The Division of Disease Control and Health Protection consists of three Bureaus: Communicable Diseases, Environmental Health, and Epidemiology.
Several factors influence the need for improved collaborative work and integration of prevention and disease control services among HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, immunizations, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and tuberculosis (TB) programs.Â Among these are the interactions between concurrent infections, risk behaviors, and the cumulative effects of multiple communicable diseases, especially on health inequities affecting at-risk populations. Â The net impact of this interaction is the excess morbidity and mortality experienced currently by affected populations and individuals.Â HIV and other STDs, viral hepatitis, and TB remain among the leading causes of morbidity and death in Florida as in the United States and account for substantial healthcare spending in both the public and private sector.
- Provides comprehensive programs for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis surveillance, education, prevention, early intervention, counseling, testing, and HIV/AIDS care and treatment.Â Provides vaccination for hepatitis A and B.
- Provides and promotes patient care services through county health departments, local clinics, and community-based organizations.
- Implements the Ryan White CARE Act Consortia, AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), AIDS Insurance Continuation Program (AICP), and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program.
- Oversees public health HIV counseling, testing, and partner referral services, and conducts epidemiologic research.Â
- Allocates prevention, surveillance, and patient care resources statewide.
- Oversees Hepatitis Prevention Program.
- Statewide media campaigns, pamphlets, posters, brochures, and education videos.
- Works to reduce morbidity and mortality resulting from diseases that are preventable through immunizations.
- Provides vaccines at no cost for eligible children.
- Monitors vaccine safety and evaluates reports of adverse events.
- Monitors vaccine storage and handling to assure efficacy of vaccine.
- Assesses immunization levels in Florida's residents, and provides information and education about immunizations to the public.
- Assures documentation of all immunizations in Florida SHOTS (State Health Online Tracking System).
- Monitors, investigates, and reports sexually transmitted conditions of public health importance.
- Provides prevention education, reporting requirements, clinical and operational training to professionals statewide, and enhance public awareness of STDs.
- Assure Partner Services for persons infected with or exposed to STDs, including HIV.
- Coordinate outbreak response, support targeted outreach to disproportionately affected populations, and coordinate with partners to reduce Florida's STD burden.
- Assure counseling, treatment, testing, and referrals for sexual partners of confirmed cases.
- Provides leadership, policy development, and technical assistance for the control and prevention of TB.Â
- Supports the provision of comprehensive TB services to persons with active TB disease, contacts, and persons at high risk with latent TB infection (LTBI).
- Identify, track, and notify county health departments (CHDs) of refugees and immigrants who arrive in Florida with a Class A or B TB condition.
- Follow up on individuals who have been exposed to TB long-distance airline flights through the Epi-X notification system.
Environmental Health is concerned with the prevention of injury and disease by assessing and controlling the links between humans and their environment. Â Generally, environmental health programs seek to minimize or eliminate risk factors in the human environment that threaten public health. Â The bureau is organized into programs that provide support to the county health department of each county. Â This organizational approach provides the most efficient, accountable, and productive service delivery system.
The Bureau Office
- Provides development and maintenance of the Environmental Health Database, a management and accounting system for the 67 CHD environmental health programs.
- Provides geographic information system (GIS) support for the bureau and division.
- Provides leadership for Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE) related to healthy communities, and built environment.
- Provides emergency preparedness coordination for the bureau.
- Provides guidance and subject matter experts, including policies, rulemaking, and training for food safety, migrant labor camps, tanning, body piercing, tattooing, biomedical waste and mobile home park programs as implemented through the 67 CHDs.
- Provides guidance, policies, rulemaking, administration, coordination, consultation with subject matter experts including training for drinking water programs, recreational water programs, and onsite sewage programs.
- The drinking water program provides oversight of about 50% of the population of the state or about 9 million people including about 13,000 small public water wells serving small businesses with safe water.
- Provides testing of water quality of about 8,500 private wells per year for chemicals of concern and coordinate remediation through Department of Environmental Protection.Â There are about 1.5 million private wells in the state.
- Provides coordination of recreational water programs through monitoring of about 200 marine beaches, surveillance of about 200 public bathing places, and program oversight for about 38,000 public swimming pools.Â
- Provides program oversight of permitting the construction and operation of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, septic tank contractor licensing and enforcement, engineering and research and product review for the 2.5 million private septic tank systems that serve about 38% of the state's population.
- Conducts science-based programs which protect the public's health and reduce the burden from diseases and conditions of public health significance â whether infectious or of environmental origin.Â The epidemiologists and toxicologists within the bureau share a commitment to using the best scientific data available to shape prevention, intervention and disease control activities, and improve the health and safety of Floridians and visitors.
- Investigates and develops disease prevention and control measures for infectious and noninfectious disease outbreaks.
- Conducts surveillance (population-based monitoring) on more than 100 reportable diseases and conditions of public health importance for the purpose of rapid case finding and implementation of control measures to prevent secondary cases of illness.
- Conducts surveillance on occupationally-related illness and injuries and develops strategies to improve worker safety.
- Maintains data systems used to conduct analyses and disseminate data on environmental hazards, exposures to those hazards, and health effects that may be related to the exposures.
- Publishes periodic reports based on infectious and non-infectious disease and other health related data, data trends and implications for public health.
- Maintains and develops reportable disease surveillance software (Merlin) for the storage, transmission, and analysis of reportable disease case reports.
- Provides education, information and training to healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, individuals, businesses and the general public on disease control and environmental issues that impact health.
- Provides fish consumption advisories and information on adverse human health effects from consuming fish from specific Florida waters.
- Supports and develops surveillance software (ESSENCE) that integrates emergency department, reportable disease, mortality, and poison control data and provides analysis tools that allow epidemiologists to monitor morbidity and mortality trends temporally and spatially.
- Provides statewide toxicology consultation.
- Provides environmental health risk assessments around hazardous waste sites.
- Provides technical support on radon and indoor air quality concerns.
- Collect, analyze and disseminate data on the occurrence of birth defects in Florida.