responding to outbreaks
  • Assisting with LHD interactions with community providers
  • Extracting data from NC EDSS and NC DETECT

Nurse consultants:

  • Monitor local health department activity in NC EDSS quarterly
  • Visit local health departments annually
  • Monitor for STD clinical services every 3 years
  • Submit annual report of communicable disease program activities to local health director

LHD assessment and monitoring tools are posted in the CD and STD manuals.